Will GDPR be the end of Outbound Sales & Marketing?
GDPR is going to have a significant impact on the way digital marketing and sales operate. The main impact will be around consent. Companies will need to be able to show that prospects consented to be contacted.
For inbound prospects – they will need to be walk through a double opt-in process. This should not be cumbersome but will require some technology changes from CRM tools. The data Controller will be responsible for ensuring that their prospects have been through this process.
For outbound prospects – there seems to be no options because it involves using Personal Data without consent.
Personal data is anything that can identify a ‘natural person’ and can include information such as a name, a photo, an email address (including work email address), bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information or even an IP address. The inclusion of Work Email is critical here.
Consider this scenario:
Company CD Alarms sells Carbon Dioxide Alarms. They get an inquiry via their website to buy 500 Carbon Dioxide Alarms from a large company – Big Co.
As part of the engagement process, CD Alarms discovers that Big Co is buying these Carbon Dioxide Alarms as part of a new legal obligation. A new law was passed that means they will have to install a Carbon Dioxide Alarm in every room in their HQ.
CD Alarms is a smart and dynamic company – they immediately go about tracking down similar targets. They put together a list of companies that have a similar problem to Big Co.
Now they need to find out who the decisions maker in these target companies is. They consult websites and LinkedIn. Now they want to market their solution to these decision makers. This is where GDPR kicks in.
- There is no consent. Consent from these prospects will have to be sought and provided if CD Alarms want to communicate information about their products to them. They cannot email them either via outlook (unstructured data) or via a CRM (Structured Data).
It would seem Outbound sales and marketing is finished. Not all outbound marketing is the same. The practice of companies buying and selling large sets of contact data is over- and that is a good thing. Well-targeted marketing initiatives where the product being marketed is relevant (in many cases helpful) to the target market is very different. However, both are prohibited by GDPR.
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