One year on from the introduction of GDPR, we surveyed marketers about how they’ve adapted to the new rules.
Marketers are generally upbeat about GDPR, with 84% seeing its introduction as a positive development.
Some key takeaways from the survey:
- 84% of marketers see the introduction of GDPR as a positive development.
- 76% of marketers have changed the way they ask for customer consent after GDPR.
- 84% of small companies think stricter GDPR regulations has led to more engaged subscribers.
- 67% of respondents with a negative view of GDPR think it’s an annoyance which deters subscribers.
Marketer’s Attitudes to GDPR
In the run up to May 2018, GDPR was naturally a cause for concern amongst marketers.
Many naturally worried that compliance with stricter rules for gaining consent for marketing purposes would lead to fewer sign ups for emails and other communications, making their jobs much more difficult.
A year on, with time to adapt to GDPR and see the results, it seems that marketers have a generally positive view.
84% see GDPR as a positive development, while some are seeing benefits in terms of a more engaged database. It makes sense – if people actively consent in full knowledge of what they will receive, it’s a signal that they’re more receptive to that company’s marketing.
Some respondents with a positive view of GDPR said that focusing on engaged customers and prospects helped to ‘reduce the noise in marketing’.
Another said stricter policies made it easier to reach an engaged audience, ‘even if the numbers are smaller’.
Some of the more critical comments around GDPR were around the business process necessary for compliance. For example, one said that preparing for such regulations takes time and ‘can lead to poorer customer experience’.
How Marketers Have Adapted to GDPR
Overall, 76% of marketers said they had changed the way they ask for consent from site visitors as a result of GDPR.
This figure rises to 82.4% for marketers in the UK and Europe, and is 62.5% for those outside of Europe.
Practical steps taken include implementing checkboxes for consent (21%), introducing stricter opt-in processes (26%) and focusing on gaining explicit consent for marketing (32%).
In addition, 29% have implemented tools to help them manage marketing permissions.
We also asked if GDPR had affected their use of email marketing. For the vast majority (80%) it has had no effect on how much they use email.
However, 8% said they now use email marketing more than before, while 12% are now sending fewer emails.
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Graham Charlton is Editor in Chief at SaleCycle. He's been covering ecommerce and digital marketing for more than a decade, having previously written reports and articles for Econsultancy. ClickZ, Search Engine Watch and more.