Take a room full of switched-on marketers, data practitioners and legal and compliance professionals from brands and agencies keen to learn about how to thrive in a post GDPR data driven world.

Add in a group of informed and forthright speakers and panellists.  Provide a holistic view of the new data world order post-GDPR – covering qualitative research, legal stance, channel view, a GDPR journey and industry view…..And bingo!

So what did we learn? 

Ultimately the research presented by David Reed, DataIQ confirms what we already know (or certainly should do!) – that to build and retain trust you must tell people what you are going to do. And do that (and only that!).

The responses outlined also reinforce the importance and relevance of the core principles of GDPR: accountability and transparency. The full research is published and available to download here

For an event focussed on GDPR there was a refreshing consensus from speakers and panellists on the contentious topics of consent and legitimate interests.

Complete the balancing tests correctly and honestly and you can use Legitimate Interests as the basis for direct marketing to your customers and also for third party data.

Mark Watts, Partner at law firm Bristows LLP summed it up nicely, stating “consent is not the only game in town” and reiterating what the ICO have been saying for months that all the legal bases for data processing under GDPR are created equal!

Refreshingly candid, he referenced GDPR Article 47 which explicitly mentions that Legitimate Interests may be used as the basis for Direct Marketing.  Legitimate Interests are also very broad and include commercial interests of an organisation – as confirmed in the latest guidance from the ICO.

ICO: “The legitimate interests can be your own interests or the interests of third parties. They can include commercial interests, individual interests or broader societal benefits

https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/lawful-basis-for-processing/legitimate-interests/

The rights of individuals are also broad and this is at the heart of the balancing tests required for applying Legitimate Interests as a legal basis for processing data.

Direct marketing and GDPR

Royal Mail MD, Jonathan Harman, gave us 12 reasons mail can help your brand to thrive in a GDPR world, including:

  • You don’t need consent for postal marketing
  • Mail offers higher response rates than email
  • No fines as yet for using mail for marketing
  • Mail primes other media

He also cited some compelling stats that confirm that consumers like and trust communication using this channel:

Respondents to MarketReach research confirmed that mail is more believable (87%), makes them feel more valued (70%) and creates a better impression of a company (70%).

The key take-away – direct marketing has a key role to play in the post-GDPR world!

GDPR is a journey not a destination

The engaging and charismatic Michelle de Souza, CDO at Age UK, gave us an honest account of their GDPR journey via a pre-recorded interview with REaD Group’s Scott Logie.

Her advice?  Be pragmatic, be optimistic, be responsible marketers and remember that GDPR is a journey not a destination. Leaving us with the positive view that organisations should have the confidence to keep going.

Get it right and the future IS bright!

REaD Group Chairman and Founder, Mark Roy, put together a strong case to dispel the negativity around GDPR, reiterating REaD Group’s stance that GDPR is a much needed force for good.

Referencing the recent controversy involving Facebook and data sharing as a compelling example of why the accountability and transparency obligations at the heart of GDPR – essentially doing the right thing by consumers – are very much needed and should be welcomed.

Picking up on Mark Watts points, he was also very clear that legitimate interest isn’t just for customers  – that it allows contact with everyone providing it meets the balancing test requirements.

All in all, a great event with some very tasty take-aways!

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