So, GDPR has arrived, hopefully with a quiet whimper and no loud bangs for anyone, and more hopefully with everyone recognising now that the GDPR isn’t this generations Y2K.

Good data governance is here to stay and the continued challenge of evolution whilst managing and growing your business is one that is at the forefront of many peoples’ minds. How do you ensure that the health and welfare of your customers data is top priority and at the same time drive a successful marketing campaign that sees engagement with the right people and consistent increase in sales?  It’s a lot of plates to spin even without considering all the other daily requirements on busy marketing teams.

The Challenges

As it’s not commercially viable for most businesses to have their own in-house production and mailing facilities, chances are, if you are part of a marketing team, you are using suppliers such as mailing houses and agencies for creative design and content, data processing and print production in order to deliver your customer campaigns.

These data processors become a significant part of the execution of your campaigns and handle your customer data on a daily basis, so it goes without saying that you have to be confident that you have engaged with a third party who shares your approach to data protection.

A Shift In Thinking

All it takes is a small shift in thinking when it comes to engaging with a third party.  The time is passing where it is enough for procurement to source a supplier, marketing directors need to be looking for a partnership.  Find a business who understand the full scope of the GDPR and its importance to the consumer, who know and appreciate that your customer data is the life blood of your business and that the treatment of it is what is driving your business success.

Be Aligned

Your partner should be aligned with you, after all they are in exactly the position as you are.  Data is the life blood of their business too and they should be able to demonstrate their company ethos toward data protection at every stage of engagement.

The GDPR brings new legislation for the data processors that you work with, in that it gives them new responsibilities.  They now carry liability where they previously did not.  Past law saw all liability sit squarely in the lap of data controller and whilst this is good news in that it will surely drive data processors to look at their procedures carefully, you don’t want to get to a situation where liability needs to even be discussed. Liability won’t repair the damage done to your brand if compliance has been broken.

Talk About It

So, speak to your partners. Just sitting down and talking will show you if you are aligned and give you confidence that the businesses that you engage with operate as an extension of you and your marketing department and have your goals and motivations at the forefront of their minds when collaborating with you to deliver success.

The GDPR is a weighty subject for anyone so don’t shoulder the responsibility alone when you really don’t have to.