GDPR.PNGMost 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:

  • Legal re-wrote privacy policy “… if you give us your information, this is what we will do…”
  • 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)

Questions discussed:

  • 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:

hh.PNGHushly 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

Book – The Startup Way


I enjoyed the previous Eric Ries book, Lean Startup (listened to it at least twice), though I waited a couple of years to start.  The book was recommended a few times based on my reading interests, but I did not think it was relevant to me.  At that time I typically worked for large sleepy companies.  I thought my “skunk works” navigation of political and operational networks within a large organization was dramatically different from a startup approach.  “Startup” concept felt frightening.  When I finally picked up the book, it felt very relevant and had a following within slowly moving enterprises on high levels.  Though…  nothing seemed to happen.

The Startup Way is the inspiration (and an instruction) to everybody on the inside of an average enterprise.  This volume explains how to take the ideas of Lean Startup and make them work within a large company.   The approach makes sense even it the company has been organized in the most inhospitable way for anybody with a slightest entrepreneurial thought.

But – times are changing, and changing fast.  Companies need to innovate their way to a continuous existence and find a reliable methodology to do it consistently.

I guess the most challenging task in a multi-billion established business, sometimes, is to actually articulate (or understand?) basic concepts from these books.  You might hear an MVP term, while people who discuss their “MVP” might have an idea of what it means (though rarely read the book), and an entire project team happily describes a “Phase 1” of a defined and impossible to change multi-million project as an “MVP.”

The Startup Way has many interesting examples showing how internal teams avoided similar misunderstanding.


One of the critical approaches is metered funding.  The idea should not receive an additional funding unless it has not proven itself in customer tests.


A concise summary of the book is available at Your Exec.  This resource also has interesting examples of PPT templates.

Interesting book!