GDPR – A great opportunity to get your house in order

With eye-watering penalties ranging from €10-20 million, GDPR is a great reason to get your data house’ in order, from the moment of capture until the moment of sale (or deletion).

However, it’s not the only one. In fact, these penalties are a mere drop in the ocean compared to the money that companies are wasting right now due to the quality of their customer data. Each lead harvested and passed on to the marketing or sales team that is irrelevant is wasting advertising spend and staff time. It is spreading inefficiency across a business. Each non-prospect added to a company database is spreading a virus that essentially renders what should be a company’s most prized asset – the route to conversation and conversion with its key market – increasingly ineffective, in turn making its sales team more and more inefficient.

Oracle’s Cory Treffiletti openly admitted that he believes 30% of the tech giant’s databases are filled with garbage. This would suggest that at around a third of the media budget spent in obtaining that data is comprehensive waste. For a business the size of Oracle, with global clients, that’s billions upon billions of dollars thrown away. Compare that to the potential €20 million GDPR penalty. And that’s without looking at the cost of wasted staff time in pursuing the garbage.

To comply with GDPR, companies are going to have to review all aspects of their data. This is a great opportunity to improve data in terms of both compliance and quality, and boost the efficiency and effectiveness of your marketing and sales functions.

What’s more, if you’re using customer data properly and you’ve got the right permissions you can build a lot of trust. And if you’re putting consumers in control of their data, then they are likely to view your business or brand more favourably.

If when you collect customer data, you’re honest and clear about what you do with it, then you develop trust from an early stage, which will help you build loyalty going forward. It also means that consumers will be more forthcoming in sharing information freely with you, which is extremely valuable when developing products and services, and keeping up with market trends.

But why take the requirements of GDPR as a standard to meet? Why not go further? For example, while GDPR requires a response to consumers within 30 days, why not respond within 30 seconds? This can easily be done with the relevant data logistics.

Approached in the right way, complying with GDPR can be turned into a major competitive advantage, but using it as a standard to exceed can be used to truly impress the otherwise unimpressed. And, why wait until May 2018. The earlier you start to comply, the bigger the edge you’ll gain.

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