There’s plenty of talk currently about the impact that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) will have in 2018 in respect of email marketing. Stay with us on this... B2B marketers have, until now, had a huge degree of flexibility in terms of legal obligations when it comes to email marketing.
The stipulation for a simple and obvious way to opt-out has always been easy to accommodate so emailing relatively cold prospects has been pretty routine within a B2B marketing programme. The best practice email marketing purists would be incensed at this statement, but the truth is that most businesses would not miss the opportunity to email a prospect providing they are not breaking any rules.
With the GDPR coming into effect in May 2018, some speculate the end of email as a channel for prospecting or raising and maintaining the awareness of the brand. In theory, it could mean that a business will be bound by the same rules as consumer marketing – and that requires an active, not implied opt-in.
So, if you meet a potential client in passing at a trade show and grab their business card, you can forget about adding their email address to you e-newsletter database to market to them. Instead you’ll need to use the good old-fashioned telephone to contact them – and anyone who’s ever done sales will know how difficult that can be, entering an infinite world of voicemails and obstructive receptionists!
There is still no clarity that the GDPR will impact on B2B in the way that it could. But if it does make email marketing a less attractive option within your marketing toolbox. So how else can you promote your brand? Surely it means revisiting some of those mass communication tactics that have been discredited in recent years by those who’ve sold us the dream of detailed analytics and precise insights into customer and prospect behaviour. GDPR has just shattered that utopia!
Welcome to the concept of display advertising and PR! PR has changed significantly in recent times with the rise of social media channels and the apparent demise of the established media, but it has essentially always been about communicating your brand values and messages to your target markets using the most effective channels.
Display advertising, however, could be in for a bit of a renaissance… The idea of paying for space in a print or online publication may be an alien concept in this day and age, but it could be one of the best available options for brand building and maintaining brand presence. You probably won’t get anything like the level of analytics you’d get with email marketing, but it does offer a degree of certainty in that you won’t be flaunting any laws. Worth thinking about when you consider the harsh penalties for breaking the GDPR rules.