You’ve likely seen the flurry of emails announcing updated privacy policies from companies that have your email address with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) going into effect. And while the fact that this is EU legislation may lead you to believe that the GDPR doesn’t apply to you, you’d be mistaken as it will affect any business that collects the data of an EU citizen. Odds are, that includes your organization. To avoid costly penalties or damage to your client relationships, your firm needs to adhere to the GDPR’s rules and guidelines surrounding client data and information.

While that sounds like a burden on your business—completely altering the way you collect, manage, and share your client data is a massive undertaking—in the long run it means stronger trust and more effective marketing. How exactly are GDPR compliance and marketing connected?

As Introhive’s Data Protection Officer, I recently joined Jeff Hemming, the VP of Product Strategy for Legal Publish, to discuss GDPR and its impact on digital marketing. More specifically, we discussed how GDPR can improve your firm’s digital marketing efforts. Below, I give an overview of our conversation and how under GDPR, marketing can flourish.

Opt-in and opt-out aren’t foreign concepts to digital or email marketers. Asking clients to opt-in has been a best practice for a while now, but now it is required to stay GDPR compliant. However, when explicitly asking clients to opt-in to your marketing campaigns to stay compliant, this also presents an opportunity for marketers to ask more specific questions about what they want to receive and how they want to use it.

For example, instead of asking clients if they’d like to receive marketing emails with a simple “yes/no” checkbox, give them options. Ask them what kind of emails they would like to see from you, whether it’s company news, promotions, industry trends, or expert advice. Equipped with this new information, you can create personalized email marketing campaigns that are better suited to each client’s needs. Your GDPR email marketing can become a highly segmented, targeted, and personalized effort, potentially increasing your open and click-through rates.

Improves Data Quality

According to Gartner, 30% of contact data becomes out of date within a year. If you have a contact database that exceeds 10,000, that’s 3,000 people you are trying to reach that either can’t listen or are being targeted incorrectly. Ensuring you have high data quality is key to personalizing and segmenting your marketing efforts.

GDPR represents the perfect time to tackle that data cleanup. In undertaking this cleansing, you can remove the duplicates, out-of-date, or stale contacts from your database to ensure that you’re only communicating with the individuals that are necessary. But perhaps even more importantly, you can use this effort to finish any incomplete contact records that you might have.

If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. However, by using a CRM automation tool like Introhive, you can ensure that all of your contacts are clean and accurate with next to zero manual work required. Automation is worth the investment as once you are certain that your data quality is in place, you now have a foundation for better data-driven marketing strategies. Plus, automation will make sure that your data quality never falls off.

Drives the Customer Experience

Nearly 90% of company executives believe customer experience will be the next battleground for differentiation. With more and more competition to contend with, the customer experience is how firms plan to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, staying compliant with GDPR can enhance the experience for customers.

With the explicit opt-in filtering out individuals who do not want to engage with your firm, you already have a deeper engagement with the individuals who do. And by asking more qualifying questions from your audience and keeping your data up to date, you can write more relevant communications based on your accurate contact data and audience segmentation. Because GDPR will have lasting effects on data quality and quantity for firms, organizations can, in turn, use this information to create a more humanized, personal, and data-driven customer experience.

Builds Client Trust and Loyalty

Trust is a key component in any relationship and business relationships are no different. With over half of U.S. digital marketers increasing their spend on loyalty programs, client trust and loyalty is a focus area that is on the minds of many marketers. And GDPR compliance can only help to increase that trust.

In giving greater control to your clients over their personal information, they can rest easy knowing that their data is in good hands and that they have complete access to it. They can be certain that their privacy is protected—and it’s protected under their watch. This also allows for greater data transparency within your customer experience, further developing client trust and strengthening your client relationships.

Elevate Your Marketing With GDPR

Marketing and GDPR have a very important thing in common: data. As GDPR strengthens general data protections, it also allows firms to create more relevant and effective digital marketing campaigns and customer experiences.