B2B Marketing blog

‘Honey I shrunk the database!’ about GDPR and consent management

D-day for the GDPR, the new data and privacy regulation is approaching and many of us are talking about it. Not all B2B marketers however are ready. Some of us are only in the beginning of the journey, others are well on their way. In a conversation with data expert Colin Day, we explore the top priorities for B2B marketers.

Colin Day works for financial services technology player FIS and is responsible for campaign and data operations as well as tele-marketing activities across the enterprise. In addition to these duties, Colin Day is also the Chief Technology Officer for FIS’s marketing group, ensuring that marketing technology stack is best aligned to support the company’s business objectives. Colin will be speaking at the B2B Marketing Forum on March 15th 2018 in The Netherlands.

“As I think about the GDPR, some of the initial things I would be focusing on right now would be data quality and data quantity. Don’t underestimate the amount of effort it takes to cleanse and scrub and get the dataset ready for the GDPR.”

GDPR or consent management?

“What the GDPR and good consent management practices allow us to bring to the table is focus on those people who want to engage with us and who want to receive our material. That’s one of the key things for me. In the B2B marketing space, we sometimes measure of success of the number of people we send our marketing material out to, whether they want to engage with us or not.”

Shrinking the database?

“Think of it as consent management; less can be more sometimes. The size of a database may shrink, but the database you are left with is of better quality. These are people that want to hear from you and want to receive your material. On the GDPR journey itself, at FIS we lost around 40% of our database size. Over the last couple of months, we have started to grow that back again.”

Our ‘GDPR for marketing’ journey

“Our GDPR journey was about checking out every single contact in the database. For obvious reasons, we started off with an emailing campaign. This was the easiest way to get to the masses. We asked them to give us their consent or reconfirmation of the consent they had given us previously. We operated multiple consent models around the world. What the GDPR allowed us to do was consolidate those models down to one single model.”

Main challenges?

“As we were going through the GDPR journey our number one challenge, would have been internal education. We started this initiative in July/August 2016. Back then, very little information about impact of the GDPR was released and published. So, it has been an educational trip for everyone.

And as the legislation comes into effect, regulators are learning how to interpret it and enforce it, so new explanations come along. As practitioners in the industry we must anticipate quickly. If we had left it until everything would have been clear, we wouldn’t get anything done.”

Most important internal stakeholders?

“Our internal stakeholders were mostly our senior leadership team, sales team, marketing associates, but actually it even touches everyone. We are not only talking about the marketing side of things, but GDPR touches the whole organisation and everyone needs to be educated. We broke up the ownership into various work streams. I owned the marketing work stream. Ultimately, our data officer and the legal team did the overall sign-off.”

Moving to consent management involves a culture shift

“At the B2B Marketing Forum 2018 in The Netherlands, I’ll be explaining some of the legislation, to make sure we’re all on the same page. Then we’ll be looking at some of the frameworks that we leveraged on inside our organisation, to get us to the point that we are today. Introducing consent management is a culture change, it is not something you put in place and never change again. On March 15th,  I will also explain how we are extending the programme into other areas of our opt-in framework.”

Colin Day will be presenting his story at the B2B Marketing Forum on 15th March 2018. Are you joining?

Shimon Ben Ayoun

Shimon Ben Ayoun is co-founder and managing director of spotONvision and the B2B Marketing Forum. He helps marketers in the transformation of marketing as 'cost center' to 'revenue generator'. He is constantly looking for innovations in B2B and technology to increase the success of marketers.