With just over half a year until it becomes law, the realities of GDPR (aka the UK Data Protection Bill) have finally started to hit home. After a period of frenzied uncertainty, what with Brexit and confusion around what GDPR’s implications will be, some of the initial panic has started to wane. In my experience at least, we’re now beginning to see acceptance, and organisations knuckling down into remedial action.
For example, sensible businesses have already begun the process of repermissioning their customers for consent.
That is, bringing their database up to the new standard required for whatever legal ground they hope to use personal data under the new rules.
If you’re yet to do the same, establishing customer consent to GDPR standard requires:
- That it is ‘unbundled’: Consent for marketing cannot be combined with other terms and conditions.
- Opt-ins to be ‘active’: People have to give a positive action. As in, yes to agree to marketing, not no to disagree (remember, silence cannot count as a ‘yes’).
- Granular details: That you spell out how and why you plan to process and use their personal data, and what for.
- Documentation: Keeping detailed records that document when and how each individual consented.
- That consent can be easily withdrawn: It should be just as easy for an individual to withdraw consent as it was for them to give it.
- No imbalance in the relationship: There needs to be a worthwhile trade-off between the person giving the consent and what the organisation gives in return.
It’s quite a lot to ask though, isn’t it?
No doubt about it, the process of repermissioning your database is going to decimate the number of records that you hold.
Some individuals will not bother to reply. Many others may take the opportunity to unsubscribe; probably to a service they may not see the value in any more. Or, unsubscribing could be as a response to the incessant email requests – from you and many other businesses – asking them to update their preferences.
There are two positive ways to look at this:
1. As an opportunity to spring clean. Go on. Admit it. You’ve been hoarding names in your database as if you’re collecting Pokémon.
According to one report, 75% of customer data within UK customer databases will be rendered obsolete by GDPR (if you do not repermission them, that is).
Yet, even if you manage to preserve half of that data, that still means a huge chunk of contacts you’re likely to lose.
Consider this, though: those contacts who remain have jumped through enough hoops to demonstrate a clear interest in your products or service. What you’ve lost in quantity, you’ve made up with quality.
2. As an opportunity to build a better relationship with your best customers. If your business depends on a smaller number of valuable key accounts or customers, spraying them with messages asking for their consent to marketing probably isn’t the most delicate way of keeping them them happy.
If you lose the opportunity to communicate with these few, it could have a proportionally larger impact on your business.
So go ahead and plead with the majority of your contacts for their permission to marketing to them. If you’re honest, many of those who opt-out will not be a huge loss.
However, your most important customers deserve a greater share of your marketing resource and a something more personalised than a series of automated emails. GDPR certainly makes a good icebreaker for a more personal, accounts-based marketing (ABM) approach to repermissioning.
Of course, this begs the question: who and where are your key accounts and most promising prospects?
If you don’t know, that’s bad news.
This is where a data-driven customer segmentation service like Blue Sheep’s Money Mapping would really come in handy.
If you can identify those segments of customers – even down to individual accounts – who are most profitable (or show a propensity to be profitable in future), you can roll out the red carpet for them. Building a better relationship with them can only benefit your business.
Similarly, customer insight with a Money Map can highlight those customer who do not really contribute much to your business. Those you can approach to see if your repermissioning campaign works.
Or, here’s an idea – just remove 'bad customers' from your database entirely!
If you find customers who cost more to serve from you make from them, maybe you should take a similar approach to Wetherspoon’s and just delete them. After all, if you don’t hold their data, you cannot infringe their data privacy rights…
Changes to data protection laws have hung over our heads like a black cloud for a while. But it's time to turn it to our advantage and build a relationship with customers based on openness and trust, delivering the best experiences to those who really mean the most to your business.
Find out the customer who need to be treasured for your repermissioning campaign. Request your free top line customer insight report here:
Request your Money Map report online and we'll contact you to put our unique, proprietary algorithms - and a load of clever humans - to work to create a topline analysis report unique to your organisation.
We'll show you...
- Valuable customers you are at risk of losing
- VIP customer segments you need to treasure
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- Revenue heatmaps and market penetration
- An identified VIP customer lookalike prospect list