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What is GDPR and how does it affect inbound marketing?

2 mins read

You might have heard people talking about something mysterious called GDPR lately, but do you know what it means for your company and the way you work? If you are not entirely sure, and your company is storing any information about your customers in any way, you should keep on reading.

What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will enter into force from May 25th, 2018 for all EU countries. As it is a regulation, there is no transitional arrangement, which means you can not come the next day and say that you are almost ready to change your routines.

If you are not ready, big financial consequences can be expected. The penalty for breaking the regulation is 4% of global sales or 20 million euros – depending on what gives the highest amount.

The regulation imposes new and stricter requirements on the way we collect, store and process personal data. The purpose is to strengthen the rights of the data subject and provide better insight and transparency about what the information is actually used for.

It is no longer possible to link to a long and complicated "Privacy Policy".

With the new rules, individuals can easily find out who has access to information about them, what that information is used for and how it is stored.The registrant shall also be informed of their rights to access and, in particular, delete the information at any time.

This applies to personal information, which includes all information and assessments that can be linked to an individual.

If you treat such information in any way, you have a duty to inform all registered persons. The storage or retention of personal data is an example of "treatment". An example of such treatment is companies that collect such information to customise content and communication to leads and customers in their database.

You can read more on some of the frequently asked questions about GDPR here.

Download the GDPR checklist for marketers

So what does GDPR mean for inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is based on obtaining and analyzing information. Does it mean that the greatness of the popular methodology is over?

On the contrary. Inbound marketing means that potential customers are seeking you out and are asking for more information, as opposed to outbound where you collect personal information and contact people who do not know you or your services.

Thus, it is up to the individual visitors to actively leave their information and tell us exactly what they want from further information and contact.

This means that you have to create content that is valuable enough to your customers, so that they are willing to leave the information you request in return.

Your landing page must clearly explain why you ask for this particular information. If you work with inbound marketing, you know that you use the information to personalise the communication to the individual and what they are interested in. Thus, the purpose is to help the person solve a problem or meet his needs.

For that visitor, it is absolutely not clear that's why you collect the information. Most of us have experienced being called by someone you can never remember to have been in contact with, or received a newsletter you know you have not signed up for.

This is why, as soon as we have to leave our email address, we become sceptical. This is why it is better for everyone if you are open and transparent about the processing of the information that is left behind. And soon it is also required by law.

5 things you must include on your landing pages

It may sound scary, but breaking it down will make it more manageable to meet the new requirements immediately. To make it a bit easier, we've collected the five things you need to include on your landing pages to act in line with the regulation.

Any landing page that collects information must disclose:

  • The identity of all who process and receive the information obtained
  • All purpose of the collection and how long the information is stored
  • The right to access and delete the information
  • The right to complain to the Data Inspectorate if you wish
  • How the consent for collection and treatment can be withdrawn

The changes are not necessarily big, and you may already have some of this in place. Our best tip is to get ahead, implementing some changes today. As we mentioned initially, the deadline is May 25, 2018, but the sooner you are open about how you process information about your customers and prospects, the better!

Download the GDPR checklist for marketers