Embrace the spirit of GDPR

David Chalmers, senior marketing director, Europe, Cvent looks at how the industry can embrace the spirit of GDPR post the law now in effect. 

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is now legal. There’s no going back, no Brexit-like revisions or potential U-turns. Whichever way you look at it, GDPR has and will continue to be a big deal for the MICE industry and the way we now handle data.  Yet, David Chalmers, senior marketing director, Europe Cvent is urging the industry to move on from the fear and embrace the spirit of the new law and the opportunities afoot.

Have the right mindset
It’s understandable that many have been anxious in the run-up – after all a step wrong could see the Information Commissioners Office (ICO) knocking on doors and imposing hefty fines for anyone falling foul of the requirements. However, it’s time to shift the mindset; see GDPR as an opportunity and not a threat. Being ready is one thing, but it’s about being willing to want to move with the changes.

Building trust with our customers
Every wave of regulation is a chance to raise our game, do more than we’ve been asked to do, jump higher. When regulators raise the bar, it’s usually because our customers need something from us. Responding to compliance is responding to customer needs. They are asking for reassurance or protection. In the case of GDPR, it’s trust. And without customer trust, our businesses are dead.

Consumers have a rapidly growing sense of the value of their personal data, an increasing awareness of their right to privacy. The Cambridge Analytica/Facebook story has brought this into sharp focus. The public demands and deserves to know the good guys from the bad guys. Transparency is a way to show you’re one of the good guys. Embracing compliance with open arms and going for better-than-it-needs-to-be compliance shows you’re one of the best – and worthy of trust.

A new and better way to market to your audience
GDPR marks a big turning point – the death of spam, cheap data, automatic opt-ins, questionable opt-outs, shabby privacy standards, intrusive marketing and lazy list mongering. And that can only be a good thing.

The new law marks the birth of best practice, honest, open, friendly consent-based marketing – a chance for all players to do what’s right by the consumer. More creative strategies and content can now be implemented on different channels to spark attendees’ interest and bring them to the table. For marketers, it’s about having a different approach – rather than pushing content, it’s now about creating content to engage individuals enough for people to seek out their business.

After all the deadline drama, we can now look forward to prospects who want to have conversations, people who invited us in, who trust us, who really are listening. Good, clean honest data practices bring results – higher open, opt-in and conversion rates.

Under GDPR, marketing will be better and do better.

For full details of Cvent’s GDPR webinars, GDPR resources and other future events visit www.cvent.com/GDPR





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