Four Predictions for Life After GDPR



HEADLINES surrounding the imminent arrival of GDPR give dire warnings of the potential fines for not adhering to the new regulations. Additionally, there is a fair amount of conflicting information on what needs to be done to be ready for GDPR.

It is important to be prepared for the new legislation, but with a week to go, many people are wondering what actual impact the new regulations could have on their business.

A chaotic Day One

This first prediction is mostly a practical one. As GDPR comes into force on a Friday, the business world is anticipating a manic day on 29 May – the first working day after the regulations begin in the UK. Experts expect that thousands of people in the UK and other EU countries will begin to submit SARs (access requests) for their data. Tuesday 29 May will be a major test of how prepared UK businesses are to deal with GDPR in reality. After this, there will be a period of adjustment, during which strategies will be put to the test and adapted as they are implemented in a new regulatory landscape.

DPOs to become influential in business

The body enforcing GDPR, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will be looking for any large-scale data breaches and more than likely will be looking to make some key examples to set a precedent with large, medium and small businesses. Data protection officers (DPOs) will be required for organisations with over 250 employees and will be responsible for considerable risks within the business.

Over the last year there has been an increase in security risks to data held by large companies with ransomware like WannaCry, BadRabbit and other data breaches such as the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal. As GDPR comes into force we can expect to see more attacks on businesses by criminal gangs exploiting insecure systems as data becomes more and more valuable – providing even more weight to the importance of the new data protection officer role.

This responsibility for real business risk will see a rise in courses and qualifications, all resulting in the job role becoming very influential in business, liaising with top level management.

Two approaches to marketing databases

It is estimated that a huge 75% of UK marketing data will become useless on 25 May as it will no longer comply with GDPR laws. As a result, so-called ‘re-permissioning’ campaigns are top of marketers’ agendas to try and mitigate as much loss of data as possible. Many of these campaigns are well underway with business after business asking consumers to opt-in to continue receiving communications. This isn’t the case for everyone. Virgin Holidays have explicitly said that an opt-in campaign will be a last resort for them. “At the end of the day we’ll have a much smaller base but they’ll be much more engaged; we’ll have people who actually want to hear from us,” Saul Lopes, head of CRM and loyalty at Virgin Holidays, said. 

We can, however expect some smaller businesses to look at starting over to build up their marketing databases from scratch.

The positive impacts

Businesses who are GDPR ready and are complying with the regulations will begin to use this as a marketing tool. It is possible that some kind of certification could arise and that companies who are GDPR certified have a stellar reputation for handling data and being secure, therefore attracting more clients and employees.

A market around the regulations will grow. People who are well versed and eventually well experienced in implementing, running and handling GDPR processes will be able to charge a healthy fee for their services. This could also include new pieces of software that help companies to comply with the new laws.

83% of marketers believe that it is integral to the future of the UK’s marketing sectors that we are seen as a hub for data-driven expertise. To that end it is key for the government to secure a free flow of data between the UK and Europe post-Brexit.

And finally, GDPR is likely to provoke a creative revolution as businesses will need to get creative and innovative in their approach to marketing to their customers. 71% of marketers are predicting a creative revolution stretching over the next five years.

Harriet Thacker is an account manager at RizkMcCay, a creative design and strategic marketing agency that supports clients on a regional, national and international basis across a wide range of sectors.