GDPR: A real opportunity for B2B marketers

By Kristin Connell

This is the third post in our GDPR series for B2B marketers – see post 1 “What it means for B2B marketers” and post 2 “Are B2B marketers ready?” to get caught up. 

In less than two months, GDPR will be enforced to strengthen the security of EU residents’ personal data. Since GDPR was first announced, I’ve found that the complexities and costs associated with the GDPR tend to eclipse the many benefits for organizations and more specifically, for B2B marketers.

Real opportunity exists for those B2B marketers open to it, but many have not yet realized the potential. According to Forrester Vice President and Principal Analyst Lori Wizdo, recent Forrester data indicates that only 15% B2B marketers stated they were fully compliant with the requirements of GDPR. The majority are only partially ready, and 18% are still considering what to do.

“Our research shows many B2B marketers don’t think the regulation is a relevant concern because they think the GDPR doesn’t apply to business marketers, “says Lori. “Others believe the data they collect and process isn’t in scope.”

Perhaps it’s time to look at GDPR through a different lens – so instead of feeling crushed by the compliance and/or cost implications, B2B marketers can look at ways to optimize the opportunities. In this post, we’ll look at four excellent opportunities that GDPR brings to light for B2B marketers.

1. Clean your data to make it worked harder for you
“A clean database ultimately means a more effective marketing strategy with more favorable campaign metrics,” says Chelsea Mize, Content Marketing Manager at Synthio. “So buckle down and get to cleaning your data. It might be a pain, but it’s long overdue, so just lean in and implement a regular data cleansing processing so your data will always be clean, current, and compliant.”

“Before GDPR, it was easy to de-prioritize database cleansing and maintenance in favor of other (seemingly) more pressing pursuits,” Chelsea continues. “But with GDPR compliance at the top of your to-do list, it’s time to do some much-needed database upkeep.”

2. Increase your customer personalization and customer experience
Despite all the research linking personalization to improved results, many modern marketers still build their marketing strategies using email – wait for it – blasts. (I refer to this as the “B”word.”)

“GDPR is certainly going to give marketers less data to work with, and provide greater restrictions for how that data can be used,” says Francesco Rocchi, Director of Marketing at MotionPoint. “But at the same time, GDPR can be a potential boon to smart marketers who value personalization in marketing and who are willing to invest in highly-targeted content.”

“Consumers will be able to tell companies very explicitly what information they can use and how they can use it. This means that opt-in vehicles like email capture, lead forms and on-site applications will be clear, explicit and help marketers know precisely who wants to hear from them to target more effectively than ever before,” concludes Francesco.

3. Raise the profile of marketing within your organization
“Core to what we’re trying to do as marketers is to drive the experience for customers and prospects – to communicate with them when, where and how they want to be communicated with,” says Holly Rollo, CMO at RSA Security. “GDPR is inconvenient in the short term, but is great for us in the long term because it’ll help us achieve that goal.”

Making sure you’re involved in the conversation and taking the lead on GDPR is essential for success, says Holly. “We’re going to have to lead that charge. There’s an opportunity if we lean into GDPR and the changes that need to happen. From a process standpoint, systems, training and understanding, we can really get to where we want to get to, which is that full omnichannel experience for our customers.”

4. Improve your sales and marketing alignment
“The greater discipline GDPR will require of demand gen marketers will trickle down to sales in the form of higher-quality leads and increased pipeline opportunities and value,” reports David Crane, Thought Leadership and Marketing Tech Strategy at Integrate. Prospects will naturally be more open to engagement since it’ll be on their terms, notes David.

“Plus, your messaging will be more personalized both out of necessity and because you’ll have more specific information about these prospects from the beginning. Combined, this will make for a much smoother hand-off to sales,” David concludes.

Consider marketing ROI impact
GDPR provides real opportunities to make improvements across key areas of your marketing organization. By combining higher-quality customer data with improved marketing practices, GDPR compliance may actually end up improving your ROI over the long-term.

Learn more about our GDPR Services and how they can help you – with less than two months to go – be ready for GDPR.

 

Note: This blog post and the linked content, if any, is not intended to include, nor should be construed to include, any legal advice or business solution addressing the content, interpretation or application of the European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) generally or specifically to any client’s or potential client’s circumstances. Sojourn Solutions advises all parties to seek qualified legal counsel regarding the applicability of GDPR to their processing of any personal data, including and especially through any third-party products and/or services.