If You Are Doing Business In or With Europe, You Must Know GDPR

If You Are Doing Business In or With Europe, You Must Know GDPR


The European Commission, Council of the European Union and European Parliament will be replacing the old Data Protection Directive of 1995. What comes now will be an even more stringent set of rules that will strengthen the Data Protection policies for every citizen of the European Union. The new initiative is named General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and will come in to effect on May 25th this year.

What is GDPR?

It’s a data governance law that will change the way people acquire and use the data of a subject (person). The data controller as well as the data processor will need to follow the GDPR guideline. Not abiding by the regulation will lead to a penalty of 4% of a company’s global turnover or up to €20 million, whichever is higher.

GDPR’s Impact on Marketing

When GDPR comes into effect, the consumers in EU will enjoy the following benefits in full-force:

1. Right to Transparency: Consumers will have all the rights to know how their personal data will be used.

2. Right to Access: Consumers will be the final owners of the data and will have all the access rights to their personal data. If they ask a company to show what all personal information they’ve stored, the company is liable to show it all.

3. Data Modification Right: If at any point of time consumers discover or claim the personal information to be incorrect or changed, they’ll have the right to rectify/change/modify the data accordingly.

4. Restricted Processing Rights: If a consumer practices this right, companies will be able to only store the personal data of that consumer but not use it.

5. Right to Object: If and when a consumer objects usage of his personal data, companies will have to abide by it.

6. Right to Erasure: In an event when a customer asks a company to remove their personal details from their database, and the company doesn’t have a compelling reason to stand their ground, they’ll need to remove all the data in question. Also known as Right to be Forgotten.

7. Data Portability Rights: A consumer can ask for their data to be used for any other service.

8. Rights Pertaining to Automated Profiling and Data Processing: Any decision made on automated processing will be invalid if it violates any of the above rights.

9. GDPR for Minors: This is the major portion of GDPR since EU takes contacting minors very seriously. Reaching out to any minor below the age of 16 will need a company to get approval from the guardian. In UK, this age is 13 years. UK based marketers targeting EU need to keep this in mind.

How’s that a Bad News?

The thing is that GDPR applies to EVERYONE, and not just to those who are in the European Union. If your data holder is in EU, GDPR applies. If your data processor is in EU, GDRP applies. If your data owner (consumer) lives in EU, do the math. The same goes if you are going to use your data that affects a company in EU.


While USA considers privacy as a commodity, European Union deems privacy to be a right. The way US treats privacy is way different from that of the European Union.

The primary goal of GDPR is protection of EU citizens from data breaches. Calling the regulations’ policies stringent would be an understatement. But US does not look at what can’t be done, for GDPR also gives marketers a window of opportunity.

So, What is the Blessing in Disguise?

If you look at the GDPR guidelines and policies carefully, you’ll realize it’s going to make things more streamlined for marketers. While it demands you to strike off names of customers who don’t want to be contacted by you, it also clears your database clutter at the same time.

Here are some steps through which you can pull off GDPR in your favor and bring the A-game of your marketing strategy:

1. Begin By Clearing your Email List:

W8 data has estimated that around 75% of the total marketing database will be rendered useless once GDPR comes into effect.

Keeping this in mind, take a look at your contact lists and see which contact’s opt-in is not found or sure. Send them an opt-in form so that you can build a contact list that meets the GDPR benchmarks.

2. Start Working On Your Data Acquisition Methods:

Simply buying an email list won’t suffice anymore because you’ll never know whether the list is of customers who opted-in or not. Given the scope of penalty, overlooking even a small detail can prove catastrophic.

3. Work on Your Content Strategy:

Instead of working on emails, work on other content that your website viewers can read on your website. Blogs, guides, eBooks and such reading material can help you engage your audience. Moreover, you can also pitch them to opt-in for your emails and newsletters.

4. Use A Pop-Up CTA:

While you post engaging content on your website, get your audience hooked to your website and prepare a compelling CTA button. Base this CTA on the upcoming GDPR.The fine-tuned CTA button will help you in getting more opt-ins than your regular emails.

5. Go Social:

Engage your audience on social media. Educate your sales and marketing team to find right target audience on social media platforms.

Doing so will help you in connecting with your audience without worrying about GDRP guidelines.It’s especially useful when you are trying to acquire new contacts.

Also Read: Instagram Follow Hashtags and Marketing

Apart from the points mentioned above, do take a proper look at the customer data you’ve and you are going collected. Take what you deem necessary; leave what you can do without. Information hoarding is already a load on the system, and holding onto information that you don’t need can land you in big soup once GDPR becomes effective.


From 25th of May this year, the implementation of GDPR is going to make things tough for companies to store their target audience’s personal data. But that doesn’t take away the fact that if done right, GDPR can actually help you in improving your customer data acquisition efforts and the resulting quality of the database. The points we discussed above will be useful in planning your strategy. We are sure of this because this is what we are also going to do. GDPR is for everyone, and anyone who has even a single lead in EU has to abide to it.

It’s not about the glass being half empty or half full. Just throw away what’s in the glass and fill it with the best shot of your life.

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