You may have heard the latest news about GDPR and wonder what this change will mean for your business.  We have previously written a blog on this subject in light of Brexit but wanted to highlight the latest information coming through, to help keep you informed and make sure that you are doing what you need to avoid any penalty.

GDPR stands for “General Data Protection Regulation” and in a nutshell its main focus is on how your business will use any business data or consumer data you hold and also looks at how your data is regulated.  This will no doubt lead to people rethinking their email or telemarketing campaigns, with some much- needed changes being made.

Maintaining Your Company’s Database

As a business, you will hold data about your customers, or potential customers, from a variety of sources: trade shows, exhibitions, sign up forms, advertising campaigns and more.  This could include any number of details, such as their email address, telephone number, physical location and turnover per annum.  All of these data fields are relevant when you are looking for customers based on a certain criterion.  But what about when you don’t keep track of that data or staff are not keeping up with those who hit the “unsubscribe” link?  This is where you could come unstuck under the GDPR changes, especially if your data includes those within the EU.

Drastic Measures or Refreshing Times?

Even though these new changes are coming doesn’t mean to say that your email marketing lists or consumer telemarketing data will become null and void, or make your business suffer – on the contrary, refreshing and maximising this data will be to your advantage and success – and these methods of achieving sales will still be very much a part of your marketing arsenal.

So, really there is no need to take any drastic measures to ensure you comply.  If you deal with in house, aged or newly purchased data correctly now, then you should be able to get through the GDPR changes with no stress.  You can start by way of cleansing your data and perhaps making sure you remove those unsubscribes.  After all, you don’t want to waste valuable time by chasing customers who are not aligned with, or indeed suitable for, your products and services.

Will GDPR Guidelines Still Affect Me Post-Brexit?

Whether the UK stays in the EU or not, as a business owner you will still need to adhere to guidelines and protect the data that you hold for individuals.  However, the GDPR guide really refers to business or consumer data that you hold which concerns customers within EU territory.

If you are worried that your business may not enjoy expansion because of GDPR, fear not.  All it means is that you need to be more proactive in how you collect and store that data – if you are unsure what it means for you, get in touch with us.

In terms of business growth post-Brexit, you may find that you expand your marketing campaigns internationally.  We have helped many businesses to reach out to businesses and consumers overseas, with our selection of worldwide databases which cover: USA, Hong Kong, Middle East and many more besides.

…And if I Do Business With EU Customers?

If you currently do business with EU countries and you want to ensure that your data is fit for purpose, then ask us about our data bureau and data cleansing services.  If you are looking to purchase data for companies that are based within the EU, then we can also advise you of different options that are available, so that your purchase is clearly geared towards your marketing campaigns.

As a data provider in the UK, we pride ourselves on maintaining an up to date database of businesses and consumers and use a variety of methods to ensure that our data stays compliant.

Avoiding GDPR Fines

The full GDPR changes don’t come into full effect until May 2018, and so it’s now that you should consider how you are currently using the business or consumer data you hold on file.  If you don’t look at the way data is used within your business then you could be fined up to 4% of your annual turnover, which makes the decision to purchase new data much easier and cleansing the older data you have more of a necessity.

Final Note

So now you know that the GDPR will mainly concern the areas in which businesses need to be made aware of, regarding the data that they collect, use and hold.

If you are a UK business, trading and looking for custom within the UK only, then you are not likely to be greatly affected by the GDPR unless you are promoting a service to customers within EU countries but the changes still promote an attitude of mindfulness towards how the data you have, is used.  Regulations for the UK are not defined yet, so it could be that something similar in terms of data usage is on its way for UK businesses.

As with any type of product or service, the customer has the right to change their mind and so the GDPR changes are also about ensuring that businesses are connecting to prospects that are genuinely interested rather than harassing them to sign up or sending unnecessary information that they just don’t need.  If a prospect is interested in what you have to say and the services which you provide, then it is clearly evident that they are happy to stay on your list. In addition to this, it is also worth mentioning that parental consent will be needed for any consumer data which will be collected / held for products and services aimed at those aged 16 years old and under.

The overall feeling of these changes seems to point towards being better prepared within your business, in order to enjoy more success, and as a data provider your success is most definitely our aim.