GDPR, one year on. What’s changed?

Given that it’s been a little over a year since GDPR came into effect, we wanted to explore how the regulations have changed things for the better or if at all.

When the changes under GDPR were first announced it didn’t come as much of a surprise that the regulations placed consumers firmly in the position of power. The reforms to the Data Protection Act were a clear indication of the undeniable shift in balance as a result of mobile technology.

With the evolution of mobile technology, consumers can create their own experiences through their preferred channels at any time or in pretty much any place. It only makes sense that under regulations, consumers have more control over what data they share and the communications they receive. After all, their experience should be exactly that, personalised and entirely their own.

So how have these changes transformed the way marketing and customer service teams communicate with their customers?

A storm in a teacup?

One of the most positive transformations is the change in culture around data, how businesses use, store and process the information they have. Consumers not only have more control over their data, but businesses are empowered to think more proactively around why they are asking for personal details.

What value will it add to the customer journey if a business knows a person’s middle name compared to their date of birth? GDPR has encouraged businesses to obtain only the data they need to create that sought after personalised yet balanced experience.

The regulations have also been a driver in regaining consumer trust across digital communications. 35% of people believe companies are asking for their consent before storing any of their data. Although reassuring, there is also still a way to go in convincing all consumers that we as businesses take the use and storing of their personal information seriously.

Or the calm before the storm?

While there have been some hefty fines and ongoing investigations following the implementation, the fall out so far hasn’t been as widely spread or as tough as some headlines would have had us believe before 25th May 2018.

The consensus is that now the regulations have been live for over a year, businesses are expecting enforcement to become more rigorous for those found to be flouting the GDPR. In fact, in January this year, Google was fined an astounding 50 million Euros.

In addition to the impact on businesses, consumers aren’t fully satisfied with the effect the changes have had on some of the branded interactions they still receive. Research has shown that 34% of consumers find online ads intrusive, and many more are becoming increasingly frustrated with the volume of ‘accept cookies’ notifications they’re faced with on each website.

Progress and preparation, whatever the weather.

It’s clear that GDPR has built a foundation for businesses to work from that goes beyond data, putting the customer at the centre of their processes for more successful strategies but there is still more work to be done, especially with ePrivacy now on the horizon.

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