How to Leverage Your Marketing Automation Platform to Achieve GDPR Compliance

Marketers across the globe have been talking about the GDPR more than anything during the past few days. The hefty fines for violations are already beginning to have an impact on some of the biggest names in the industry. Together, Facebook and Google were hit with $8.8billion lawsuits on the very day the GDPR came into force.

The GDPR has not only set stringent rules for the collection of personal data within the European Union, but it also promises to change data collection practices across the globe. The GDPR is a broad concept and legal teams across organizations need to assume the role of a counsellor for a smooth transition.

What are the prominent aspects of the GDPR legislation?

The GDPR aims to strengthen data protection policies. A few key aspects of this legislation include:

  • Customers’ consent for collection of their personal data: Businesses must get a consent from their customers before collecting their data and using it for marketing.
  • Areas of application: Compliance with the GDPR is mandatory for any organization that markets its products and services to the citizens of The legislation restricts tracking of citizen behaviour.
  • Consequences of non-compliance: Huge fines will be imposed on non-compliant organizations. The maximum fine in case of a privacy breach is €20 million or 4% of an organization’s global turnover, whichever is greater.

Marketers face prominent changes with the GDPR enforcement

The GDPR has introduced a wide range of changes, which directly impacts how organizations formulate their strategies. Let us take a quick look at the prominent changes they are facing after the GDPR enforcement:

  • Separate consent forms for different purposes: Organizations will not be able to take user data by force. The consent forms are accessible and well-defined; one consent form cannot club together more than one purpose. Organizations cannot hide behind convoluted jargon anymore. The users have the authority to withdraw their consent at any time.
  • Hefty fines for GDPR violators: As mentioned in the previous section, non-compliance will lead to hefty fines. The fines can be imposed of the following grounds: insufficient customer consent for data processing, keeping data breaches secret from authorities, and absence of Privacy by Design. This rule is applicable to controllers as well as processors, including cloud-based processors.
  • Privacy by Design (PbD) to become a default feature: Originating from the PIPEDA legislation in Canada and backed up by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, PbD is now a mandatory requirement of the GDPR. Its principles related to privacy and security are the new Organizations are required to use a minimum amount of personal data and take maximum measures to protect that data.
  • Breach notifications will become mandatory: Breach notification will be mandatory for all member states. When a breach can put an individual’s rights and freedoms at risk, the individual must be notified within 72 hours of the breach having come to light.
  • Data subjects can get their questions answered: Data subjects (people whose data is being collected) have a right to know where their personal data is being processed and how it is being used. When asked, the controllers will have to provide the information quickly. Data subjects can take down their information at will and withdraw their consent.
  • Appointment of Data Protection Officers: All GDPR compliant organizations must appoint a Data Protection Officer (DPO) whose core activities will include processing operations regularly and systematically. The appointed DPO must have a thorough knowledge of data protection laws. He or she must be a full-time staff member or consultant, report to the top management, and refrain from engaging in tasks that present a possibility of a conflict.

How will the GDPR affect Marketing Automation platforms?

Marketing automation platforms are used for tracking leads and subscribers in different segments. They help measure ROI and provide marketers with an all-round view of the existing markets.

With the introduction of the GDPR, the demand for marketing automation tools has shot up because without intelligent automation, companies can end up paying huge fines. Having a GDPR compliant marketing automation platform is not easy but it is essential.

How can Marketing Automation help you achieve GDPR compliance?

Marketing automation platforms can help marketing officers handle client data in an efficient manner. There are many ways in which marketing automation platforms can help you become GDPR compliant. Some of the most notable points have been listed below:

  • Creating precise consent levels for the customers: The GDPR allows prospects and customers to change their preferences and consent at any time. They can choose to give complete consent or partial consent, sharing only parts of their data. The best way to manage this situation is to create clear and concise UX-friendly consent requests. It seems tough but with the right marketing automation tool in place, creating separate permission lists becomes easier.
  • Keeping customer preferences in mind when creating email marketing campaigns: The fact of the matter is that the GDPR and email marketing go well together. The best way to leverage this concept is to reach out to the customers who genuinely like reading your monthly newsletters. They can let the marketers know about their preferences via email. Allowing the customers to set their email preferences will help marketers to target right audiences with precise messages.
  • Introducing GDPR compliant data collection practices: The idea of collecting too much data is tempting. This practice has to stop. Collecting more data doesn’t necessarily mean more conversions; it can have the opposite impact. Marketers should be transparent about each byte of data they collect. Data can be easily checked for GDPR compliance when it is input into a marketing automation platform. This will help you collect relevant information and make it easier to take decisions.

Customer preferences can change over a period of time and in the present-day scenario it happens quickly. The need of the hour is to accept that organizational processes and data collection practices should be fair and easy-to-understand for customers. The GDPR aims to strengthen data protection practices and has already issued a set of guidelines that marketing teams should follow.

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It is time to embrace the GDPR and move forward

By setting stringent rules, the GDPR has made data collection more transparent. Marketing automation agencies understand the overwhelming effects of the GDPR. They are aware that, at the core, it brings a huge opportunity for marketers and must be taken advantage of.

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