GDPR’s New Marketing Opportunities

GDPR is an opportunity to make digital marketing more efficient

Stuart Fieldhouse, Director, Hawksmoor Partners
Originally published in the May 2018 issue

The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is almost upon us. It comes into force on 25th May, but one key marketing platform for fund managers may fall through the cracks of detailed preparations for the big day – that is your website.

Preparing for GDPR goes well beyond a database cleaning exercise. The complexity involved in such tasks can be enormous. At Hawksmoor we have been working with clients who have harvested large amounts of personal data on EU individuals as part of their research efforts. For some firms this data forms a critical part of the value of their business and they may have been and be planning to continue to use their website as part of their data collection efforts. GDPR makes that harder, but it is not the threat some make it out to be.

Knowledge gaps

Data out this month from the World Federation of Advertisers, based on a survey of 34 companies with a collective advertising spend of more than $65 billion, has found slightly more than half of them admitting to ‘major knowledge gaps’ in their understanding of GDPR regulation and its implications. These companies put as their highest priority, reviewing their procedures for handling customer requests related to their personal data (e.g. erase or rectify), but only 12% had implemented such procedures as of the beginning of May.

Almost half of these giants said they were hiring data protection specialists or outside consultants to get them GDPR ready, accepting that, even for big firms, all the answers to GDPR do not exist internally.

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