Getting ready for GDPR – step by step by step

2nd February 2018

If you’re a marketer, we’re pretty sure that GDPR is at the top of your list of things to do with PRIORITY written all over it.

May 25th is looming ever nearer and give or take a few Bank Holidays, there’s less time than we think to ensure that everything is done correctly and properly, with the aim to be compliant.

So what were our first steps? Well, we read a lot of articles and attended one or two webinars and had several lengthy internal meetings.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) have produced excellent summaries, advice and insights.

What we discovered is that we should treat our customers in the same manner as we would wish to be treated ourselves. It’s a good principle to hang our hats on.

As we wish to know who holds our personal details, what those details are exactly and why they are being held – so do our clients.

We want to know how to give consent to receive marketing messages and just as importantly, how to withdraw that consent.

And of course, we want everything to be written in Plain English so that we understand everything.

So with those tenets in mind, how to approach GDPR? Step by step. Bitesize chunks. Getting organised.

Step 1 – An audit of all of the data held for potential, existing and former clients.

Step 2 – Decide the basis of processing data. It’s good to know that Direct Mail is a Legitimate Interest – Recital 47 ‘ The processing of personal data for direct marketing purposes may be regarded as carried out for a legitimate interest’.

Step 3 – Update Privacy Policies.

Step 4 – Check all procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have.

There’s no denying that each step involves many steps (the ICO detail 12 main steps) but broken down into Bitesize Chunks (remember how to eat an elephant?) it’s manageable.

GDPR requires teamwork and a willingness to adopt and adapt new practices and procedures but GDPR also opens up many opportunities to engage with customers who are engaged with you.

One of the principles in Article 5 says ‘data must be up-to-date’.

This core principle of the GDPR (and also covered in the Data Protection Act) could be a concern for many marketers. As data cleansing is one of the services offered by DMP, we are gearing up for an increase in the number of requests we receive. Clean data is essential for sending out accurate and relevant mailings, so do contact one of our data experts to see how they can help your data become up to date and healthy on 01535 509080 or visit our Data Services page for more info.

Direct Mail can be used as a legitimate way to talk to your customers

Mail is recommended as the channel to use to get consent by the DMA. Some brands will choose to repermission some customer segments, and mail is well suited to this. Brands have been fined for contacting customer by email who had previously opted out of email communication. Repermissioning communications are seen as marketing activity, and so mail of this nature can attract advertising mail discounts.

As a provider of direct marketing print, we are looking positively on the opportunities that will arise as Direct Mail proves both a legitimate and winning way to talk to your customers.

Contact us on 01535 509080 to see how we can help you with your direct marketing requirements or take a look at our services page.