gdpr for dummies

GDPR For Dummies: 4 Key Takeaways That Impact Digital Marketing

Are you collecting user’s data and protecting their privacy? If not, then start following GDPR rules as soon as possible.

You may be aware that the European Union passed a new legislation. It is called as General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR regulation that came into effect starting May 25, 2018.

The sudden introduction of GDPR has been a cause of concern for digital marketers worldwide. GDPR means to protect your consumer’s privacy and give them more control. It let your user’s control over how data is collected and how you utilized it.

It requires marketers to secure some explicit permission for data-use activities within the European Union. You need to find better ways to target your digital advertisements. Moreover, you also need to be less dependence on hovering up bulk behavioral data of your customers.

GDPR for Dummies?

The online market thrives on data.

Very few consumers and web users consider their personal data as a currency. Data sharing gives access to innumerable services and content, which consumers are unaware.

Suppose you are a digital marketer, and so data is a necessity to run your successful business campaigns. Isn’t?

Data helps you recognize your site visitors, target right kind of people with the right content and more. It is a liability to store and use customer data responsibly.

In a survey, 73% of people agree that in order to buy things online, you have to provide personal information. However, the legislation of data usage has already started changing with the advent of GDPR.

Now, the question is how is this going to impact you and your consumers? What are the preparatory measures you can now take to adapt to these changes?

Initially, GDPR legislation around data protection and privacy were adopted in April 2016. It was built on the data protection directive of 1995 along with modernization of data regulation. Moreover, it reflects on how you collect and use data.

Essentially, GDPR standardizes European Union data directives. GDPR provides the best practice regulations on data handling as well as compliance.

This regulation comes at the right time to strengthen an individual’s rights. Furthermore, it also improves transparency and ensures greater control.

It also ensures that web users are perfectly aware and in control of their personal data, they share with various companies.

However, with one-third of marketers saying that they do not understand GDPR. 53% of them claiming that their business does not align with GDPR, and challenges are aplenty.

In fact, 49% of marketers are actually worried about the additional time compliance GDPR might take.

What does GDPR Legislation Cover?

According to EU, personal data may include any piece of information. Whether you used data directly or indirectly for identifying an individual or a data subject. This includes everything starting from an email address to IP address, name, photo etc.

The main areas covered are:

Right to Access

GDPR ensures data controllers i.e companies holding user’s personal data. You need to provide a copy of the individual data requested. People can find out how their personal data is processed and used, why and where.

Right to Erasure

Right to be forgotten is another concern that allows individuals to request a data controller to delete their personal data. It lets them prevents you and third parties from accessing their information and processing the same.

Data Portability

GDPR allows individuals to request access to their personal data and information in an electronic format. They can transfer this data to another data controller or switch providers too.

Notified Data Breach

GDPR also ensures data controllers and customers are notified of data breaches. It could be like leaks, lost data, or hacks, in less than 72 hours.

Design Privacy

Data privacy, protection, and compliance are an important part of the design process of a new system. It is very important to consider organizational as well as technical processes to ensure the security of personal data.

Data Protection Professionals

Public companies emphasize data processing and monitoring. So, it is also crucial for you to focus on appointing data protection professionals. The hired professional will be able to better monitor, instead of notifying the Data Protection Authorities.

Furthermore, GDPR comes with hefty penalties with a maximum fee of €20m or 4% of turnover for noncompliance.

How would GDPR Change the Digital Marketing Industry?

Secure Personal Data

As a digital marketer, your marketing strategies must understand how your customer data is collected and stored. Digital data is affected because of GDPR. Moreover, physical record keeping such as paper-based marketing and survey forms also get affected.

It also mandates that data breach should be reported in less than 72 hours, which is logical. In fact, it should motivate marketing professionals and organizations to protect data they store.

Giving More Control to Customers

The best way to enforce GDPR is to be strict about getting your customer consent before gaining access to personal data. Consent should be active – which means customers must have provided explicit consent by checking and unchecked box on a particular form.

