Harvard Business Review calls it the Era of Consent, brought on by General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that gives greater control to EU citizens on how their personal information gets sliced and diced by websites, apps, brands, marketers and just about anybody who collects that data. This era officially kicked off on May 25, and it impacts everyone who deals with — or is likely to deal with — customers from the EU. In this hyper-connected world, that most probably includes you.
One of the most disruptive aspects of GDPR — and one that has been giving B2B marketers sleepless nights — is what it will do to their customer database. With explicit consent now mandatory, even for information procured pre-GDPR, marketers have been justifiably worried about their data goldmine rapidly shrinking into, well, just a few bars of gold.
Interestingly, the blog SuperOffice decided to test if this fear was justified, by sending re-permissioning emails to around 10,000 subscribers. The result was rather chilling — the website lost 99% of its subscribers! Only 102 customers re-subscribed while 9,896 had to be purged from the database — remember, post-GDPR you have no business holding on to data on customers who have not given you explicit permission to do so. With so much churn, perhaps the time has come to add ‘database depression’ to the medical lexicon.
According to the Direct Marketing Association, the GDPR reduced outdated 75% of marketing data in 2017, and around 54% of companies felt the need for its adoption. In addition, before a year of the GDPR’s implementation, approximately 24% of businesses had no plan to deal with its implication.
But, as a B2B marketer, how do you prevent — or quickly recover from — a similar database disaster? Even better, how do you make that database more valuable post-GDPR? The answer is rather obvious — you have to make it worthwhile not just for existing customers to stay in your database, but also new ones to willingly become part it. And the most potent way to communicate and convince is through videos.
Especially through individualized videos that transparently and succinctly tell your customers why you are collecting this data, how it will be used (and not used!), how you will protect it and, yes, what they will get out of it. As the HBR post points out:
“Developing fun, personalized, engaging videos and interactive marketing tools can provide a great way to show your brand’s value and get consumers to engage and opt-in during the engagement. Consumers have a fear of missing out, so make sure your consumers understand exactly what they will be missing out on.”
Personalized and interactive videos can also be used to tackle another major problem – customer cynicism. Bryan Yeager, Research Director at Gartner, observes that consumers no longer view the tradeoff — their personal information in exchange for offers and discounts — as a fair deal. He refers to research conducted in 2015 by the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, which found that 84% of Americans reported a desire for control over what marketers can learn about them online.
“But close to two-thirds also reported resigning themselves to accept having little control over marketers’ collection of data.”
But with GDPR, all that has changed. Your customers are back in control and can decide to be or not to be in your database. Talk to them through personalized videos, and we bet they will happily be!