Protecting sensitive data is a huge marketing concern for a number of reasons. Earning your customers’ trust is the biggest one, but others include retaining the value of your data, ensuring organizational security, and keeping your edge over the competition.
Now you can add another important reason to maintain data hygiene: Keeping pace with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in 2018. Even if your B2B business doesn’t currently have an international clientele, you’re competing with companies that do, and you’ll be expected to maintain compliance with these stringent new rules. Exceeding the regulations’ requirements also sets you up well for good data governance no matter how large your market is.
Here’s what you need to know about the GDPR and how following data hygiene best practices today can prepare you for it.
Transparency is a major component of GDPR regulations. Under the new regulations, opt-in opportunities must be clear and unambiguous so leads know precisely what they’re signing up to receive. This is your chance to lay out the full list of benefits leads get in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter or downloading a white paper from you.
Preference pages that give leads a chance to opt in for additional services are an asset here; with them, you’re achieving full compliance with data protection standards while encouraging prospects to tell you more about how they want to communicate with you.
Building a Better Form
Take a look at your sign-up and subscription forms. Are they clear and concise? Are they progressive, asking leads for a little more information with each piece of gated content, or do they feel more like a hefty mortgage application form than a breezy newsletter subscription?
Pre-filled forms are convenient for leads, but asking for new information keeps data current. The solution: Marketing automation technology that preserves data for a set time but periodically asks users to reenter it so it’s regularly refreshed. A well-designed form does a lot of the heavy lifting for you when it comes to data hygiene. With a data enhancement consultant’s input, your forms and fields will quickly whip your list into shape.
Data Enrichment Adds Relevance
One of the purposes of the GDPR is to boost the relevance of business email communications and enhance the signal-to-noise ratio. Data enhancement services that fill in details on leads’ account files help you deliver more relevant and precisely targeted messaging. The more you know about your prospects, the more accurately you can custom-build your communications with them.
Review Your Benchmarks
How long do your leads take to reach a buying decision? When it comes to sorting out which leads are inactive and which are just operating on a longer calendar, having deep knowledge of your lead lifecycle is a must. With a data enhancement consultant, you can generate reports and go over your analytics to see how best to handle your prospect list.
But, you don’t have to sell to an international market to benefit from following a higher data hygiene standard. The GDPR is a useful road map for improving your data quality.
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