GDPR Is Here: 5 Marketing Automation Pitfalls to Consider


Marketers must work in a new EU context. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is not the “enemy,” yet we still must acknowledge that it does change the game. We need to take stock of marketing automation processes and adapt to a dynamic and transforming landscape. GDPR demands that we audit how we market to ensure transparency with customers and prospects, and to protect vendors.

Here are five features of marketing automation platforms that we should reconsider:

1 Automated data enrichment. Up till now, automation was used for continuous data management campaigns by “using own data to create new data,” but businesses need to make sure that all such activity is transparent and official going forward. Existing contacts need to be audited for valid opt-ins, while marketers are responsible for making sure that the outgoing comms to new or existing contacts captured through automation are sent after obtained consent.

2. Reverse IP tracking. Automation has become a permanent aspect of everyday prospecting for countless businesses and reverse IP tracking had a permanent place in this process. Before GDPR, this was a gray area, but it is now crystal clear that marketers need to have received consent before storing and processing IP addresses.

3. Lead scoring. Real time segmentation and automated leads distribution to sales was made possible by scoring programs that are now not the tweak-free choice. In GDPR terms, this type of information processing includes profiling, and marketers must obtain consent to do it. In sales, propensity-to-buy calculations may also be underway in automated sales force systems. If these are used to profile for follow up, then again, permission must be given.

4. Re-touch programs. Marketers regularly seek to reactivate old databases by running programs for contacts who’ve been inactive in recent years. However, under GDPR, individuals who have not opted in to receiving communications can no longer be contacted for these purposes. At this place and time, business communications must be adequate and relevant. In a way, this will help both vendors and clients establish the shortest paths between each other.

5. Record disposal. We are completely out of the comfort zone here – getting rid of database records is particularly painful to any marketer! And yet, if you don’t have consent to keep and process an individual’s data, then you must permanently dispose of it. This applies to records accumulated over time but lacking opt-in, as well as to individuals who withdraw consent. However, it helps marketeers and it helps sales to execute spot-on relevant campaigns.

As GDPR compliance translates in the trimming of long-standing contact lists, we may feel unsure of where to start. Marketing reach may thin out compared to previous years. However, it’s also a time for creativity. It helps enterprises sieve through the Big Old Data. This means it’s time for teams to turn to high marketing standards and invent new ways to engage their audience. Automation platforms can certainly help with this by allowing both inbound and outbound activities. Relevance becomes paramount. Marketers can leverage automation to pursue greater personalization through automated preference management. The outcome will be more focused marketing and multi-channel engagement that closely matches contacts’ interests. In the era of customer engagement, market wins are about creative marketing and inbound skills.

GDPR is here for the better, we will lose less time with irrelevant messages and personalize our path to lasting and more meaningful B2B relationships.


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GDPR Is Here: 5 Marketing Automation Pitfalls to Consider

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