Most marketers in the room knew exactly when GDPR will take effect, but was not exactly sure what will it mean for the industry.
GDPR concerns the entire industry, not only companies selling product and services to the European Union (“…if you have a form on your website, somebody from EU can fill it out…”). Though most marketers in the audience were marketing to EU and, sometimes, were operating under stricter guidelines in US also.
Some of the actions marketers took in preparation for GDPR:
- Removed inactive contacts from the database
- Formed data quality cross-functional task force (demand, ops, sales ops)
- Verified subscription management (option: add a “snooze” button to stop receiving communications for a specified period of time)
- What to do with the data entered by sales? All data has the same requirements.
- What to do with database contacts, which do not have explicit permission? You can ask for the permission now.
- Meeting attendees thought that a part of GDPR was pushed to 2019
- How to handle the requirement to keep data on European soil in the age of Cloud?
- Can you rely on IP for “Country” form filed? No.
Concerns and speculations:
- Is the regulation “more bark than bite?”
- “I am a demand gen guy; the regulation is not after me – they are after spammers…”
- There are two aspects:
- GDPR: legality of collecting the data
- ePrivacy: how do I use the data
- BRIC countries might follow GDPR…
- Are the same rules coming to US? The public is concerned about the recent Facebook issue… Would California be the first state to entertain stricter rules?
- Europe is traditionally more concerned about privacy, and US is more lenient. Most likely US won’t follow GDPR quickly, if ever.
- “We are a global company, we are following stricter guidelines across the board already…”
- Some known companies are following double opt-in even in US
- Double opt-in would generate more engagement…
- Google (business accounts) is more likely to deliver emails to inbox if engagement is better
- Legitimate Interests Assessment (LIA) was also a concern
- Marketers need to have “consent,” but how often do you need to get consent? We probably have a couple of years…
- EU US Privacy Shield is a related regulation
“Now you can not receive a concent in exchange for an eBook..” European community now is inundated with opt-in emails… What to do? We need to have compelling, interesting materials… and possibly combined concent seeking online effort with a phone-based approach.
“We need to just play by the rules…”
“It could be a blessing – conversion rates will go up!”
“Check any third-party vendor to make sure they are GDPR compliant”
Event sponsors were also interesting:
Hushly is able to “reclaim” a portion of site visitors who typically abandon the site with an innovative approach. Leads generated are “human-verified” and GDPR/CASL compliant. Hushly website has an interesting comparison of different vendors from the compliance perspective.
Activate specializes in demand generation. Activate site features a useful infographic indicating that opportunities and SQLs seem to be the measure of marketing success (replacing MQLs), what was already common in the industry.
Direction #1: Lead quality: The target gets even smaller
While lead quality will continue to grow in priority for sales and marketing leadership (the days of lead quantity are officially dead), the threshold for meeting lead-quality expectations will go ever higher and include ALL of the following:
- Interaction across multiple channels (at least 2 among web, social, telephone)
- Engagement with various forms of content
- Clear visibility into BANT criteria, especially buying timeframe, as well as willingness to get on the phone with sales in the near term