To quote two Marketing and Business Development Directors at professional service firms I met last week - "This whole GDPR thing is a massive headache". Yep!
The 7 stages of grief are said to be:
- Shock and denial
- Pain and guilt
- Anger and bargaining
- The upward turn
- Reconstruction and working through
- Acceptance and hope
It seems to me that a lot of the folk at firms I meet are still stuck in stages 1-3 when it comes to GDPR, shock, a lot of denial, pain and anger! With May 2018 hurtling towards us much faster than we'd wish it is time to accelerate through stage 4 and get on with 5, 6 and 7.
I think here at Passle Towers we are getting to stage 5 and we have far cleverer people than me onto it so I am feeling confident. The good news is that there is lots of advice out there. Check out gdpr.passle.net for heaps of GDPR expertise from those on the Passle network.
Like most difficult tasks it seems that changing culture and behaviour are going to be at the core of successfully getting to stage 7 (acceptance and hope) and using this legistlation as an opportunity.
For me it means to move beyond vanity stats eg. how many people do we send our newsletter to, how many people are reading my posts. Smaller, focused, interested are the keywords for me.
I am now used to our newsletter database being culled by marketing. If you do not click on a link or open our newsletter for several months then you are dropped.
The other thing I have come to understand is that 'my' database of contacts is not mine at all. It belongs to the firm and I have a responsibility to keep it up to date and all my contacts in one place. For many (especially in prof services) this will be a challenge.
There is opportunity. The good news is that GDPR can clean up our data in what might appear a brutal fashion but leaves us with quality over quantity. As a sales person I have to accept and embrace that actually I do not want to tell everyone about what we offer but rather focus on a much, much smaller group. It also means that I have to (absolutely have to) finally clean up my CRM and be more disciplined in how I keep and record data. Its a pain but is actually what I should be doing anyway.
Good luck - will let you know how we get on!
Given that the use, abuse and exploitation of personal data has become the core business of the internet, anything that affects this is going to be a big deal. The GDPR extends EU data-protection law to all foreign companies that process the data of EU residents. So even if a company has no premises or presence within the EU, if it processes EU data it will be bound by the regulation. And the penalties for non-compliance or infringement are eye-watering, even by internet standards: fines up to €20m and/or 4% of global turnover.