The GDPR (or General Data Protection Regulation) came into effect on 25 May 2018. And since then, companies across the globe have been adapting the way they do business.
This has been especially evident in the way organisations have been marketing their products and services. After all, with fines that could potentially go into the millions, it’s better for marketers to be safe than sorry. Be sure your digital marketing is GDPR-compliant by asking yourself these questions.
You should already have done this prior to 25 May 2018. But if you haven’t done so yet, get it updated immediately – this is the first and most important step. Be crystal clear with how your visitors’ data is being collected (if it is) and used.
“Is my marketing technology tracking data?”
Just because you’re not knowingly collecting your visitors’ and customers’ data, doesn’t mean that your tech isn’t doing it for you. Google Analytics, retargeting ads, and tracking pixels in your website content and banners may be collecting information that’s necessary for their operation. If you’re using any of these, be sure to check the details of what’s being collected.
And to be safe, always keep your website visitors and customers in the know – so they can make the decision whether or not to visitor your website, or remain subscribed to your email list.
“Have I included social interaction into my website?”
While it may seem obvious to marketers that any time you leave a comment on a website, your comment will now remain with the website – this doesn’t mean that you can assume regular visitors understand the internet the same way you do.
As before, include a disclaimer that informs users that by posting a comment on your site, your site is saving their comment – along with other data that relates to the comment. (i.e. Such as the person who posted the comment.
Even if an individual isn’t identified by name, your website’s social integration may store their computer’s IP address, the comment’s date, etc.)
“Am I selling anything on my site?”
If your website has e-commerce functionality, this will likely mean that your system is saving lots of information about your customers – including their names, addresses, and possibly personal details such as age, nationality, and more. With the GDPR in place, customers are paying more attention to the data that you’re collecting.
This means that if you’re a florist asking for your customer’s marital status and wedding anniversary, your customers will understand it. But if you’re collecting information that doesn’t directly relate to their purchase or your business, they might start questioning what you’re planning on doing with that extra information – even if you don’t have any ill intent for collecting that data. The solution is simple though. Just be sure to collect the data you need, and not try to get extra information “just in case”.
If you really do expand your product and service offerings in future, and need more personal information from customers, there are always other ways to get it (when you need it).
The big takeaway
These are just some of the questions that marketers should ask themselves, to ensure your business remains GDPR compliant. And when in doubt, simply remember this one golden rule – always disclose.
Tell your customer how, why, and when you’re collecting their data. Don’t worry, most website visitors and customers really don’t mind sharing data with you, as long as you’re using it to improve their experience with you. (And aren’t simply collecting it to sell to a shady third-party.)