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DP2018: A GDPR crossroads where risk meets opportunity

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We used to rely on the tickbox.

Simple. Effective. A pure consent tool, underpinned by almost no customer-data. 

But Asda's Simon Hall told our delegates that the inexorable rise of data means the old tickbox, the marketer's friend, is no longer so unflappable.

Bigger data merits harder-won consent

Data growth is incredible, and it's only going to continue to soar. 

Since the introduction of the PECR, Simon told the DP2018 crowd, coupled with leaps forward in computing and analytical ability, what we can do with data as marketers has been in a continual cycle of revolution.

But how do we get there, Simon asked?

The answer lies with consent. Consent - one of the six legal bases for processing data and a cornerstone of the GDPR - is the holy grail of all marketing, and the GDPR will simply enshrine this fact.

A good sense of fairness

Simon also urged the room to share in the sense of fairness that marketers must exhibit to be successful in a post-GDPR implementation world.

As marketers we must appreciate that we seek to manipulate behaviour, and we must care for our consumers throughout that process. 

We know, he continued, that marketers' ability to track consumer behaviour is unparalled, on and offline. But that demands that we re-imagine what the purpose of data collection really is. 

It must become, Simon argued, a mission to enhance our relationship with our consumers - and our experiences with those consumers as well.

Within this thinking it is important that we challenge the assumption that simply because we know more about them, our relationships will simply become more easy, more refined.

Rather than relying on the wonderful ubiquity of data, marketers still have a lot of work to do to bring it all together.

Creating cultures of genuine customer-centricity, Simon argued, doesn't start and end with data, or technology. Creating those cultures must come with understanding and being clear about the purposes behind why we marketers do what we do.

It's time, he concluded, to be put the customer, not just the customer relationship, at the heart of business.

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