As a Manchester inbound marketing agency, here’s one of the more common questions we’ve been asked recently. Now that we’re leaving Europe, what should we to do in regards to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which is just around the corner?

Yes, I know we’re not officially part of the EU anymore (sob) Nevertheless, this law will still apply to us Brits until we’re kicked out of the EU family, and potentially beyond this point. Anything could happen (read: no one knows what’s happening)

Anyway. We’ve talked about the new EU legislation before. These data laws will benefit the general public immensely when it comes to having control over their privacy. 

Companies that are flippant when it comes to data protection, transparency and letting users opt out of contact lists (especially when cold calling) are set to be punished with enormous fines. These will total 4 per cent of their global turnover, or €20 million (whichever sum is bigger).

Homegrown data collection with an inbound marketing agency in Manchester

There’s something else we need to point out as an inbound marketing agency. Whatever happens in Europe with the GDPR, we’re introducing new laws here in the UK anyway to clamp down on invasive cold calling.

New rules are set to be introduced early next year, and will see directors be held personally responsible if they breach data laws. They could be fined up to £500,000 if their firm is found to be making nuisance cold calls, and can no longer set up a new company to dodge the penalty.

It follows a Which? campaign on the issue. Basically, it’s a massive victory for consumers, with the aforementioned Elizabeth Dunham saying: “We are inundated with complaints from people who are left shaken and distressed by the intrusion [cold calling has] on their daily lives.”

Funny to see that it wasn’t the ‘meddling’ EU introducing these changes but our own lawmakers… Still, as an inbound marketing agency, next year’s changes to UK data laws represent an excellent opportunity. We want to help companies reinvent their data collection efforts and switch to a transparent, ethical inbound model of data collection.

Advice on data protection as a leading Manchester inbound marketing agency

Being a Manchester inbound marketing agency, we’ve seen numerous companies, both large and small, say they’re confused as to what to do now with data collection. Even worse, some seem to be dismissing the implications of GDPR entirely.

What we’d advise as an inbound marketing agency is to keep an eye on international movements regarding data policy. A lot of leading lawyers believe we’ll adopt GDPR no matter what happens with Brexit, so it’s important to be compliant.

Others point out that, in order to get the best deals possible if we do leave the single market, we will actually need to follow the EU’s lead anyway and be compliant with their data protection laws. The UK’s new information commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, also believes we should adopt GDPR.

As an inbound marketing agency, we deal with data on a regular basis. Our strongest piece of advice is to just be as honest and transparent as possible with consumer data. This is not only to stay compliant with industry best practice as well as UK and EU laws. It’s also for the benefit of your existing and future customers – not to mention your company’s reputation!

When we previously mentioned the changes to EU data laws, we said it may lead to the death of the call centre – certainly in the way they collect data for outbound calling and the way they reach out to people. So what’s your plan B?

We recommend targeting the right potential customers through a bespoke paid social and PPC campaign, and encouraging them to leave their data in unique creative ways. Most importantly, it means having a clear data collection and storage policy that people can understand, so they can choose to be contacted by you and your partners again in the future.

INBOUND MARKETING AGENCY

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