It may seem like GDPR came into forces many years ago, but it was only last May. However, the new rules have still left many companies feeling uncertain about what they should be doing about data protection. We have collated eleven ways to market your products and services in this world of GDPR.
1. Lists – it’s not about the size
After the introduction of GDPR, many businesses have seen their marketing lists reduce in size. Sometimes quite drastically. However, it is not necessarily about how many emails you have on that list; it is the engagement from the email recipients that is the key point. Having a smaller list enables you to focus on the different groups you can target within the list, making your communications more tailored.
Following my first point, emails can still be a very beneficial medium of communicating with customers despite the new regulations and rules which make it more difficult and time intensive for companies. You have to make sure that your customers’ data is stored securely and anyone who signs up does it fully, including legally consenting to receive material from your company.
3. Show and tell
The profile of a company, especially in terms of trustworthiness is essential in the modern world. You can use the need to show your compliance with GDPR publicly to significant effect, demonstrating how important keeping your customers’ data safe is to your company. Making this responsible treatment visible can only encourage your company to be seen in a better light.
Ensure that any suppliers you work with are also following the letter of the law on GDPR, especially those using your customers’ data. You might end up with the fines and the blame if they are doing something dodgy!
4. Change it up
The introduction of GDPR is an opportunity to shift focus and try out different ways of communicating with your audience. Practices such as engaging on social media, ongoing PR liaison, blogging and public speaking are more “inbound” practices, which can be used to great effect. “Inbound” practices tend to be more time intensive than “outbound” practices like cold calling and mailing or print ads, but they are overall cheaper, and the analytics are more readily available.
5. Data is king
Speaking of analytics, data should be driving the decision-making in your company. You have to make the most of a smaller pool of email recipients by being clear regarding what works. Analyse the impact and reception of all your marketing communication with customers and prospects to see what is working or whether you need to change your approach.
In the wake of GDPR coming in, many companies emailed their email subscribers to confirm whether they wanted to continue their subscription. This is an opportunity to refresh customers’ minds as to why they subscribed in the first place. Your company is also going to be at the forefront of their minds for a short time after reading the email, so make sure that you make your emails catchy and powerful. Some ways you can do this are providing tips, little known or useful facts and special offers.
7. Sort out your data
Part of keeping an effective email list is pruning regularly, so you are only targeting subscribers who want to receive the emails. Therefore, you should delete any emails that ping back an error message (also known as a “bounce”) and consider removing or better targeting recipients who never open the emails.
Blogging is one of the aforementioned “inbound” practices. GDPR does not affect blogging, so feel free to create regular content for your company, which you can then share on social media or via an email newsletter. Effective blogging is also a great way of increasing your site’s search visibility.
This is one of the most critical points and particularly challenging to do. You need to be consistent in terms of message and branding across all the materials your company produces, especially in engaging with customers and potential clients. It can be easy to let this slip by the wayside if you are introducing a lot of new ways of interacting customers, but it is vital to have linguistic and visual harmony.
10. Forget me not
The partner of consistency is regular communication, keeping your company in the minds of customers by communicating via email on a regular basis, ideally at the same time every week.
11. Social Butterfly
In 2019, social media is incredibly important, and most companies are on a variety of social media platforms, like Instagram, Facebook and, to a lesser extent, Twitter. Before opening or sharing your accounts, it is crucial to decide on the tone you want to take and who is going to have the final say on what gets posted or commented. Some brands prefer to have a chatty or humorous presence, posting jokes about current affairs (Innocent is an excellent example of this) whereas others are more traditionally professional.