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GDPR: The benefits and opportunities for marketers


By Tim Holt 3 min read

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Recently, most of the headlines surrounding GDPR, and being compliant, have been about hefty fines and fears you’ll be unable to use your current databases after 25th May 2018.


It’s important to remember the GDPR does present a number of opportunities for both B2B and B2C marketers:

More effective email marketing

As it stands, B2B data for Sole Traders and Partnerships will be treated in the same way as B2C data and therefore, opt-in is required (for registered businesses, then the current guidelines from the ICO state that ‘opt-out’ will remain the standard).

Under the new GDPR regulation, individuals will need to opt-in to marketing communications and the organisation responsible for the data will need to be able to provide evidence of this. Hence a big part of GDPR is cleansing and fine-tuning your current databases. For some this may mean a dramatic loss of data. However, this shouldn’t be alarming - if they’re not engaging, how much will that matter? A refined list of individuals who have opted in to communications should be much more engaged, resulting in higher click-through, open and engagement rates in email campaigns.

Increased customer confidence

Now more than ever, consumers are aware that their personal data is valuable to businesses. They’re also increasingly suspicious about how their data is used, which is something that GDPR will help to ease. Ultimately, this new level of transparency should lead to customers trusting brands more and having the confidence to share more data.

Avoid bad PR

Stopping data breaches before they happen should be easier under the new GDPR regulation. Additional data protection and security regulation benefits both customer and the brand. No business wants to deal with the negative PR which accompanies data losses and breaches.

Positive organisational change

GDPR is a great opportunity for organisational change and to get the business ready for the future. We believe, with change comes opportunity, so the new regulation presents the chance to transform your business culture and processes for the better. In addition, if you’re quick to move and have a new data strategy in place ahead of 2018 you could have that advantage over your competitors.

We always recommend a regular review of your data strategy and customer journeys. If you currently rely on soft opt-ins to find new leads then you may have to completely rethink your acquisition process. If you send dynamic content to various target segments, you may need to be more transparent about how you build profiles. There’s a lot to ponder but with nearly a year to go you have time to test, learn and optimise in line with new regulations.

Raise the profile of marketing within the organisation.

If marketing steps up to the challenge presented by GDPR and takes the lead in developing the culture of privacy demanded by the ICO, it should highlight the importance of marketing among senior leaders and increase the credibility of the function within the business.


We believe GDPR is an opportunity for great data and a more personal relationship your customers. Its also the chance for the marketing department to shine and show how a new data strategy can really improve marketing ROI.

With just under a year to test and learn from new approaches and see what works for your business, there’s plenty of time to bring your processes up to speed. Then you’ll be able to reap the rewards of cleaner data, higher engagement and more valuable relationships with your customer base.

Further reading: Data HQ's complete guide to the GDPR

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