“Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best” said Tom Wright at yesterday’s Digital Privacy in the B2B Landscape event. The event had a strong slant on marketing from Tom, Simon Moss and myself, backed up by cybersecurity insights from Benj Hosack, and legal clarifications from Chris Evans. Here are some of the key points made (as I recall them):

  • Time to make sure you have consent for the data you store. GDPR doesn’t distinguish between clients, prospects, competitors,... There’s no difference, they are all data subjects. There’s no grandfathering period so when 25th May 2018 comes in, we are all under GDPR so you won’t be able to use that data unless it’s compliant.
  • Most businesses don’t realize they’ve been hacked for at least six months on average. Once you find out there’s been a breach, you have 72 hours to let the ICO know. The potential fines are astronomical. So 1) find out where you store your data and create controls around it 2) check the standards, using the PCI security standards site 3) work out who can help you out because once you find out there’s been a breach you have 72 hours to form a full picture you can present to the ICO
  • In GDPR, cookies are third-consent at the moment, so you don’t need explicit consent. What you have to do is lay out clearly all the cookies you drop in your cookie policy whether Google analytics, Wordpress and so forth. You just need to be clear and transparent and say what they are and what they are there for.
  • You don’t need a tick box to add people to your mailing list when they sign up to gated content, but you do need to be unambiguous and succinct in your wording, and also name every third party you will share their data with (and not just use a blanket term like ‘third party’)

Finally, my main point is that GDPR has been created to tackle spammy tactics that some organisations have been guilty of. Content marketing, as a strategy is naturally the opposite of this – it focuses on creating tailored content for your audience rather than going for a scattergun approach. So it’s a huge opportunity for businesses to build trust and get hyper focused in their approach. Think blogs that tackle specific niches and a tailored double opt-in mailing list to accompany it. Get rid of all the people on your mailing list that haven't engaged with it in months! 

Two tactics B2B marketers should capitalise on are: 

  • creating gated content for their more hero-type of content
  • installing pop ups on their non-gated content to encourage sign ups and grow their lists organically.

The other point I’d like to make is that this is an opportunity to educate your sales team. If you are still operating in silos, it’s time to change that and get your teams on board of social selling. They should be creating content and sharing it in places where their networks can see it. Essentially, they will be improving their personal brand, and building better relationships as a result of it rather than going for a more cold-selling approach to people that don't care.

Below are the slides from the event if you want to relive it or check out the topics up for discussion.