Implied opt-in and customer behavioural analysis enable digital marketing campaigns to maximise reach across databases, segment audiences and serve them with targeted digital marketing – well, that’s the aim anyway.

But new EU legislation is due to come into full effect, which is clamping down on precisely this type of activity. And while the legislation isn’t set to come into force until May next year, its important to understand what it’s impact will be on digital marketing, and prepare accordingly.

The General Data Protection Regulation was adopted in April last year, with a two-year transition period. But with just over a year to go until it comes into full effect, many companies still have a long way to go to cleanse their customer data, and put into place the necessary steps to ensure they can effectively market to customers in the future.

The legislation aims to raise the bar for consumer consent. Moving forward, companies will need to ensure that as data is collected, customers take the affirmative step to opt-in to marketing. In addition, behavioural data will have to be closely reviewed in line with the legislation too.

While the legislation initially feels like it’s tightening up on digital marketing to the detriment of business, I personally feel it’s going to have the opposite effect.

By opting into digital marketing, customers will feel more in control of the content they receive and the ads they are served, choosing which brands they want to engage with and receive information from.

This should mean that any contact they receive from these companies is welcome, relevant and of interest. It’s my belief the result will be an increase in the open-rate, CTR, engagement with this form of marketing, and ultimately return on investment of digital marketing spend against sales.

Cool Blue devises and delivers B2C digital marketing campaigns for its clients, many of which have CRMs with large numbers of customers, with data collected over a number of years. We’re working with our clients to look at ways to ensure that their CRMs are future-proofed, and devising strategies for digital marketing to ensure effective campaigns up to and beyond the implementation date.