The EU is introducing a new law, due to be passed in December 2014, called the EU Data Protection Regulation. A mundane title for a game-changing document. It heralds the most significant change to sales and direct marketing for 20 years.
Broadly speaking, we currently have an opt-out system for storing contact details and personal data. You can store and use prospect or customer data for marketing until they tell you to stop.
The EU Data Regulation (EUDR) changes direct marketing from an opt-out system to an opt-in rule. In the future, you will need to get a person’s permission before you can store their personal details in your database or CRM.
If they don’t give you permission, your email marketing, direct mail and telemarketing could grind to a halt.
You will not be able to store a prospects mobile number or direct line/home number on your system without their permission.
Experts believe the new law will be passed in December 2014, and will be enforced by 2016.
You need to start getting ‘opt-in’ – permission from prospects to store their personal information on your systems - and you need to start now.
The existing EU Directive is replaced by a new Regulation. Upgrading the law to a Regulation, means the same law will apply across all EU Countries.
The EUDR states you must obtain explicit consent, through ‘clear statement or affirmative action’, to store and use personal data. There is no distinction between business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) sales or marketing.
However, the Regulation currently fails to define ‘explicit consent’. Your interpretation of explicit consent could differ from the authorities’ view. Hopefully they will define it more clearly by December.
So, what is ‘personal’ data? Here’s a brief list, and remember this applies to both B2C and B2B sales and marketing.
· Full name
· Job title
· Work and Home email address
· Direct work telephone number
· Home telephone number
· Mobile telephone number
· Actions and behaviours
· Computer IP address
The flow and profiling of data will be restricted, which will impact the effectiveness of your direct marketing. IP addresses will be listed as personal data. So you will need consent from visitors to record and store their activity on your website. This will affect web analytics and online marketing.
Combined with the existing Cookie Law, you may not be able to give visitors a ‘personalised’ experience on your website. Customers could be forced to re-enter their details on every visit or transaction.
The Regulation also introduces a new ‘right to be forgotten’ by internet firms. If a person requests, you will have to remove all data held on them and any information you have published about them on the internet.
So money spent profiling customers and gathering information about their online buying habits could be wasted.
Data held outside Europe on EU Citizens will be subject to the same law. Even though it’s impossible for companies to know they are dealing with EU Citizens until the person registers their details online. Some commentators believe it’s also impractical to prosecute companies outside the EU.
Other elements of this new law include:
· Companies employing 250+ staff will need to designate a Data Protection Officer
· Each country will have a National Supervisory Authority to investigate breaches
of the Regulation
· The new Regulation allows for fines up to €1,000,000 or 2% of global turnover
Bitesize 3 Point Action Plan
1. Get consent
By obtaining ‘explicit consent’ you secure the right to keep personal details for propsects within your database. Prospects remain contactable via phone, email or post (if they select those options) and personal information such as their job title or buying habits can be retained for future use.
But you have to be clear about what they have consented to receive. If they consent to receive information by email about pensions, you cannot sent them information about life insurance. If they consent to receiving email alone, you cannot call them.
2. Get content
Invest in a content marketing strategy. Content marketing is the delivery of knowledge and learning via whitepapers, webinars and infographics. Ensure that an ‘opt-in’ option is necessary to access your knowledge documents.
Beneficial for both existing customers and new business prospects, content marketing provides a reason for continued and sustainable engagement. The right content will attract your target audience and enable you to gain consent for further interactions and lead qualification.
3. Get calling
If you are involved in B2B sales or marketing, allocate more of your marketing budget to telemarketing. The EUDR still allows you to store and call switchboard numbers, because they are not personal data.
Armed with a number to call and a job title you want to reach, cold calling is still an effective way to generate leads.
Tell your colleagues
It’s important your Sales, Marketing and IT/Data department are aligned on your response to the EUDR. We have created a PowerPoint for you to deliver to relevant departments and an infographic to share with your peers.
By Graham Smith