Since the GDPR implementation in May, how is it effecting marketers? Source: Shutterstock

GDPR-ready marketers see improved consumer trust and engagement

THIS year has been a stressful time for many marketers as they prepared for the recently introduced General data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The regulation came into effect on 25 May and is a replacement for the 1995 Data Protection Directive, which until now, set the minimum standards for processing data in the EU.

The newly introduced GDPR has significantly strengthened a number of rights including giving individuals more power to demand companies to reveal or delete the personal data they hold.

GDPR demands that internet companies receive informed consent before collecting any data on EU consumers online. This includes for the purposes of targeting advertising.

And these enforcements have real teeth, with the maximum fine now reaching the higher of GBP£17 million or four percent of the company’s global turnover.

But despite the headache that GDPR has caused many businesses, it looks like it has been paying off for those marketers who went the extra mile in working towards meeting the deadline.

According to a recent survey by the CMO Council in partnership with SAP Customer Experience, marketers that were prepared to meet and exceed the GDPR standards have seen increased consumer trust, loyalty and engagement levels.

This is incredibly valuable at a time when issues like data privacy are weighing more heavily on consumers’ minds than ever before.

It seems that consumers don’t always mind sharing their personal information with brands, as long as they are fully transparent about how this data is being collected and where it is applied.

man online shopping

Brands who are transparent with what they are doing with consumers data will be more likely to win their trust. Source: Shutterstock

When brands are transparent with ad targeting – telling consumers that product recommendations were based on information that they shared – these consumers were 40 percent more likely to click on the items.

According to the research from Harvard Business School, these consumers also spent 31 percent more time on the product page.

“What marketing leaders have seized upon is the reality that trust is the currency of today’s data-driven customer engagement. Without trust, the customer will walk away from an experience, taking their loyalty and their wallets with them,” says Liz Miller, SVP of Marketing at the CMO Council.

“GDPR, and more specifically the frenzy of activity surrounding the compliance deadline of Thursday, 24 May, was not the end of a security conversation; it was the start of an experience transformation,” Miller adds.

More than half (55 percent) of the “leaders” in GDPR (those with a plan for compliance) had already established a data audit for fully understanding where and how customer information was being stored and collected.

Furthermore, among the leaders, 37 percent had plans to upgrade their data management solutions.

Many marketers still not prepared for GDPR

The survey also revealed that a significant number of players in the industry still do not have a concrete plan in place. According to the survey, these companies are either still confused or simply don’t care about achieving compliance.

Such findings are in-line with a Deloitte study published last month. It found that only 34.5 percent of organizations have achieved full GDPR compliance, with 32.8 percent hoping to be compliant by the end of the year.

According to the Deloitte study, 11.7 percent of respondents are still taking a “wait and see” approach. In the CMO survey, these kinda of respondents were referred to as “laggards” and are those who view compliance as other teams’ problems.