Whatever GDPR brings with it, it will bring a clear focus on the relationship between marketing, sales and data, and this is certainly one aspect of GDPR that sits comfortably with us.
Historically we have worked with organisations whose single-minded obsession with the size of their database was often more important than the quality of the data, and what it was telling them.
But let's track back to the start of the process, the gathering of the data that will eventually provide sales leads and ultimately new customers. We have become accustomed to buying and selling data as a commodity. As long as it was done within data protection regulations, everything we used to do was fine - huge data sets, massive mailings, marketing to targets that had no idea we existed (until they began to receive marketing materials!)
GDPR is set to change that. We have seen the internet move the power in the sales relationship from the seller to the buyer. It’s enabled the buyer to arrive at the purchasing decision far better informed than before and has empowered them to such a degree that there may never be a reason for them to go through the process of contacting multiple suppliers. The decision can now be made entirely independently, based on the buyers' relationship built with your organisation and its products, online.
We are all familiar with content marketing, search engine optimisation, content curation and creation via social media. Never before has this been more important than now. Why? Because it can get you back into the sales game, let me explain.
Because of the power shift in the sales process, any seller needs to be readily found by the buyer. They need to build trust and a rapport with that buyer, but under GDPR, unless they have had specific permission grated to contact that buyer through a double opt in process, the seller cannot approach the buyer directly.
It is at this point inbound marketing comes into play, the process by which the sellers' products and services are placed out onto the internet, wrapped in knowledge share, curated and created content. It is this material that builds the visibility, the trust and the desire to purchase.
If the value of information is sufficient, then the buyer may be inclined to exchange some data for that information and, at that point, you take them through the opt in process. It's not quite as simple as that, there has to be a courtship before this happens, based upon the sharing of information openly and freely. It is about building the trust with the buyer, over time, so that when the trade is presented it feels natural and without risk.
Through this process your sales leads will be GDPR compliant, they will be warm leads and they will be closer to the decision point than the recipient of an eshot or a cold call. Leads this warm should have a far higher conversion ratio.