With the GDPR’s deadline only a couple of weeks away, we’re addressing how personalised marketing and data protection can work together after the 25th of May.

As personalised marketing relies heavily on the collection and use of personal data—data that will be harder to obtain after the legislation has been implemented—you’d be forgiven for thinking that the two won’t be able to work hand in hand, resulting in major changes to marketing strategies.

As part of Propero’s GDPR marketing month, this week’s blog covers concerns about the future of marketing AFTER the 25th of May, and particularly how changes in data usage will affect personalised marketing.


Data Protection: How is data used in marketing today?


In marketing, data is indispensable.

In fact, in May 2017 The Economist called data “the world’s most valuable resource”—ahead of oil. As data arms businesses with information such as who their target audience is, what improvements can be made and what clients want overall, we’re inclined to agree. In short, the use of good data can:

  • Increase client acquisition
  • Reduce client turnover
  • Increase revenue per client
  • Improve existing services

From website and email analytics to industry and tech changes, data is at the heart of modern marketing methods.

How will GDPR affect data marketing?


The introduction of the GDPR will completely change the way firms think about data handling for marketing purposes.

As an example, a common marketing practice that will likely no longer be viable if your firm is leveraging consent, is data buying. If your firm has bought data in the past to use for marketing purposes, all data subjects must opt-in to carry on receiving content after the 25th of May. Similarly, if a client uses your services, or downloads something from your website, it’s not best practice to automatically subscribe them to your newsletter because it’s not what they originally opted into.

These examples are merely a drop in the ocean when it comes to data handling within marketing.

To find out more about the GDPR more generally, read our blog on: The impact of GDPR on B2B marketing in the UK and worldwide OR have a quick listen to our 6 minute update on how the GDPR will affect marketing.



Personalised marketing: How can personalisation be used?


Targeted emails, service recommendations, retargeted ads and personalised landing pages are a few examples of what you can do with personalised marketing right now. When compared to more traditional forms of marketing, personalisation increases the interaction between your firm and your clients. This is supported by a recent study conducted by PWC’s Digital Services group, that found that 94% of its senior executives believe that personalisation is critical to reaching and retaining clients.

But what does personalised marketing actually achieve for professional services firms? We see three key reasons it’s important:

  • Help your firm stand out from the crowd: Competition is fierce within the professional services industry. By targeting prospective clients and personalising the message and services you put in front of them, you’ll take an active step away from the crowded competition.
  • High ROI: A recent survey conducted by the content marketing institute discovered that 77% of clients will recommend or pay more for a personalised experience. The more personal or exclusive the experience, the more a client is willing to pay.
  • High value positioning: Compare the above to data discovered by the Harvard Business Review, which states that personalisation can reduce marketing costs by 50%, lift revenues by 5-15% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 10-30%. Both sets of data highlight how beneficial personalisation will be in the future for professional services firms’ marketing strategies.

How does GDPR affect personalised marketing?


As GDPR focuses on standardising the control of personal data with rigorous regulations, personal data control has moved out of the hands of companies and into the hands of the individual.

This has caused alarm bells to ring for some marketing functions as they begin to question the future of personalised marketing and data handling.

Even though the GDPR will likely reduce the overall number of contacts in a firm’s CRM database, it will actually improve personalised marketing in the long run.

Columbia Business School discovered that a massive 75% of clients are happy to share their data with firm’s they trust won’t abuse their information—if data is used in the right way, then clients are likely to share more data with you. Because the GDPR requires that individuals have the ability to opt-out of marketing materials much more easily, those who opt-in to your firm’s content are more likely to be engaged and receptive. This is an opportunity for marketing functions to gather more invasive data from willing participants—information such as how clients want to be targeted, what the best form of communication for them is, and what your firm is doing well/what needs improvement in your clients eyes.


A new future for marketing…


Since the boom of the internet (primarily the reason mass-marketing became a staple and default strategy) more and more people have become deaf to general marketing tactics.

The GDPR is the dawn of a new era.

The effect of the new legislation will shift marketing efforts from audience-centric marketing to client-centric marketing—benefiting marketers by incentivising focused campaigns, and rewarding marketing strategies that value quality of messaging over quantity.

As the GDPR is such a hot topic at the moment, we’ve dedicated the entire month of May to GDPR-related content. For insight into what other professional services firms are doing, marketing information on how GDPR will be positive for your firm, and information on the top 10 GDPR resources you can use (among a variety of other GDPR-related content), sign up to our mailing list.

Got a specific question you’ve not had answers to? We’re producing an anonymous Q&A blog answering all GDPR marketing related questions—ask yours here.

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