The panic across businesses and organisations in the months running up to 25 May 2018 was palpable. GDPR was coming, and it was going to disrupt operations, occupy the busy diaries of CIOs, CDOs and CEOS, as well as costing a fortune to implement.
But, that’s only the “glass half empty” side of the GDPR journey. What if we told you that GDPR is one of the greatest developments in data management, security and general business operations in decades? You wouldn’t believe us. Let me explain…
Data. It’s crept up on us. We’ve been capturing, storing and reporting on data since the dawn of time. But it’s the last decade of data that’s overwhelmed us. It’s been generated at a pace that our creaking systems haven’t been able to keep up with. The advent of GDPR has given businesses the proverbial kick to do something about it. While that process has so far been viewed as a chore, as with any spring cleaning, there’s a real joy in seeing the end result. By deduplicating, filling in the data gaps, and bringing data together into one single customer view (SCV) businesses will be able to capitalise on the value that data holds.
Less effort, more engagement
Once the spring clean is complete, it’s a case of regular maintenance and management to keep the data clean and accurate. It’s likely some data will have been purposely lost in the process because people within the database haven’t opted in to receive communications and there is no definitive reason to hold onto that data. But thanks to GDPR forcing the data clean up, rather than having a lot of useless data, a streamlined database is going to provide more business benefit. Now is the time to capitalise on that data by using it to gain insight into your customer base. It might be a smaller customer base, but those that remain are more likely to be engaged. Seize the opportunity to personalise customer communications, and further increase engagement.
Today’s customers are in control. They have a wide marketplace to choose from, fuelled by easy access to digital channels. GDPR has given them control over their data, like they’ve never had before. So how can businesses thrive in a post-GDPR world? By getting their data in order. With such a valuable asset in their armoury, businesses can better compete with their peers. Customer experience is becoming a great point of differentiation, for those who do it well. With the right data, you can create a smooth experience, across all channels, removing historic data silos that have prevented a cohesive and joined up experience. After all, Microsoft says that by 2020 customer experience will be more important than product or price as brand differentiator.