Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA Viewpoints: Has GDPR had any positive impact?

Tomorrow is the one-year anniversary of GDPR. The European regulation that struck fear into the hearts of everyone in the digital, and especially adtech, industry.

While the first report on the impact nine months on found 206,000 cases recorded, to date we’ve seen none of the big fines that were threatened.

While this of course doesn’t mean the need for caution is over, far from it, the industry has largely taken the regulation in its stride.

While publishers, brands and adtech providers continue to grapple with implementing

GDPR policies to suit the regulator, commercial interests and the interests of the consumer, many do believe that GDPR, by focusing minds, could be said to have has a positive impact.

We’re talking to experts across the industry to hear their views this.

Eileen O’Mara, CMO for Salesforce in EMEA

GDPR has created focus on the methods and practices on which modern marketers rely.

After the digital revolution, marketers find themselves in a world where consumer behaviour has completely transformed. This new world provides them with an exciting array of approaches to consumers, from email to PPC, and novel methods to track and understand their behaviour.

As a result, GDPR has catapulted awareness of marketing tactics into the C-suite because they have major implications for brand awareness and reputation.

So for marketers, GDPR has created new priorities. Trust has suddenly taken centre stage — how do you earn the right to use an individual’s data to deliver marketing messages? Why should consumers give you access to their inboxes?

These questions create huge opportunity for marketers to prove their value to the business, showing that their activities can create value for both the business and the consumer while keeping both onside.

Trust is now an urgent discussion point for all businesses — and with GDPR, marketers have an opportunity to lead.

Eoin O’Neill, CTO & Global Head of SEO, Tug 

Email marketing took a huge hit from the introduction of GDPR, but SEO is back with a vengeance.  

By redefining the rules around data, the regulation forced many companies to rebuild their CRM lists from scratch. While this will have led to greater engagement from the opted-in – and therefore more receptive – subscribers on their lists, the pool of people they can reach through the channel will inevitably have got smaller.

To reach audiences en masse again, we’ve seen spend shift from more active marketing techniques like retargeting and email marketing to passive channels like SEO. 

SEO hasn’t got away scot-free in the post-GDPR world, though, as attribution across all channels has become a much greater challenge.

Marketers must seek a more nuanced attribution and analysis solution specific to their brand in order to make sense of this change.”

Prem Ananthakrishnan, VP of products, Druva 

GDPR has been an incredibly interesting case study in that everyone thought it would bring modern business to a halt. The EU DPA has focused on raising awareness this year versus handing down harsh fines and businesses are learning how to navigate this new world of increased regulation.

Conversely, in light of continuing data breaches and questionable data privacy, other governments are using GDPR as a blueprint for their own set of laws.

The California Consumer Privacy Act will go into effect in January 2020, Brazil’s LGPD goes live in August 2020, and the Indian Parliament will be taking up a personal data protection bill this June.

It was a watershed event and I think will continue to shape how companies address their data protection and management for years to come.