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How is GDPR Affecting Marketing Strategies?

The EU’s new data regulation concerning personal data came into effect in late May this year. With so much panic amongst some businesses in the lead up to its introduction, how have marketing strategies changed so far? Have you noticed any difference with the marketing you have been receiving as well?

GDPR was designed to increase the level of control an individual has over their personal data. From a company perspective, any data you hold has to be GDPR compliant. This must be before you undertake any marketing using this data. We cover this in greater detail through our dedicated GDPR page.

In this post, we will cover some changes we have already noticed with marketing strategies in the UK. While it is still early days, we are already noticing some significant differences in marketing we receive as a business. As a data owner and marketing company, we are able to advise on GDPR if you still have some grey areas. We must stress that GDPR does not mean that your business cannot market anymore.

Privacy Policy Notices

In the weeks leading up to GDPR, no doubt you will have seen numerous emails from companies informing you they have changed their privacy policy. It got to a point where so many were being broadcast that companies were doing their best to make the subject lines witty and funny just to stand out amongst the many other privacy policy emails. The new regulation brings in a number of changes with how you can store and process data. Therefore, a lot of companies found that their current policies were not compliant. These had to change before May 25th so there was a lot of last minute changes across multiple sectors.

The good news with this is that numerous privacy policies were changed to bring them in line with GDPR. Opt-in statements can no longer be hidden away or through pre-ticked boxes. You may have also seen a number of companies changing these.  However, the bad news was the amount of emails you were receiving about them. For me personally, I was getting at least 2 a day on the weeks leading up to the 25th. While it can be frustrating to see these emails landing all the time, they were necessary. Companies were realising the impact that GDPR will have on them.

Emails asking for an opt-in

In a previous post, we talk about the 6 lawful bases you can use to process personal data under GDPR. One is of course consent. Consent must now be explicit, with records kept on file in the event a regulatory body requires to see them. For companies that rely on consent for their data processing, many have broadcast emails to their entire data lists asking for an opt-in. If you did not opt-in, these companies are no longer able to email you. Unless of course you opt back in yourself through their website or through some other medium.

There have been a rise in emails of this sort in recent weeks. If your company has adopted a similar strategy, for those that do opt-in, this shows that they are more engaged with your business and are more likely to purchase from you. GDPR also does you a favour in this regard by helping to remove records of individuals who are not interested but you are still paying to market to. Once someone has opted-in to receive your marketing, you can carry on as normal from a marketing perspective. Response rates are likely to be higher as well. You will be emailing to a list of contacts who have shown they have an interest in receiving your marketing materials.

Less Marketing?

Even though it has only been a couple of weeks since its introduction, we have already noticed a drop in the marketing we receive across the board. It is fair to say that many businesses are still getting the hang of GDPR. It is a massive regulation, with multiple rules changing a wide variety of data practices. Many companies have paused or are in the process of re-working their marketing strategies. This will ensure that any future marketing they undertake will be compliant and any and all personal data involved will also be compliant.

As time goes on, we expect marketing levels to increase again. However, it will be more personal, targeted and more relevant to the recipient as it will be GDPR compliant. Companies may also utilise different marketing mediums than what they have been using in the past. Depending on the data they are using, different options may become more feasible or preferable. Certain methods such as content marketing will not be affected as such and as they are a cost effective marketing solution, this may become more popular as time goes on.

We also expect response rates and the successes of these campaigns to rise as those not interested have been removed. The good news is that the pointless, frustrating and completely inappropriate marketing messages will be a thing of the past.


It has only been a couple of weeks since it came into force but GDPR has already had a big impact. Many companies are still in the process of ensuring their compliance before they undertake any marketing. It is fair to say that marketing will pick up again after a brief, initial drop.

As Impact Marketing are a data owner and marketing agency, we ensure that all data we hold is GDPR compliant. We are also here to help advise you on marketing strategies, if you so require. If you would like more information about our marketing data lists or marketing services, get in touch today and a member of the team will be happy to advise on what we can do for your business further.

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