Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

In Q1 2018, marketers spent 30 percent more on search engine marketing in the E.U. — higher increases than search saw in the U.S. and the U.K. And the rates themselves may go higher as the audience shrinks with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in place.

GDP what? That question sums up the main problem American marketers are having with the European Union’s privacy regulations. They don’t understand it and many of them don’t even think it applies to them. But now, all — every single one — of the European Union’s citizens will be protected by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), whether they’re in Europe or not. And whether the businesses they patronize are in Europe or not. So we created a guide for marketers on GDPR compliance.

How did 2017 work out for you? Well, let’s look forward to 2018 — and imagine what could be. The optimist in me is gung-ho on what’s transpiring in the world economy — and nearer at home.

Right on cue. My last blog post happened to discuss Europe’s forthcoming "Data Freeze." Enter a new U.S. study that articulates just how large the use of data for smarter marketing really is stateside — to the tune of $20 billion plus.

European policymakers are transfixed with setting personal information controls on the private sector, and — beginning May 2018 — will give its citizens “default” power to shut down all such data usage for advertising purposes unless consumers provide affirmative consent. It’s called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and its companion ePrivacy Regulation.

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