The General Data Protection Regulation has been in place for just over six months. Most businesses have had time to come to terms with the new legislation and make all of the changes required for GDPR compliance. Even though these businesses have had the time to learn about and implement the necessary changes, there are still many misconceptions out there that are causing businesses to overwork or even underwork themselves in terms of GDPR.
In this short article, we have investigated 6 GDPR myths and taken a look to see if they really are just myths or important aspects of data legislation that you need to be aware of.
Myth #1 - GDPR Doesn't Apply to Businesses Outside of the EU – FALSE
This is something that quite a lot of business outside of the EU are still oblivious to. Many people see GDPR as a way to restrict a business’ use of customer data, which of course is true, but what many businesses are forgetting is that the main purpose of the GDPR is to protect personal data belonging to EU citizens. This means if you operate outside of the EU, but you still have both current and prospective clients that live in the EU, you must comply with the GDPR when contacting these clients. Just because you aren't in the EU, does not mean you are safe from fines under GDPR.
Myth #2 - Having a Data Protection Officer is Mandatory - FALSE
With GDPR, comes the misconception that every business must appoint a Data Protection Officer. This is not true. Appointing a Data Protection Officer (DPO) is only mandatory under the following grounds:
- You are a public authority.
- Your activities consist of large-scale, methodical observation and online behavioural tracking etc.
- Your activities involve large-scale processing of special data categories e.g. criminal conviction data.
Myth #3 - Consent Given For The Processing of Personal Data Must be Clear-Cut - TRUE
This is absolutely true. When depending on consent to collect, store and process personal or sensitive information, the consent given must be explicit. There are many ways to obtain this consent, such as email confirmations, written consent or even simple 'I agree' or 'I do not agree' options. However, always ensure that any consent and the format in which it is given is suitable for any and all requirements.
Myth #4 - Fines Can Reach €20,000,000 - TRUE
Despite the fact that no one has been given the maximum penalty at the time of writing, the Information Commissioner's Office has the power to impose fines of up to €20,000,000 or 4% of the company's annual turnover, whichever is more. To date, the largest fine given by the ICO. was £500,000 to Facebook for 'serious breaches of data protection law'. The full details are here: https://ico.org.uk/action-weve-taken/enforcement/facebook-ireland-ltd/
Myth #5 - Biometric Data Comes Under 'Sensitive Data' - TRUE
Biometric data such as fingerprints, retinal scans even ID images are all classed as 'sensitive data' under GDPR. However, not all biometric data falls under this category. Biometric data that cannot be used for identification purposes, is not classed as 'sensitive data'.
Biometric data that is considered as 'Sensitive Information' include:
- Retinal Scans
- Images Used For Identification
- Facial Recognition Data
- Written Signatures
- Voice Recognition Data
Myth #6 - You Can Only Collect Data If Consent is Given - FALSE
Even though GDPR has brought stricter rules regarding data collection and consent, in some cases, you will not need consent to collect or process personal data.
There are six grounds on which you can collect personal data, some require consent, some do not. The six grounds for data collection are:
1. To protect the vital interest of the individual - (In order to protect someone's life)
2. Public Interest - (Necessary for the running of a public task e.g. teaching)
3. Contractual Necessity - (Required for contractual agreements)
4. Compliance with legal obligations - (Collecting or processing is required for the compliance of UK or EU legislation)
5. Unambiguous consent (Clear, easy to interpret consent from the individual)
6. Legitimate interest of the data controller - (Your own interest whether commercial or individual, must be balanced with the data subject's interests)
Please Note: Despite having a lot of experience with GDPR and being a GDPR compliant company, the information contained within this article should not be taken as legal advice. We have made every effort to ensure that the information in the article is accurate, however, always do your own research and verification before making any changes concerning GDPR compliance.
With engineering companies making up over a quarter of the UK's enterprises, new entrants to the industry have a lot of competition. It can be hard for these new businesses to stand out amongst the crowd and increase their awareness with so many others trying to do the same. This short article explains how three different marketing methods can be used to effectively increase your company's awareness, boost your sales and grow your business as a whole.
The first important step in growing your company is increasing brand awareness. When it comes to increasing awareness of your products, services or your business in general there are many different ways of going about it. As mentioned in the title, I am going to focus on three different marketing methods that can be used to achieve this.
The first method is social media marketing. Say for example your company specialises in vehicle engineering, not everything you do will warrant a post to social media, however, unveiling the designs for a new range of 4x4s will be something you will want to share with your target market.
