Solving Your GDPR Problems: 4 Steps to Innovate to Build First-Party Data and Reach
Companies from Google and Facebook to American Express and Verizon benefit from having a business built around first-party data. Even with inevitable hiccups (and even lawsuits), GDPR generally gives these huge companies a head start, because they tend to gather first-party data and record consent with millions (or billions) of people, as a rule. Then there are the smaller, digitally native startups like Rent the Runway and The Life House, which have a business built on a unified digital platform, and can more quickly maneuver around new regulation like GDPR.
Innovate Now, Or Never Get Past Your GDPR Problems
For the rest of brands in the middle, GDPR season has created a rush of concern, data purging and layers of red tape. Of course, marketers with GDPR problems must double-down on data best practices to comply with GDPR standards, but that’s just the beginning. Marketers must also double-down on innovation to compete with the giants and the startups, which are moving ahead with important projects.
Instead of letting other innovators gain traction as your company stalls, invest in some GDPR expertise to get through confidently and quickly, and resolve to push ahead with projects that can make a big difference during this time of change. Marketers shouldn’t stop advancements, such as AI-driven predictive modeling, unifying targeting across channels or upgrading to dynamic creative advertising out of fear, if they are GDPR compliant.
Don’t forget, consumer expectations don’t get put on hold just because of new data regulation, either. The majority of consumers expect one-to-one personalization and aren’t afraid to switch brands to get it. The well-prepared companies will use this window to take market share.
Quality Counts in GDPR Innovation
If the idea of shrinking your pile of consumer data has your marketing team paralyzed, just remember, it’s better to focus on quality over quantity. Research from Deloitte (opens as a PDF) indicates that 71% of brands believe that their data is less than 50% accurate. In other words, most marketers hold on too long to old data, and don’t do a good job categorizing and storing it.
GDPR will cause many companies to have fewer cookies in their cookie jar, and fewer email addresses in their databases, and that’s a good thing. You can more confidently personalize and target consumers if you find data within your company that is tied to sales not just ad views, if you favor newer data over older data and if you only focus on the data points that yield the best results.
Give Consumers What They Want
Every day, I get another email from a brand that's skittishly covering its bases as GDPR gets implemented across the organization. The truth is that many of these emails are unnecessary, or even illegal. What’s more, this type of activity signals to consumers that the brand is not confident about how it had been collecting and using consumer data.
Customers want your innovation and engagement. Use GDPR to build closer, better relationships with consumers by stepping up your game. With a “post-GDPR” data set, you can feel more confident recommending products based on past purchase history or offering restaurant recommendations based on someone’s address.
Consumers who feel valued as individuals are less like to be frustrated, creating a virtuous circle of engagement, data-sharing and relevance.
Increase Your (Relevant) Reach
In these days of GDPR, don’t just stick to Facebook advertising to get scale. Facebook might seem like a “safe” bet over small innovators, but they’re subject to regulatory scrutiny and can make seemingly small changes to their policy that can have starkly negative consequences for advertisers who don’t diversify.
Companies that compliment your data set not only increase your marketing scale, they can allow you to innovate. Much like Google and Fitbit, now is a good time to forge innovative partnerships, searching beyond the typical targeted ad campaign. Flight data can help hotels better customize offers to travelers, but that flight company might also be interested in a cross-promotion. Sneaker purchases can help sports-drink companies target their advertising, and the two companies might benefit from collecting addresses for a common loyalty program.
Innovation in the wake of GDPR can serve as a boost across your marketing organization. Quality data, creatively sourced insights and integrated messaging expands your reach so you can compete with the big first-party data giants, as well as the savvy startups, and give customers a better experience at the same time.