As every marketer knows, data quality, management and analytics are the chocolate of the marketing campaign brownie. Get data right in today’s digital world, and you’ll optimise your business.

But too often, the sales funnel is clogged with duplication and inconsistencies, you can’t get a clear view across campaigns and you can’t honestly say you understand your customers. This is choking your customer retention and growth strategies. And the Board is frustratingly familiar with your pleas to prioritise data management; but data entry isn’t fun and employees will do anything to put it off.

Thanks to GDPR, the day has finally come when marketers can dial up their demands for rigour in data. In the words of Information Commissioner and head regulator Elizabeth Denham, “Make no mistake, this one’s a game changer for everyone.”

The sweet spot in the C-suite

With the May 2018 deadline fast approaching, GDPR has pushed data management to the top of the board-level agenda. Boards need to focus on compliance in three key areas, two of which marketers can flip to their advantage. The business needs to make sure it:

  1. Doesn’t use someone’s personal data without their specific consent
  2. Can provide people with access to any data held on them, and erase it if requested
  3. Has processes in place so they can advise the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of any significant data breaches within 72 hours of discovery, while maintaining business continuity

The first two are blessings in disguise for marketers.  They create an unusual opportunity to wipe the slate clean and radically overhaul how customer data is collected and used, while sharpening up marketing practices and improving efficiencies. After all, if the business has to invest in new technologies, it makes sense to take a holistic view and make it work across the business.

Deeper, more trusted customer relations

When you use your customer data in accordance with GDPR, your customers should start feeling better protected. Likewise, if your business appoints a data protection officer and puts the right technologies and processes in place, you can start communicating with customers coherently across the business. No double emails. No accidentally emailing people who have unsubscribed. No contacting them via two different channels on the same day. Instead, contact and offers can be tailored, scheduled and effectively campaigned.

The left hand will know what the right hand is doing. This will boost customer confidence in your business and make them more receptive to timely, relevant marketing.

Alex Bacon, Marketing Manager at technology business, Cloud Direct, says: “We’re turning GDPR to our advantage - data analytics and BI are completely transforming our marketing. We can see our campaigns and customers from all sorts of angles and create deeply targeted campaigns that are generating much greater customer engagement. And that it helps tick the boxes for GDPR is a clear impetus for the business.”

Invest in data analytics

Now is the time to invest in data analytics and business intelligence (BI) tools. Populate these systems with your most important, useful and compliant data, and you’ll be able to understand your customers and campaigns; and engage to a depth you never could before. No longer will your team pick up the phone blindly, without a consolidated view of your customer and previous marketing communications.

Learn more about GDPR for marketing

In collaboration with The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), Me Learning has launched a GDPR e-learning course specifically for marketers. Find out more.