GDPR – how to survive and thrive? Look at your content, not just your data

GDPR – how to survive and thrive? Look at your content, not just your data

How many world-cup, football related emails have you received in the past few weeks?  The temptation for consumer brands to assume every single customer or potential customer is utterly consumed with planet football is perhaps a sweeping generalisation at best and a branding own goal at worst! A recent study showed consumers are fed up with irrelevant brand communications. Almost two-thirds (65%) of consumers say companies, retailers or brands send them too many irrelevant communications. But we think the tide is definitely turning – for the better – and the arrival of GDPR regulation has provided the death nail to unsolicited marketing communications.

By giving people control of the information they receive – or choose not to – brands will have to work harder than ever to ensure people are happy to receive their marketing efforts. Flabby, irrelevant communications such as advertising free goal nets when you buy three tubes of Pringles, won’t cut it anymore; if you want to persuade people to give you consent to communicate with them on an ongoing basis, you need to offer distinctive content that they value.

UK content marketing spend is predicted to more than double by 2020, yet the amount of time the audience has available to consume content is finite. So, unless you’re already a premium, desirable go-to brand, how can you ensure consumers don’t hit the opt-out button at the first opportunity – we’d argue it’s a lot to do with content. It’s quite simple.

Compelling content builds intrinsic value for your brand in their mind.  Developing great content may not be that easy, but consistently providing regular, relevant and creative content is an effectively way to retain your current contacts as well as attract more of them.

The alternative? A diminishing pool of contacts willing to listen to your message.

We’d say it’s time for many organisations to re-think how they see GDPR. Compliance may be regarded as a hurdle to overcome and a drain on company resources, something else to add to the overflowing ‘to do’ pile. But it has the opportunity to be so much more than an administrative headache. The process of becoming GDPR compliant gives you the chance to get up close and personal with customers and prospects – make sure they want to continue to hear from you, find out exactly what it is they are interested in, then ensure you’re delivering it! It should end up improving your long-term relationship with your customers. And by combining higher-quality customer data with your continued marketing practices, it could even end up improving your marketing investments over the long term. After all, a small and engaged list of customers is more powerful and valuable than a larger, unresponsive one.

Richard Madden, strategy partner at Bartle Bogle Hegarty, put it best when he said: “It’s (GDPR) going to mark the dawn of a new creative age. Agencies have to return to what they were always good at – creativity – and the whole C-suite and the management tier below are going to have to relearn the art of making new and useful things.”

Clever creative editorial, good design and valuable and insightful stories will make the difference for businesses seeking to thrive in and survive GDPR.

If you’re getting your data in order, it’s the ideal opportunity to get your communications in order, too. If you’re struggling to ensure your content – be it a blog, white paper, or article – is going to resonate with your contacts, drop us a line.

Posted: 2 July 2018

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