From May General Data Protection Regulation replaces all existing data protection regulation and Verb Marketing’s Dean Currall says this could spell trouble for companies that are not ready. Tony McDonough reports
Tough new laws on the protection of private data due to come into force in the next few weeks could send some firms in Merseyside to the wall, a leading digital marketing expert is warning.
Dean Currall, founder and managing director of Liverpool city centre-based Verb Marketing, says too many businesses are relying on methods such as mass email marketing which he insists are ineffective and will soon be potentially illegal.
“Countless companies have been been lazy with their marketing, using methods such as email spamming to thousands of people at a time,” said Dean. “It’s outdated, yields poor returns – and in the next few weeks it is going to be against the law.”
The law Dean refers to is General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which from May replaces all existing data protection regulation and applies to all companies in the EU, no matter how small, that process and hold personal data.
Personal data is defined as any information from which a person can be identified, either directly or indirectly, and includes a name, email address, bank details, photo, medical information or computer IP address.
One of the main issues is around consent. Companies and organisations must provide clear requests for consent in a format that is easily understood and accessible. Individuals must find it as easy to withdraw their consent as it was to give it and things such as re-ticked boxes or ‘tick to opt-out’ boxes will no longer be acceptable.
This means mass emailing to sell a product or service could be a thing of the past as companies will no longer be able to send out marketing material unsolicited to recipients on bought-in mailing lists.
“GDPR represents the best opportunity for 20 years for companies of all sizes to get smarter and more sophisticated when it comes to their marketing strategies,” said Dean who has generated an extra £23m in sales for Verb’s clients over the last four years.
In order to get the message out there Dean has hosted free seminars on GDPR in Liverpool, aimed at the SME market.
He explained: “We have a proven track record of accelerating sales for our clients using a number of techniques. The strategy of mass emailing is called ‘outbound marketing’, whereas we focus on ‘inbound marketing’.
“If you think how much we are bombarded with marketing messages all day every day both online and when we walk down the street. We just tend to screen it out which is why it has become increasingly ineffective.
“Inbound marketing encompasses a variety of techniques using multiple channels, including the use of social media influencers, affiliate marketing and commission via banners on popular websites.
“This multi-faceted approach is much more likely to yield returns that the old methods. Get on that quickly and you can survive and thrive. Ignoring what is coming could threaten the future of your business.”