GDPR person with a tablet and a bunch of papers with charts on them
Content Marketing | Strategy

One Year of GDPR: Why Should U.S. Marketers Care?

Hard to believe it’s been 16 months since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) took effect in the European Union. Prior to that, marketers all over the world – and that includes the U.S. – hustled (and practically stumbled upon themselves) to make sure their websites and email marketing strategies were compliant by the May 25, 2018 deadline.

Now that almost a year and a half has passed, why should U.S. marketers still care?

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For the exact same reason why you needed to make sure your marketing, etc. was GDPR compliant last year: if there’s any chance at all that an EU resident (while in the EU) will provide you with their personal information (such as an email address in exchange  for a free report), then you must be in compliance.

And that still stands, of course.

What’s more – and pay attention here – there’s a good chance that GDPR or something similar may make its way to the U.S. This means, of course, that pretty much every website will have to be “GDPR compliant.”

Take a look below for a short recap regarding what we’ve learned this year and how it has shaped digital marketing in the U.S.

GDPR has frustrated the bejesus out of us!

We’re not just talking about marketers: “regular” folks – you and me – were inundated with privacy policy popups and it was….hell. Thankfully, most of us visit the same sites again and again, so the pop-up problem has abated. (Until a GDPR-like policy arrives here in America and/or we clear out our browsing cache. But we’re just whining…)

Some people think GDPR hasn’t “lived up to its potential,” and while fines haven’t materialized, new corporate bureaucracies have. So much for a lean corporation, amirite? (Again, whining.)

A year in, and FEWER consumers are unhappy with how companies collect their data.

This is good news for marketers. In fact, fewer consumers have said that they’re likely to opt out of a company’s data collection efforts. Fewer consumers also say they are likely to change their behavior because of the GDPR.

Some marketers think the GDPR actually “saved” email marketing.

According to one article, “many marketers thought their email lists were going to be obliterated. They weren’t.” Instead, the article continues, marketers ended up improving the quality of their lists. This is specifically because they had to ask people if they wanted to continue receiving emails (and most people said yes, according to the article).

More importantly, the folks who did say yes, by default, aren’t those who simply trash the email before opening. They aren’t those who read it, but do nothing. All. The. Time. They certainly aren’t those who are just not interested in what you’re selling.

The folks who remained? They have genuine interest! Prospects who read the disclaimer when they opt in to providing their email in exchange for something? They know exactly what you’re going to do with their info (because you had to tell them). They still provide their info. These are your people!

Your email marketing list may have fewer addresses, but it’s probably a far better list to have! (No whining, here.)

Contextual ad targeting has exploded.

We predicted this and we were right (pat on back). Marketers are now basing ads on the websites a consumer visits and what social media sites they share, and so on, rather than on their personal data profile.

Most of the effects of GDPR for marketers have to do with email marketing consent. The elements of a successful email campaign still stand. If you’d like to learn more about how to create a GDPR-compliant email campaign, contact Jeff Hays, director of client services here at Ingenex, for a one-on-one huddle on email marketing.

Also, please feel free to contact us at any time.

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