The introduction of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in May 2018 has undoubtedly disrupted inbound and digital marketing strategies. From adding compliance overhead to the soaring cost of inbound campaigns and fear of non-compliance undermining confidence in outbound campaigns, marketers are struggling to meet revenue targets.
But GDPR has also served as a massive wake-up call: marketing teams have, finally, recognised the sheer inadequacy of existing data resources. James Isilay, CEO, Cognism, welcomes a new generation of revenue focused, data-aware marketers who are confidently combining trusted, compliant data resources with Applied Intelligence to deliver focused, targeted outbound marketing campaigns that result in a significant revenue uplift.
Blessing in Disguise
Marketers have had six months to come to terms with the realities of a post-GDPR world, but as the dust settles it is not the fear of punitive fines that is dominating the agenda but the challenge of achieving ROI given the spiralling costs affecting every stage of the sales and marketing funnel.
From the addition of the Data Protection Officer to the sheer weight of compliance overhead now borne by marketing and the spike in PPC costs, the marketing budget has taken a massive hit. The logistics associated with meeting GDPR requirements for routine data cleansing, ensuring that contacts are registered and that any out of date records are deleted are without doubt a challenge for many companies.
Yet what has really taken many by surprise is the sheer inadequacy of existing sales and marketing databases - and the knock on implication for marketing campaigns. The fact is that approximately one-third of data degrades every year and most sales teams have been using data that is up to 60% out of date: recognising and addressing this fact alone will make GDPR a blessing in disguise for marketing teams.
This new era of data awareness is, in many ways, long overdue. If companies want to maximise the value of marketing data resources, the number one priority has to be accurate and up to date information. That means ditching the spreadsheets and embracing a CRM platform to achieve better data control; and it means ensuring that any data provider is by default providing GDPR compliant data and can prove strong privacy and compliance credentials. But it also means recognising and addressing the speed with which data degrades: how is the business planning to ensure data is kept up to date, accurate and alive?
It is only when armed with a trusted, accurate, real-time and GDPR compliant data resource that a business can truly begin to transform marketing performance, and hence improve the revenue stream. Combining this trusted data resource with Applied Intelligence (AI) marketing can transform performance – from gaining more insight into customer personas to identifying purchasing triggers, and delivering highly targeted, highly effective outbound campaigns.
Compliance to data privacy regulations is becoming a fundamental requirement for marketers globally – from Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) to the diverse interpretations of GDPR throughout Europe and state-specific demands in the US - and that is great news in raising data awareness and understanding. But no marketing team is rewarded for achieving regulatory compliance: it is driving revenue from those data resources that remains the primary goal. And with the cost of inbound marketing campaigns continuing to spiral, there are very real opportunities for those companies able to combine real-time, compliant data resources with AI to deliver highly targeted, highly effective outbound marketing to drive tangible revenue uplift.
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