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GDPR Explained: Will It Change the Way You Do Content Marketing?



The world of content marketing has come into its own over the past several years and today, content has become an integral component of an effective marketing strategy. However, things are about to change for people involved in content writing, social media marketing, data collecting and content distribution.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a new initiative that will require consent for all data collection activities. If a company intends to collect and store personal data, they will need to get consent from their customers. This consent must be clear and specific. Vague consent forms and underhanded tactics will no longer work once the GDPR comes into effect. Businesses who want to continue to be successful need to be prepared for the changes that this new regulation is likely to bring. Experts believe that this colossal change in marketing rules will require a proactive approach if one is to succeed.

Key Features of GDPR

Some of the key features of the GDPR include:

  1. The rules apply to any business or company that is involved in the processing of customer data in the EU, irrespective of where the server is located, where the company is located or where the data is stored.
  1. Handling of the personally identifiable information is the key and all businesses will need to address how they collect, store and transmit this information.
  1. The GDPR has also introduced a narrow rule on how one should collect data and the importance of consent from the customer.
  1. Companies will need to have a reason to collect customer data and that should be clearly stated when obtaining consent.
  1. All EU residents can ask for their personal information to be deleted from the company data bank upon request.


After May 25, 2018, marketers may not be able to execute activities and campaigns as before. Companies who will maintain the same modus operandi as before may face litigation and heavy monetary penalties. In addition, brand image and company reputation may also be at stake if the regulations are not followed properly.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will drastically alter every aspect of consumer data management, not only in the EU but around the globe. Even companies that do not have servers in the EU will have to abide by the general data protection regulation.

This new regulation is serious and it will require a committed and dedicated response from any business or organization that is involved in the EU and which is involved in any type of marketing or has employees that include residents from the European Union. While many people may feel that this GDPR regulation is pervasive and intrusive, most companies still have no idea how it will impact them.

What GDPR proposes is very strict rules for data protection for all individuals within the European Union. In addition, this new rule will now place limits on the amount of personal data that can be exported outside the geographical borders of the union. The new rule will apply to all companies, regardless of size. As long as there is exchange and collection of consumer data,  GDPR will affect them.

The GDPR is going to take effect in less than six months. Some companies in the EU have already started to make efforts to comply with these changes. But many others still have no idea about the GDPR and how they need to take on a proactive role to ensure they are protected and aligned with the proposed changes.

A recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers on GDPR readiness revealed that nearly 23% of survey participants had not even initiated steps to comply with the GDPR regulation; in fact, only 6% mentioned that they had completed the preparation and were ready to conduct business in a post-GDPR era. However, 92% of the survey participants did state that maintaining compliance with GDPR was a top priority.

It is evident that GDPR will have an impact on how companies conduct marketing activities. This is especially true for online marketing activities that do use and rely on the collection of customer data to a large extent. They have to understand that the issue here is not simply related to security or IT protocols – the primary concern is the collection, preservation, and maintenance of the confidentiality of personal data.

For marketing teams who plan to do business in the EU, it is vital that they recognize the rapid changes taking place in customer data protection. If these companies want to use content to engage with customers, they will have to start thinking of new ways to conduct their business and use strategies that are in line with GDPR requirements. In addition, they will have to abide by the legal rules surrounding the GDPR.

Today marketing is based on a collection of customer data. In fact, almost all marketing strategies make it necessary to collect customer data. Now with GDPR looming, things are going to change on what is an accurate way of collecting and managing customer data. In the past, customer data was freely exchanged between related companies but this type of data sharing will no longer be permitted once GDPR is implemented on a broad scale.

Think of email marketing. A large number of businesses collect email addresses and send email to newsletter subscribers. These companies will now have to comply with GDPR. They will have to obtain consent from their customers and this consent has to be given freely and the customer has to know what they are consenting to.

GDPR penalties could result in fines of up to €10 million or two percent of a firm’s global turnover (whichever is greater).In case of serious breach or violation, fines can go up to €20 million or four percent of a firm’s global turnover (whichever is greater). This monetary fine would most likely put many small marketers out of business and that in itself is an eye-opener as to what possible impact GDPR could have on the future of marketing and business activities.

The way companies will use content to connect with customers is likely to change once GDPR is in full effect. At Iris Content, we understand how content marketing works and we are also aware of how consent will play a role in the way companies collect customer data and exchange information. Contact us today for all your content writing needs.

Annie Ianko

Chief Content Officer

Annie has 20 years of experience as an editor and content creator and manager. With work in television and written media, she has dedicated her past 10 years to learning the ropes of online content creation, from writing to editing, from SEO to content management.

If you need a professional to handle all your content during the hectic festive season, Iris Content is launching a few holiday packages that you can take advantage of. Reach out to us and we will help your business shine this holiday season!

Contact Annie to learn how you can take advantage of our holiday packages.

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