GDPR is not to blame for everything!

The latest Bellwether makes for a gloomy read for proponents of direct marketing. DM budgets have been revised down by 5.6% the greatest downward revision since 2013. Clearly the hugely vaunted resurgence of the medium has not yet been realised, and quelle surprise GDPR is carrying the brunt of the blame.

Panellists are apparently concerned that the new regulations will severely restrict direct marketing campaigns and have an adverse effect on how they do business. It is staggering that despite months of education around GDPR attitudes such as this are still rife. GDPR does not mean the end of direct marketing. Far from it. Consumers having greater say in how they are marketed to will result in more effective marketing and greater ROI. Yes, Ford’s famous quote “if I had asked my customers what they wanted they would have said faster horses” is true, but in today’s more informed world it is nowhere near as relevant. Customers have a much clearer idea of what they want and who they want to do business with. Direct marketing is less about telling customers about a product and more about forging a long term relationship based on trust. This is exactly in line with the ethos of GDPR and rather than revising budgets down, they should be increased so that organisations can demonstrate their commitment to their opted-in customers. Lesser volume means savings on mailing costs, but more investment can be put in creating relevant campaigns that really do deliver a brand experience. Swap quality for quantity and ROI will soar.

GDPR is not the monster it is being painted out to be. It’s a common sense regulation which has been a long time coming. Knee jerk reactions  such as curtailing budget are fool hardy and likely to have way more of an impact on incremental revenue than GDPR ever will!