gateB AG

Executive Briefing Swiss CRM Forum Discusses GDPR

June 14, 2018

How does GDPR affect online marketing?

This Executive Briefing of the Swiss CRM Business Club dealt with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation, which took effect on May 25, and its impact on online marketing.

During yesterday's CRM Business Club meeting, Lukas Bühlmann, Head of Digital, Data Privacy & E-Commerce at Meyerlustenberger; Peter Tüscher, Head of Customer Marketing & CRM at Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund; and Robert Schumacher, Director at gateB, discussed how the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affects online marketing. They focused on how to reach – and even inspire – customers under the new regulations.

The customer moves back to the center
GDPR is by no means synonymous with restrictions for marketers; on the contrary, it offers new opportunities. The core statement of yesterday's podium round could be summarized as follows: In marketing, the focus continues to be on customers and their interests – and GDPR only underscores this drive. Yesterday's discussion round was filled with questions and topics that were only marginally related to the new GDPR. Instead, they widened their focus to customer relationship management in general.

«The GDPR is an occasion for marketing teams to concentrate more on their customers. Both, companies and customers, ultimately benefit from this professionalisation.»

— Robert Schumacher

Many marketers are uncertain about what they are – and aren't – allowed to do now that GDPR is in effect. Some companies went so far as to write to their entire customer base and request a double opt-in. Because the response to that type of email is usually no more than 20%, they have most likely rendered up to 80% of their contacts unusable.

Pragmatic implementation
According to yesterday's participants, large companies, in particular, have opted for pragmatic implementation. In short, they're trying not to lose their heads – and consequently their customers. They're on the right track. Legal experts confirmed yesterday evening that there is no reason for companies in Switzerland to demand a douple opt-in from existing clients. The simple offering of a means to unsubscribe in every email is completely sufficient according to them. After all, it is also important to protect the customer's interest, and having a means to communicate relevant information to the customer is in his or her best interest.

Open dialogue with customers
GDPR raises questions about open dialogue with customers, such as a conversation in which each customer can identify his or her preferences regarding channels and frequency of contact. With today's data analysis, it is easier to provide customers with relevant information when and where they want it, giving them added value. Ultimately, GDPR only underscores the importance of creating relevant content in a creative way while protecting and respecting the customer's data.

Positive aspects of the DSGVO

  • The awareness of the customer's wants and needs is sharpened.
  • Data management is taken more seriously.
  • Companies are more open to hearing concerns from customer representatives.
  • Marketers are increasingly forced to be relevant and responsive to customer needs.

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