What Does the GDPR Mean For Your Marketing

What Does the GDPR Mean For Your Marketing

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What Does the GDPR Mean For Your Marketing

Recent surveys have found that 72% of an average business’s marketing budget goes towards digital marketing. Digital marketing has become increasingly popular in recent years, and the trend seems to be continuing, rather than declining. Marketers often use consumer data in order to inform their marketing strategies and understanding of their customers.

But that makes data privacy concerns intrinsically tied to marketing. It is essential for marketers to be mindful of data privacy regulations that might apply to them. One of the most well known data privacy laws is the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in Europe.

The GDPR calls for more transparency in data collection and stronger protection of consumer privacy as they browse the internet or apps. According to the GDPR, websites must have a privacy policy and must gain consent from users in order to collect cookies and other data. Businesses must also disclose what they do with the data collected and why it is collected.

Who Does the GDPR Apply To?

Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that if they are not located in Europe, the GDPR does not apply to them. However, this is not the case. The GDPR is relevant to European consumers, not necessarily just European businesses. Because the GDPR is designed to protect the data privacy of European consumers, any business that serves European consumers must remain compliant with the GDPR.

How Does the GDPR Affect Marketing?

In the initial days of data collection, businesses had a wide license to do whatever they liked with the data they collected. This is no longer the case. Some of the changes brought about by the GDPR include:

More Transparency

Digital marketers must now be more transparent about what data they collect, for what purpose, and what they do with it. This is generally outlined in your privacy policy. Consumers should also be able to access their data when requested. In addition, digital marketers must receive consent from customers to collect certain data, such as cookies.


Targeting is the practice of providing individualized marketing to your customers. This could be targeted ads, emails, or texts. Targeting is usually informed by data collected on the individual consumer. Although targeted marketing is not impossible in the midst of GDPR, it is important to stay compliant with any regulations.

Data Protection and Storage

Marketers will now be required to keep their data security measures compliant with the GDPR, to protect consumers from their data being hacked or stolen. This could mean upping your security measures with encryption. You may have to change the way data is stored altogether.

How To Stay Compliant With GDPR

Failure to stay compliant with the GDPR could lead to hefty fines or could even get your website taken down. These regulations are taken seriously, so it’s important to take your GDPR compliance seriously. How do you do that as a marketing company?

  • Create a privacy policy. Privacy policies are required for all websites serving European users. Your privacy policy lays out what data your business collects and why. It also explains how that data will be used, and reassures customers that it will never be sold to a third party without their consent.
  • Add a cookie consent form. A cookie consent form tells users that the website collects cookies and asks them to consent to collection of all cookies, some cookies, or none. This is a must for your website.
  • Make a data map. A data map lays out your different systems, applications, and processes for collecting different types of data, in addition to the different types of data you collect. This will give you a clear overview of your data process so that you can sort out any compliance issues.
  • Get permission to send promotional emails. You’ve likely seen check boxes at the end of a signup form, asking if you want to receive emails about special offers and promotions. This is a requirement in order to send emails to consumers under GDPR.

For further information on GDPR compliance, check out the GDPR website.

Similar Regulations To GDPR

Even if you don’t have any European consumers, you may still need to stay compliant to other regional regulations on data privacy. Some similar laws to GDPR include:

  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). CCPA has so much overlap with GDPR that it is often called the US equivalent of the GDPR. While there is no nationwide data privacy policy in the United States, the CCPA applies to all California consumers.
  • Australia’s Privacy Act. This regulation includes a 2018 Privacy Amendment that was released around the same time as the GDPR and the CCPA, stating that sizable businesses must disclose breaches of data that might be “a real threat of harm” within a month.
  • Colorado Privacy Act (CPA). Colorado’s Privacy Act is a part of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, specifically related to the consumer’s right to privacy and data privacy.

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