But as the 25th May approaches, it really is time to get an action plan in place. To help you do this, we have waded through:
- the scaremongering about HUGE fines
- ridiculous suggestions that signing business cards might be needed as a form of consent
- various other outlandish claims we won’t waste your time with.
We have gathered a set resources which set out clear GDPR principles and clarify what needs to be done by those of us in B2B businesses that don’t store and process large quantities of data. Read on and set yourself up to make more informed decisions about what practices you need to put in place.
Myths about the GDPR for B2B Businesses
Firstly, let’s clear up a couple of things.
- Myth #1: The GDPR won’t apply after Brexit. It will, but in the form of a new UK Data Protection Bill.
- Myth #2: B2B companies don’t have to adhere to the GDPR. Sorry but they do. Whilst there’s a little more flexibility for B2B businesses, the regulation still applies.
- Myth #3: Companies should just destroy all their data and start again. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. However, it is likely that you’ll need to clean your database prior to the 25th May!
GDPR resources to set you on the right path
12 x key areas to assess
Naturally the ICO has the most comprehensive resources about the GDPR as they are the body responsible for regulating compliance and issuing the fines. However, the information they provide can be a little heavy to sift through for those of us who aren’t used to legalease. Thankfully their handy PDF guide offers up a great place to start for structuring your GDPR prep project, taking you through the 12 key areas you should assess.
Different B2B situations
To understand more of the specifics B2B, another useful resource is this comprehensive guide to how the GDPR will affect B2B businesses from B2B Marketing. Use it to review all aspects of the regulation and get practical advice on how GDPR applies in various situations.
Data audit and processes
The Direct Marketing Association offers some seriously practical resources to help you review and put data input and output processes into place to ensure GDPR compliance. We found this article on how to audit your current data particularly spot on.
Turning it into trust
Adhering to the GDPR principles doesn’t have to be seen as a complete burden. It offers up positives for your business, if handled in a certain way. For example, this download from B2B Marketing shows how B2B business can use GDPR compliance to build trust with clients and potential customers. (We know we’ve appreciated the more thoughtful, considered GDPR-related emails we’ve seen form businesses doing the right thing by us as their clients).
The Institute of Direct & Digital Marketing, Federation of Small Businesses and Institute of Directors all share mini-guides that simplify what elements of your marketing will be affected by the regulation. They point to:
- the importance of clarifying how people came to be on your email marketing list,
- ensuring those people can opt-out of communications,
- assessing the security of your data and
- reporting breaches to the ICO within 72 hours.
Get your data house in order
From everything we’ve read, watched or listened to, the key point of the GDPR is to encourage transparency and to keep personal data secure. We’d recommend you use these resources to help you check through your marketing processes, make changes as needed and keep your team educated and informed.
Big NB. Of course, none of this substitutes getting professional legal advice!
Can the UK’s Data Protection Bill reduce Brexit-uncertainty? – GDPR.Report, Sept 2017
What does GDPR mean for B2B email marketing? – GDPR.Report, Mar 2018
Preparing for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): 12 Steps to Take Now – Information Commissioner’s Office, May 2017
GDPR for B2B marketers: Everything you need to know and do – B2B Marketing, Jul 2017
DMA insight: GDPR and three questions to audit your data – Direct Marketing Association, Sept 2017
GDPR: 5 reasons why B2B marketers should embrace it – B2B Marketing, Feb 2018
9 Things Every Marketer Needs to Know About the GDPR – Insitute of Direct & Digital Marketing, Sept 2017
GDPR: Counting down to the introduction of new regulations – Federation of Small Business, Feb 2018
Will the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) affect your SME? – Institute of Directors, Mar 2018