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by Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes

On the 29th May 1981 – The pop band The Jam released a single (remember them?) called Funeral Pyre, a version on YouTube is on this link The Jam – Funeral Pyre via @YouTube

I was reminded of it when watching the feedback of marketers over the new European (or is it global now) GDPR privacy laws.

It would seem that I was a lone voice (not the first time in my life) when I wished for a better world.  A world were people would not stealing my time, by bombarding me with things I don’t want and don’t need.

Sitting in a meeting at a client of ours, who is one of the top legal firms in the world, the conversation went like this:-

Marketer: It’s taken us 10 years to build this email database of 50,000, it sounds like when we ask for content under GDPR only 20% of people will give this.

(A prediction that came true)

  • Me:  So in reality you really only ever had a database of 10,000.
  • Marketer: What do you mean, it took ages to build this database.
  • Me:  But surely you want a list of people are engaged and interested in what you are doing?
  • Marketer: It took ages building the database.
  • Me:  (deciding to change the subject) On the basis, that you now have a list of people that are really engaged with your brands voice, why are you just sending emails to them?  Why don’t you have a conversation with them, with social.  You could migrate as many as you can to social, be GDPR compliant and create a tribe of advocates.

All across the globe, as GDPR is a truly global legislation.  Marketers are waking up to a new dawn in marketing (and sales).  No longer can you spray and pray, building databases of people who are actually not interested.  Or in sales mode, bully people through continuous emails and calls down a sales funnel, hoping people will buy.

There are two routes.

  1. Go back to the old days and ways that you know don’t work.  I read an article today (from a person selling advertising of course) to take a route that involves PPC, buying ads and promoting your company using old fashioned broadcast methods.  Let’s not forget advertising was invented in the 1930s, it is technology from the last century – or
  2. Move to where your customers are, on social media. A free, frictionless way that you can have a conversation with your prospects and customers.  Build trust, get them to be advocates, which brings you more business or am I just dreaming?

So What at DLA Think You Need to Do?

  1. Get the C-Suite to understand that there needs to be a change in culture and thinking, one that embraces 80% of the internet enabled world.  On social Media.  We have deleted our email database, GDPR means you need to be responsible and accountable for this sort of data and we decided not to take the risk.  A risk analysis was taken and this decision was taken as board level.  The C-Suite must also get behind and lead the new social culture.  We can (of course) help, but I’m not here to sell to you.
  2. From that session the company can then drive a new culture of socially enabling the business from sales, customer service and marketing, across all departments. Budget shouldn’t be a problem as the project will be cost neutral, incremental revenues you will create in sales, will finance the rest of the roll out. Note:  I’m not advocating employee advocacy, this is generally getting employees to post corporate materials, this is about enabling the business with social.

In other words, not only will you be GDPR compliant but using this as a “compelling event” to digital transform the business.  Reducing the risk to the business, increasing revenues, enabling the business to be more effective and efficient.

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