Inboxes around Europe were overflowing in the run-up to 25 May - the date GDPR came into force. These desperate emails were sent to try to ensure that the data handlers wouldn't fall foul of the EU-wide regulation, which incurs a four per cent fine for those organisations that don't follow the rules.
We asked five marketing experts to offer advice on how channel companies can generate new leads and rethink their marketing strategies, while remaining within the bounds of GDPR.
Alisha Dattani, CEO and co-founder, FXMA
Do you think the new regulation will cause resellers to go back to the drawing board regarding their marketing tactics?
If you look at email marketing, resellers can no longer buy lists or depend on vendor data or distribution data to send emails and go about lead generation in the way they may have before. This is about going back to basics and setting out a marketing strategy from here on.
In terms of strategy, it's really important for them to build their own brand and stand out for the right reasons. We always say to our clients that transparency is everything…You have to explain to your client base how their data is going to be used. Explain to your prospects why you're collecting that data and build up more trust with the clients with which you are communicating.
Will we see an increase in using new media, such as social media, and old tactics, such as direct marketing?
We as an agency have been running a lot of direct mail campaigns this year on behalf of our clients; coming up with a fully integrated marketing campaign and working with our clients in terms of who is their target prospect, what messages should we take out there and even going so far as handwritten letters or really interesting giveaways via post - whatever drives the customer to a journey. That has definitely had a lot of traction and been very effective.
What advice would you give resellers to ensure they remain GDPR compliant?
Be transparent; it creates trust. I don't believe in shady tactics to gather opt-ins, such as tricking customers into filling in forms or pre-ticked email opt-ins. Look at your brand, understand what your customer is looking for, create compelling content and establish credibility. When you are gathering your opt-ins, make sure you have genuine interest from your customers and that they want to be marketed to.
Do you think the ICO will treat a B2B company that breaks the GDPR rules the same as a B2C company, considering the latter has a wider scope if data is breached?
I think B2C and B2B are blurring and I think it's blurring because a lot of customers are using their personal emails to be marketed to. It's very difficult to work out whether you're talking to a consumer or a business on the other end, especially when you're gathering in bound. Therefore I think we need to be just as conscious as the B2C market in B2B marketing.
XMA bosses on becoming a 'performance VAR', pocketing £50m of Misco leftovers, and acquisition near-misses
Lee Hemani and Andy Wright reveal that XMA is aiming to boost net profits to three per cent of revenues as they run through the growth ambitions of the UK's ninth-largest reseller
The biggest threat to any company's security strategy is actually their own staff. At this exclusive CRN event next month, find out how you can help your customers ensure they stay protected from within as well as from external threats.
Businesses also admit to holding data without permission of subjects
Zedsphere says end-point security vendor's offerings will be a 'key' feature of its wider portfolio