Posted 09:08 AM by Nik Jeffries & filed under marketing, personalisation, GDPR .

View All Posts

“It's nothing personal...it’s strictly business”. This perennial line has been paraphrased in a million LinkedIn blogs, shared on Pinterest mood boards across the globe, and been the presumed final say of many corporate execs and Alan Sugar wannabees since what feels like forever.


This specific wording was even delivered by ‘boy done good’ Michael Corleone in The Godfather, as he turned to the dark side of the family. Which is pretty apt for the topic of this blog, considering in the past, personalised marketing has at times felt like a mob venture, acting in the shade of regulations and thriving in data law loopholes. In a post GDPR world, this has blown apart. If the increasing expectations of the customer weren't enough (as is discussed in part one of this blog), GDPR means the customer has the final say on what data of theirs is shared and with whom.

Don’t take a cookie cutter approach

Consumers now call the shots on data personalisation, meaning businesses not only need to play nice but also get smart in how they’re targeting customers and with what information. Added to this, the new ePrivacy regulation (which was due to come into force with GDPR but is now expected by early 2019) is likely to cause another headache for marketers. According to recent research the so called ‘cookie law’ could see brands lose more than 40% of web traffic and lose access to consumer data, as end users will be able to set their own cookie permissions. Like GDPR, this added regulation will redraw the lines for marketers, resetting the balance and giving the customer more control.

It may seem self-evident but personalisation, or at least the personalisation techniques marketers have practiced up to now, will need to get even more personal in order to succeed. Consider this ‘individualisation’. With ePrivacy the market will yet again see a significant shift, and marketers will have to rely less on retargeting and quantitative tactics. Instead they’ll need to focus on a more qualitative approach, investing in direct communication and developing campaigns that really resonate with customers. The end user, the person, must always be the focus.

Duty of care

Gartner predicts that by 2020, 90% of brands will practice at least one form of marketing personalisation. As a result abiding by the latest regulation will be top of the agenda for marketers. Post-Cambridge Analytica, the average person in the street is far more aware of data issues and, moreover, the value of their personal data. In an environment where transparency is top of the agenda, marketers have a duty to act responsibly and ethically. New regulation only cements this and those marketers who always think customer first will have the advantage.

Customers always expect more, but when it comes to marketing they demand trust. It’s on marketers to be up to the task.