Is your brand ready for GDPR? 3 in 10 marketers “unprepared”

A new survey has revealed that around 30% of marketing professionals are worried that their brands are “unprepared” for the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) when they come into force on 25th May 2018.

The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) asked digital marketing professionals whether they felt ready for the new regulations to come into effect, and how they thought GDPR would affect the marketing industry as a whole. While the majority (77%) said they had good awareness of GDPR and how it would affect their business and a further 74% said they had already made their preparations, 3 in 10 marketers were not so confident. They did not feel their organisations were ready, with the main concerns cited including:

  • Having to provide an opt-in for telemarketing (25% of survey respondents said this)
  • Having to provide an opt-in for B2B marketing (31%)
  • The requirement to seek consent for cookies on websites (26%).

What is GDPR and what changes will marketers have to make?

GPDR in a nutshell is essentially a detailed update to existing data protection regulations, with the aim of giving individuals far more control over how organisations use, store and share their personal data. Individuals will now have an automatic right to be forgotten.

Organisations will need to review their data protection policies with regards to issues including consent, accountability and privacy by default. Many, particularly large organisations, will need to appoint a dedicated Data Protection Officer. There are also new requirements to notify data protection authorities of a data breach, and new, higher fines and sanctions for breaching GDPR when it comes into effect.

Is your brand on track for GDPR?

According to research, the average UK small business has spent around 600 hours in 2017 preparing for GDPR. Over 60% are currently planning, but around 2.1 million have yet to act. There is still time to make the required changes to comply with GDPR, but experts are advising organisations not to leave it too late. If you haven’t yet started your brand’s preparations, this guide from the Information Commissioner’s Office is an excellent place to start.

As for whether GDPR will affect digital marketing, some brands see the changes to data protection legislation as a significant hurdle. 65% of marketers surveyed in the DMA research raised this as a concern, while others saw the changes as a positive opportunity to put the customer first. 34% said that they felt the benefits would outweigh the costs, while 39% believed it would improve their offering to customers. A statement from the DMA backed this up, explaining:

“While implementing GDPR is a challenge, it is also an opportunity: to re-assess their offering to customers, putting them at the heart of their business. Leading the way in responsible marketing can bring a boon to business.”

For expert advice on incorporating GDPR into your digital strategy for 2018, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team here at Ambos Digital.