Earlier this year, back in May, the UK was swept with new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) laws. These new laws were all about how you were allowed to obtain, store and use personal identifiable information, protecting consumers and giving them more control over who had access to their personal data. And while it may be a good thing as far as consumers are concerned, it did raise a massive question mark for businesses. What does this mean for customers and how brands are allowed to communicate with them?
Well first of all, mailing lists and the amount stored in your CRM system will probably have reduced drastically. Many businesses are mourning the loss of this data, while consumers rejoice in being bombarded with far fewer emails. But let’s not be glass-half-empty kind of people. Yes, our digital audiences may now be smaller, but sometimes in marketing it’s about quality over quantity.
Our online audiences may now be smaller but they are much more engaged and it’s important to think not only about appealing to the masses but about speaking to those who are genuinely interested in what we have to say. There may now be less data available to us, but the data we can access should be much more valuable and help us to target more effectively. Also, while we may not have as much personal data to go on, there’s still power in contextual marketing.
Contextual marketing is about cleverly placed adverts based on the surroundings, rather than the viewer. Somewhat similar to product placement, it involves marketing products where interested parties are likely to see them. So paying for an advert for some new cooking utensils in the middle of a recipe video on a popular Facebook channel would be a clever use of contextual marketing. Instead of saying ‘show this to people who are old enough to own their own kitchen’ or ‘show this to people who like cooking’, you are able to make the jump based on the associated content.
So although GDPR might have caused a headache for some, it’s also given us the opportunity to come up with fresh ideas, rather than to keep flogging a dead horse. Plus, if nothing else, it’s helped you to carry out a data cleanse. So that’s one less thing on the to-do list!