Using a social media platform such as Twitter, you could create a post with images of the designs, a few short sentences and tags that will allow you to reach your target audience. For example, the tags you could use in this instance could be '#4x4, #OffRoader, #NewCars, #CarDesign', obviously these are just basic example tags, however, car enthusiasts that are looking for the latest designs might use these tags and could find your post about your amazing new vehicle.
Another method that you could use to increase your awareness is email marketing. Email marketing is a great way to increase awareness through well-designed, personalised email campaigns that tell your prospects exactly who you are, what you do and why they should buy from you. Email is a bit more of a professional approach to marketing as it's not as informal as some social media networks. If your target market is mainly businesses, this is when email marketing might be better than social media.
Using this approach you may be contacting your prospects and letting them know about your new range of 4x4s that have brilliant features for the travelling salesman. For example, you could highlight it's great fuel efficiency or comfort for longer journeys. When using email marketing, you want to make sure you understand your prospect's needs, and explain how you can fulfil these needs. If you are using email marketing, you will need a good understanding of different email techniques and which methods will work best for your offering. You also need to bear GDPR in mind as you will be contacting your prospects directly.
Telemarketing is a great method for increasing your company's exposure, not to mention an excellent sales tool. The reason that telemarketing is a great tool to use is that you are in direct contact with your prospective clients, meaning you have the opportunity to tell the client about your new products and how it could benefit them, in a more in-depth, personalised way. Even if the prospect isn't interested at the time, your brand will stick with them so that next time they are looking to buy a new car, for example, they will think back to the time you explained all of its brilliant features and took the time to hear what they had to say.
When attempting to increase your sales, there are many ways to go about it. As previously mentioned, increasing your brand awareness is something that will definitely boost your sales. The more people that recognise your brand as a trustworthy and reliable figure in the engineering industry, the more likely they are to buy from you. Increasing your sales can be done by using the same methods above, and typically increasing brand awareness and sales happens simultaneously.
Social media marketing can be used to promote new deals and offers that you are currently offering. Provide in-depth demonstrations of your products via video platforms such as YouTube and develop more of a personal business relationship with your clients. When attempting to increase sales via social media, you shouldn't just go for the hard sell, you need to provide interesting, useful content about your offerings that your prospects will enjoy watching. If they are interested in the videos, images or other posts, they are more likely to follow the links to your products page or enquiry page. You can use different tools that measure the conversion rates of different types of posts on different platforms, and then adjust your marketing activities to maximise your sales.
For business-to-business sales, email marketing is one of the primary tools that a company can use. 76% of businesses in the UK have reported that they see email marketing as 'very important' to their businesses, with 8% of all UK businesses acquiring over half of their sales via email marketing. With email marketing, all you really need to invest in is a good quality software package such as Campaign Monitor or MailChimp, and a set of GDPR compliant data. You then have everything you need to create an email marketing campaign of your own. Making email marketing one of the most cost-effective marketing methods.
Telemarketing is the most effective sales method out of the three when it comes to B2B sales. The reason that telemarketing has the edge over the other two methods is that it allows you to have a much more in-depth and personalised interaction with your prospects. This is something that not only benefits you, but it benefits the prospect too. You will have the chance to get your point across clearly whilst also hearing what the customer has to say. Telemarketing also offers you the chance to get to know your prospects, on a more personal level, allowing you to build a trustworthy relationship with your clients. Sending emails is a great method for generating sales leads, however, it can sometimes take weeks of sending emails backwards and forwards to get the prospect to agree to a call or a face-to-face appointment. This is where telemarketing speeds up the process. Instead of weeks of emails, you are instantly at the point where you are in contact with the prospect directly. Provided you can get past the gatekeeper first!
How Can You Manage This?
When it comes to the planning, you may be wondering if you will have the time to run these campaigns. After all, running a business especially in the engineering sector is very time-consuming. You may not have the time to organise, set-up and run the campaigns yourself, or you may not have someone who is dedicated particularly to marketing. This is where outsourcing is your best option. By outsourcing your marketing activities, you are able to carry on with your usual business responsibilities whilst still receiving all of the benefits of the campaigns. In short, another company does all the work, whilst you reap the rewards.
At Inspired, we offer services such as lead generation, appointment setting, email marketing, GDPR compliance and verification, data cleansing and more. We handle the full campaign process leaving you and your teams to do what you do best, close business. Our cost-effective services allow you to make the most of your time as the leads and appointments we provide are qualified to ensure their quality.
If you still haven't sorted your marketing strategy for the New Year, don't panic! We offer full end-to-end campaign management that can double or even triple your conversion.
Contact us today to find out more about how our services can help increase your sales and grow your business.