Every blog, every article and every presentation on GDPR seems to imply that we are at the end of the road for direct marketing. Within a week of GDPR coming into force on 25th May, companies involved with direct marketing will have paid out so many millions in fines that the industry will be wiped out, as defunct as telephone boxes or pub ashtrays.
Sure, the rules are being tightened up, but doesn’t every change bring an opportunity?
For B2B marketers, this opportunity is to actually examine that database you’ve been using for years and think about targeting the right message to the right person. Blasting out to everyone is not effective marketing. It’s certainly not direct marketing!
At Lingo, we regularly get emails from one of our competitors extolling their virtues and saying we should use their services. We are just a name on a list and no thought has gone into their marketing. Are we a likely buyer? Of course not. It’s like Uber advertising to a black cab driver.
GDPR is not the end of direct marketing but it does mean that we will all have to think a lot more about the messages we give and to whom and why. Be aware of the rules of GDPR; use them, but don’t fear them. If ultimately they lead to better direct marketing (email, direct mail, telemarketing or whatever) it will be a good thing and we can look back on 25th May 2018 as a watershed moment in marketing history.