In case you’ve been living in a cavern, here is a brief synopsis of what’s happening and why businesses in Europe and USA are in react mode.
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is getting enacted in the EU on May 25th, 2018. The premise is that consumers now have rights concerning the handling of their personal data from vendors and third parties. That sounds pretty.
Like everything, this regulation has flaws but no system is perfect.
Here are the Takeaways
- Data is only second to humans in terms of currency.
Yes, you can enact a regulation but on the flip side comes the admin and enforceability factor. Does the EU have enough resources to tackle every detractor who is out of compliance? Will they place more focus on the “high score”, the non-compliant companies which bring the most amount of revenue back to the state?
- Consumers have a strong guard against business. Small and medium sized businesses will suffer the most fiscal casualties.
According to Compliance Week, 7% of those polled in the UK have no interest in learning what info of theirs a company may have. That’s a whopping 93% that do want to learn this. When they make a right of access request it is of no charge to the consumer. Yes, the company pays out of pocket. Things could get awfully expensive for some firms.
- The majority of companies are reactive and have archaic data processes
I’ve worked in large corporations and small mom-and-pop shops. For owners or executives, complexity exists to maintain organization within the ranks. Henceforth, when big rulings come down like this, many companies are in reactive mode. As evidenced by Verisign’s research some will enact a reward/punishment system for the cogs in the wheel who do not comply, which—let’s be frank—does not work.
On the plus side, more hiring may happen to clean up the data processes internally and with more organization it stands to reason more money could be made.
Your Methods to Reap Long-Term Customer Value and Revenue
- Don’t promise the data is secure. We’ve all heard that song and dance. Show it. The best way to slowly earn a consumer’s trust is to reveal the curtain and show them the process. You don’t need to show them the nuts and bolts of your operation, but a tour “behind-the-scenes” demonstrating what processes are a surefire way to increase your customer loyalty and engagement.
- Craft a message internally making each of employees no matter the rank-and-file, advocates. It goes without saying there are many more stakeholders than the physical buyers of your products. The employees have to be sold too. With new processes in time, you should be saving money but do not wait until then.
Formulate a plan and send out a companywide memo stating how the extra money will be distributed. Investment in R+D? New audience methodology? Request volunteer cross-trainers who want to be part of something innovative? You’re already going to be spending money on training for data clean-up so this would be the time. When everyone is involved and feels like they have a stake, things happen and happen quickly.
- Give back. What better of a way to shape brand reputation than to give back to advocacy groups (hint, hint) or to causes you value? Will it put a dent in the bottom line? Of course. Does it stand to reason you’ll gain a much bigger benefit in top-line sales in the long view? You better believe it.
It’s impossible to predict exact events of the future but it is clear that business and consumer relationships will be on an even more level-playing field. When regulation does get imposed in other parts of the world because of this, businesses better stand ready, and have your right message, at the right time, in front of the right audience.
To greater sales and higher traffic.