Since GDPR was introduced in 2018, it’s now easier to see how the regulation is impacting businesses, the way in which they manage their data, and their subsequent marketing efforts. Consumers, too, are more informed as businesses give serious consideration to the legitimacy and lawful basis around the collection, use, storage and security of data.


A new era of trust

One of the most positive outcomes of the GDPR is a greater respect for the concept of responsible marketing. By using data openly and transparently, businesses can genuinely add value for consumers.

Responsible marketing is a question of trust; businesses need to prove they will store and use a customer’s data responsibly. To do this, businesses – and the data they use – should be transparent, compliant and responsible.


Transparent data

Marketers should be able to demonstrate that all their data sources are transparent, justified, accountable and compliant. They should also be able to provide clear documentation that outlines the legal use of the data they provide.

Direct marketing can take place as a legitimate interest activity so long as certain circumstances and a ‘balance of interests’ test is met. Identify and understand your marketing journeys, analyse whether a legitimate interest for direct marketing is available instead of consent and if it is, record how you met the protection of an individual’s rights and reasonable expectations.


Compliant data

As a business you must align your data with the correct compliance and governance frameworks to ensure there is accountability and ownership of both the GDPR and PECR (and the forthcoming e-privacy regulation) within your organisation.

You should know your data: understand what you have and why you process it. Make sure you know who, what, where, when and how personal data is or was collected, and analyse if you can keep using it compliantly under GDPR.

Your contacts or customers need to be told in clear language what your lawful basis for processing their data is and you should check your permission messages, including the requirement to inform prior to the individual giving their consent. The right to easily revoke consent must also be offered.


Responsible data

Customers should understand the benefits and value of sharing their personal data. Businesses can conduct highly targeted marketing campaigns by analysing and segmenting existing customers, and build on the unique relationships they have by looking at buying behaviour, lifestyle characteristics, attitudes, and communications preferences. They can nurture the most receptive customers to ensure a long-term relationship and greater brand loyalty.

GDPR has provided businesses and marketers with a great way to demonstrate transparency and build trust and more profitable relationships with both new and existing customers. Thanks to GDPR, customer data is now stored and used transparently, compliantly and responsibly by the majority of businesses, ensuring better marketing practices all round – and that’s a win-win for everyone.


Wrriten by Andy Bridges, Data Quality and Governance Manager at REaD Group.

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