For a lot of our clients in the marketing tech space, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect in May 2018, is a real priority right now; the implications for them and the industry promise to be significant and far-reaching. This wide-ranging regulation will seek to improve and simplify data protection for EU citizens and give them more power over their data. As of next year, every European citizen will have the right to know how their personal data is being stored and what it is being used for. Whilst this may send shivers down the spines of marketers across the land, it should be viewed as a positive step forward for the industry – a chance for brands to strengthen their customer relationships and totally rethink their attitudes to customer data.
At CubanEight, it is an integral part of our approach to immerse ourselves in our clients’ industries, the issues their customers are facing, and working with them to develop a viewpoint to position them as experts to their audiences. So, when key industry regulations like GDPR are on the horizon, we ask ourselves: how will this affect their business? What challenges will this create? What opportunities may arise? By taking all of this into account, we can then use this to inform the PR strategy and, crucially, the brand messaging.
Industry developments such as this present a valid opportunity to position a client as a trusted advisor and expert. The challenge is that with many brands competing to get their voice heard, it can quickly become a crowded space. Previously, we have worked with clients in the long build up to the regulation to educate target media about the issues and hooked industry research around it to provide depth of understanding, as well as proactively putting out spokespeople to business desks as commentators on the day that the regulation goes live.
Each client is different in how it wants to respond, but the key is to say something that adds value and brings a new perspective. With GDPR for example, there are commentators who are bemoaning the challenges it will bring. However, we are working closely with clients to develop a narrative that focusses on the positives of GDPR, namely marketers needing to change their attitudes to customer data and how this new approach will actually strengthen consumer trust and loyalty. This approach has already resulted in commentary pieces in key media and across forums. The end is in sight for the regulation coming into force, however, there is still a lot of debate to be involved in during the months ahead.