Opting for marketing automation to be GDPR compliant

maj 2018 Sebastian Gullak

The personal data economy, with its outstanding amount of information easily accessible and available in real-time, has been subjected to significant increases. Data, their quantity and most importantly their quality, not only have become more and more refined and personal but, they resulted to be at businesses’ disposal at any time. Nevertheless, a regulatory system was needed in order to ensure no rights were infringed by businesses, and customers would not have been damaged. Hence, the EU law on data protection aimed to provide all individuals with control over their personal data and the information they decide to share with businesses both inside and outside the EU and EEA. Through the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data collection and usage of those data with businesses’ responsibilities, finally merged to have a complete and unified legal regulatory environment.

As a primary consequence, fewer customer data would be collected, given that customers need to be asked for their consents, which has to be properly documented, including specification on when and where those consents to data collection and treatment were provided by your customers. Consequently, consumers must be able to opt-in and opt-out data collection easily and at any moment, implying that your business databases will need to be constantly updated in a dynamic and time responsive way.

Moreover, your existing customer data, email lists, segmented profiles, and information stored in your company’s database might no longer be valid, meaning they could not be legally used and, depending on how they were obtained, they need to be tested out for GDPR-compliancy. In a nutshell, such a regulatory system requires your company to critically reconsider how data are stored, where to organize those data, and how to be GDPR-compliant when storing and using them. However, one of the advantages of GDPR compliance is that it offers your company with the chance to handle your customers’ personal data in a more responsible way, learning more about them, given that they would spontaneously provide more accurate information, which impacts over trust and customer engagement. The second advantage is that there are several marketing automation tools and platforms supporting business in being GDPR-compliant, among which Marketo.

How to be GDPR compliant through Marketo?

Implementing a marketing automation platform and aiming to be GDPR-compliant are two processes that can easily go hand-in-hand, since automation tools and practices would simplify the majority of GDPR adjustments that need to be done to your company’s databases, data collection measures, etc.

Particularly, Marketo’s solutions support your business in keeping track and constantly verifying your data are organized and managed in a GDPR-compliant way, particularly in three main ways:

– Setting several permission levels: customers can choose to provide full consent, and revoke it whenever they feel like, or to deliver partial pieces of information, such as names, ages, etc. Marketo helps your business in clarifying to your customers that data disclosure, sharing, and consent is fully up to their discretions, by enabling permission lists.

– Manage customer’s preferences: GDPR and digital marketing efforts could strategically work together, and Marketo grants your business this opportunity. For instance, customers could manage their online preferences, email or subscription, and Markecentrestes email centres your business could use to keep track of customers’ expectations.

– Collect GDPR-compliant data: proposed along with Marketo’s platform, the privacy impact assessment (PIA) is a solution that allows your company to identify eventual risks in data collection and storing, in order to verify every piece of information collected is compliant with GDPR policies.

Notably, Marketo grants your company with the opportunity to gather as much data about your customers as possible, providing them user-friendly and non-intrusive ways to deliver those data, while ensuring your databases and data collection procedures are fully compliant. This, in turn, would affect consumer engagement, loyalty, conversion rates and will impact building a long-lasting relationship with your customers.