With GDPR compliance becoming mandatory, many marketers are worried they would get into trouble with the law enforcement agencies or the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for not maintaining their compliance and face heavy fines. As a result, there has been a growing demand for data protection services.
With that being said, there are several things you and your marketing team can do to ensure that marketing activities are fully compliant with the GDPR. In this article, we share with you some of the most critical questions you need to answer if you are serious about GDPR compliance and avoid the legal hassles of non-compliance.
GDPR Marketing Compliance: 6 Questions You Should Ask Yourself
To accurately assess your GDPR compliance with your marketing activities, here are six of the most important questions you should ask yourself or your marketing team:
Question #1: What would be a more appropriate label for the marketing communication sent out: B2C or B2B?
Since different rules apply to B2C and B2B marketing activities as per the GDPR, it’s essential to distinguish which category your marketing activities fall under. This way, you will be able to determine better what all data protection laws applied to your marketing activity and what would be the correct approach for ensuring compliance in your situation. For example, if you are a B2C marketer, you should use valid consent as the lawful basis for your marketing activities. On the other hand, if you are a B2B marketer, using valid consent as the legal basis isn’t necessary, and you can use “legitimate interest” instead. The same also applies if you’re sending out communication to your existing clients or customers since it won’t require you to obtain valid consent from them once again.
Question #2: Are the data subjects finding the marketing communication fully relevant, or would they choose to withdraw their consent from receiving further marketing communication if they were asked about it?
You must ensure that the recipients flag none of your marketing messages as irrelevant. This is why the marketing databases where you store the contact details of your data subjects should be reviewed regularly to find and eliminate any contacts that have not been actively interacting with your messages. As a result of this activity, you can avoid getting into legal trouble with the law enforcement agencies later on and keep the relevance of your messages high and get a better interaction rate from them.
Question #3: Are all the records of data subjects and the recorded consent being stored correctly?
If you cannot maintain the records of valid consent you have gathered from your data subjects, it can be a very risky situation to be in. Technically, you won’t qualify for any marketing activities if you don’t have valid proof of the recorded consent to be presented in front of the law enforcement agencies, if and when requested.
Question #4: What has been selected as the lawful basis for marketing communication: legitimate interest or valid consent? When was the last Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA) conducted?
For B2B marketing activities, a legitimate interest can be used as the lawful basis for marketing communication instead of valid consent. However, it’s still essential to get a Legitimate Interest Assessment (LIA) done regularly to justify your marketing activities, just in case your business gets scrutinized for GDPR compliance.
Question #5: Is it simple enough for the recipients to indicate their non-consent and opt-out from the marketing list if they choose to stop receiving any further marketing communication?
Regardless of how well your marketing campaign is performing, it’s essential to understand that a few of the recipients might find your marketing messages irrelevant and would like to have an option to opt out or unsubscribe from your marketing list. Therefore, as per the GDPR, you should provide them with a simple opportunity to share an unsubscribe link at the bottom of your email.
Question #6: How is the consent gathered from the data subjects being collected and stored?
You must gather only valid consent from your data subjects with the help of an opt-in form that is compliant with the GDPR. In addition to that, you also need to ensure that you are storing the personal data of your data subjects securely and protect your marketing databases from data breaches and cybersecurity incidents.
It will become easier to figure out where the gaps might lie in maintaining GDPR compliance by answering these questions. You can then choose to work with your legal teams or an outsourced DPO to decide on the right approach for eliminating these gaps and ensuring your marketing activities remain fully GDPR compliant.