The new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) coming into force on 25th May 2018 will have two key effects on marketing, both of which rely on technology.

First, the compliance cosh of GDPR will bash any marketers who still aren’t working with a closed loop system into doing so, so they have full insight and control of personal data.

Second, the resulting personal data dearth of GDPR’s new consent rules will force new customer and influencer engagement strategies to the top of the marketer’s priority list.

To enable these strategies, three technologies will form the backbone of post-GDPR marketing: customer relationship management (CRM), content management systems (CMS) and marketing automation platforms (MAP).

But before we examine the core technology, let’s briefly consider why GDPR may have altered the marketer’s perspective on closed-loop marketing and customer engagement, so we can understand why it’s important to support them.

Closed-loop marketing

The original purpose of a closed-loop system was so that Marketing could understand their best and worst lead sources, based on data and insights on sales leads. They could then work out which marketing activities to increase and which to ditch.

Post-GDPR, this closed-loop system enables marketers to track the full cycle of a customer or prospect’s journey. It gives marketers control of the flow, recording and security of data and information so they can comply with GDPR and keep control of a person’s interests and their right to be contacted – or not.

Customer engagement strategies

Before GDPR, marketers could just about get away with the “spray and pray” strategy of frequent mass mailouts or calls to customers and prospects who had not necessarily opted into receiving them.

With GDPR this can no longer happen. Strict consent rules apply, plus people must have recently reinforced their consent. Sourcing and maintaining outbound communications with contacts will become (even more of) an issue.

So marketers need to take a good hard look at their engagement strategies. Communications will have to be personal, relevant and timely. The focus more than ever will be on inbound content marketing and PR that inspires your customers and prospects to come to you.

David Gallagher, president, Omnicon Public Relations, said: “To help us connect more intimately with our audiences, we can expect an increased and more sophisticated use of influencer marketing, with social media influencers playing a big part.”

The marketing technology backbone

But neither closed-loop marketing nor smart customer engagement can happen without a strong technology backbone:

  1. A content management system (CMS)
  2. Customer relationship management (CRM)
  3. A marketing automation platform (MAP)

1. How a content management system supports GDPR

  • It classifies documents and deploys content services, so marketers can quickly and easily find and manage content
  • It helps you segment, personalise and manage campaigns, so the right content goes to the right person in the right medium (e.g. social media platforms) at the right time

2. CRM helps marketers with GDPR in five, data-critical areas

You can:

  • Identify what personal data you have and where it is
  • Manage how personal data is used and accessed across the business
  • Protect data with security controls to prevent, detect and respond to data breaches
  • Store data and report on data subject requests
  • Analyse your data and systems, stay compliant and minimise risk

3. Marketing automation helps address GDPR

  • You can track where, when and how people have opted in to your marketing
  • People can withdraw consent – i.e. unsubscribe – whenever they like
  • You can comply with a person’s right to be forgotten.

And there you have your backbone for a lean, mean, GDPR-compliant marketing machine.

To help marketers prepare for GDPR, the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has teamed up with Me Learning to create a marketing specific e-learning course. To find out more click here.

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