Active consent is critical for digital marketers using online services like social media advertising. For instance, Facebook users provide technical consent when they agree to the “Terms of Service” as soon as they sign up.

However, it does not indicate that the users are willing to have their personal data harvested. Even, they don’t want their data being used for creating a behavioral profile solely for digital marketing.

A Pew Research study of 2016 reveals that 91% of adults agree that consumers have already lost control of their data. That means they lost control of how their personal information and data is collected, shared and used by companies.

81% of users saying that they have taken the necessary steps to mask or remove their online activities. They remove data not only from the businesses but also from colleagues and friends.

With GDPR in effect, EU residents now have greater control over whom they provide their personal data. In addition to that, they have greater control over the right to be legitimately informed on where the data shall be used.

This new legislation also grants residents of the EU to have access to data, get data rectified, and erased data.

Latest Compliant Digital Marketing Technology

You should focus on using marketing tools like CRM and automation platforms to ensure GDPR-compliance. Now that the legislation is fully effective, it is critical that all your digital marketing platforms are active and include:

Lawful documentation for personal data processing

Data storage only up to a certain specific time

Data accuracy

Sensitive data sections to ensure approved access

Contextual Advertising

GDPR presents data collection changes, which affects advertising. With this change in effect, contextual advertising is increasing.

The power of contextual advertising banks on content customers that are looking for real-time information. It may include websites, news articles, social media feed, video game or mobile app screen.

Native advertising is the most popular form of contextual advertising in use. The approach designs sponsored ads appearing like native content on your website or blog.

Although the strategy is difficult to execute, many expect these practices to expand and grow as GDPR becomes effective in full force.

GDPR is considered as a wide-reaching and significant data privacy regulation enacted ever. The full breadth of this legislation shall change the concept of digital marketing dramatically.

How You can Prepare for GDPR?

The transition can be smooth and as a marketer, you can prepare with the following steps:

Increase Awareness

It is crucial for you to increase internal awareness amongst decision makers and stakeholders of an organization. The upcoming changes, implications, and deadlines of GDPR shall take some time to settle down.

Data Audit and Documentation

You need to know what type of personal data a business or organization hold and processes. All you need is to identify the source of data and determine with whom you share it.

Privacy Communications Review

Review the existing privacy notices and set real-time plans for any changes required.

Individual’s Rights

It is crucial to be aware of and accounts for an individual’s rights. Ensure all procedures are in place addressing all the rights of individuals. It is crucial on how and when you delete personal data and provide data electronically if needed.

Identify Legal Basis

Review different types of data processing conducted, identify the legal basis of the action, and document it accurately.

Contingency Plans

Make sure your contingency plans are ready to detect, manage and report on data breaches and conduct a proper investigation.

Access Request

Update the procedures and determine how to handle data requests in the future.


How do you obtain consent from users presently? Do you think the process is reliable? Should you change the process of obtaining and recording consent? Dwell on this.

Age Verification

You must have a system to verify several factors, including an individual’s age. It must also have parental or guardian consent to process data when children are involved.

Assign Data Protection Personnel

Companies processing bulk personal data or large-scale data of special categories, including sensitive data related to religion race. You must assign a DPO (Data Protection Officer) to take charge of data protection compliance.

International Effects

If you are a part of any international organization, always identify the data protection supervisory authority to report.


GDPR is definitely going to have a massive impact on every organization. It is, thus, very important for you to be familiar with the ICO guidance on Privacy Impact Assessments. So, it will be better for you to learn how to implement it effectively.


Businesses should be as transparent with consumer data as possible. It is essential for you to build a more relevant and valued relationship with customers. Do not adapt mysterious or pushy marketing tactics.

If your customers are opting into messaging and see the essence or value they stand to gain, they would certainly comply. So, let your customers build a trustful and true relationship with you.

GDPR should be a great help contributing to data protection, trust, reliance, and proven value through transparency and best practices.

I hope you get some ideas on GDPR. You will get more updates in my upcoming post. So, keep an eye or better bookmarked this post.

Like this post, then kindly share this post with your internet world. Let everyone know how it impacts you or end user.

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