GDPR advice

Data D-Day is coming: Here’s our GDPR advice.

I want to start by saying I am not a legal expert on the GDPR. However, I have certainly learnt a few valuable lessons on my GDPR learning curve. In this blog, I want to try and capture:

  • What impact will the GDPR have on marketing?
  • Why is it an opportunity?
  • My tips for compliance.

So how does the GDPR, which comes into force on 25th May 2018, impact us? Well, any business that collects, stores or processes the data of EU citizens will soon be held accountable under the new data laws in a bid to give EU citizens greater power over how their data is stored and used.

The regulations will give people more control of their data, maintain ‘consent’ standards across all EU countries (which essentially means offering consumers a choice and giving them the control) and make businesses far more accountable about how they use personal data. And non-compliance comes at a significant cost, both financially (a maximum of 4% of annual turnover or £20m) and in regards to the inevitable damage to corporate reputation.

Ultimately, too many businesses have been misusing customer data. The GDPR, and the knock-on effect it will have on marketing communications, will help give customers their digital privacy back. The primary outcome will be the fundamental change in the way businesses treat their customer’s personal information and put the customer in the driving seat. Power to the people!

Why it should be seen as an opportunity, not a threat.

The GDPR, broadly speaking, should be seen as the perfect opportunity for all businesses to upgrade their data security, accountability, transparency and customer engagement.

The new regulation presents a refreshingly new approach to data compliance. Customers should benefit significantly as organisations adapt to better focus on their needs. And those businesses that embrace the regulations and champion privacy and value will be able to establish stronger relationships with consumers on more common ground. The result? Customers will be able to put more trust in the businesses they love, safe in the knowledge that the personal data they are sharing with them is secure and the businesses will put maximum effort into actually providing valuable, authentic content.

If you don’t know where to start, here are my tips for compliance:

Appoint someone responsible for the data: Appoint a Data Protection Officer (if an issue arises, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) will look for every business to have someone who is accountable).

Start auditing your database immediately: Remove anyone who you can’t be 100% sure has opted-in to hear from you. For best practice, any new subscribers should receive an automated email to confirm they want to join the mailing list – known as a double opt-in (if you want to know how to do this in HubSpot, here is the link). An expected 75% of marketing data is expected to become obsolete when the regulation becomes law.

According to the DMA UK, a good data audit should answer the following questions (this should be written down and kept on file in case it’s ever needed):

  • What data do you hold and why?
  • How do you collect the data?
  • How and where is the data stored?
  • What do you do with the data?
  • Who owns and controls the personal data?
  • What are your steps for retention and deletion?
  • Who is responsible for the data?
  • Define what consent/legitimate interest is (it is different for every brand).

Review your current data collection set up: Stop buying data lists. Delete the majority of purchased contacts (determined by audit) and analyse how you are getting new marketing contacts. Wetherspoons, the UK pub chain, actually took the unprecedented step of deleting their entire email marketing database (over 650,000 contacts). While that might seem extreme, the key (and the main opportunity) is you will then have a guaranteed engaged and interested audience. Basically, you need to be sure that every name and email address in your database has given permission to market to them. Ignoring it or failing to audit is asking for trouble.

Create content tailored to potential customers: Focus on a content marketing strategy by creating assets that prospects can access and download in exchange for them sharing their contact information. You need to show the value you are providing your customers with in exchange for their information. Additionally, spend time improving your SEO rankings with a focused blog/inbound strategy.

Add a privacy policy on your website: Every business must link to a privacy policy page for compliance. You can start with this template, however, ‘you will, of course, need to adapt the privacy policy to suit your website and business’.

Think about social selling: Educate your sales team about social selling techniques. They won’t be able to cold email prospects as they used to anymore, but they can connect with them on social channels and share relevant content. If cold emails are the lifeblood of your business, follow this guidance:

  • You should have a strong reason to contact a prospect. Your cold email should be logically connected with their business statute.
  • Invest a lot of time in a more precise targeting of your campaigns; make sure both sides are likely to benefit from that potential business relationship.
  • Customise and personalise your email and send it only to people at carefully chosen companies matching your own business.
  • Any personal data for your contact lists should be obtained in a legal and transparent way.
  • You should be able to explain how and why you decided to process personal data.
  • Give your cold email recipients a clear way to opt out from further correspondence.
  • Do not follow up without consent. Additionally, you don’t own the personal data you process so don’t share it with other people and companies.

There are my tips! The GDPR is going to be a revolutionary change for marketers, but the most important thing the ICO wants to see is businesses making a conscious effort to clean up their data and act. The businesses they want to go after are the ones who are misusing the data they have and making no effort to sort it out.

If you take one thing from this blog, let it be this: If you don’t have opt-in permission from your contacts, don’t send them marketing emails. If you do, you are breaking the law.

If you want to find out more about what the GDPR means for your marketing activities, and how you can adopt best-practice techniques, get in touch!


Do you know how to be successful in modern demand generation marketing? If you do, you’re either pretty sure of yourself, or you’ve got the data to prove it.

So much of marketing is about research, benchmarks and data. On one hand, we have to know buyers inside out – where they really go for their information, what questions they really want answers to and who is actually delivering the best experience for these prospects. On the other hand, we need to know what the optimum delivery infrastructure is, which channels, medium and formats work hardest and then we can start to be predictable about conversions and ROI.

Both sides of the marketing coin rely on the other, and both need good data. Having made this sound delightfully simple, there are a few possible speed bumps on the road to B2B marketing nirvana.

Whether you’re onto incremental gains on building baseline data, the most basic principles of marketing still apply – optimising demand gen spend is a function of both content marketing and performance marketing. Depending on which flavour of marketer you are at heart, data sets from these two worlds need to meet and integrate to drive decision-making.

The best game plan here depends on your circumstances – existing data points, available timeframe, business objectives, available spend, available desire to search for the ultimate marketing truth. The strategy needs to balance both lead quantity and quality, but whatever the requirement it must systematically build the marketing data landscape to establish and tune the rhythm of your marketing model.

There are a few fast-track options and workarounds to narrowing the acceptable range for demand gen. It takes breadth of expert marketing skills from creative to clickrate and everything in between, but most importantly, the ability to use data as the driving force for unified demand generation success.

We’ve collected plenty of data in the last few years – perhaps we can help you fill some gaps or gain percentage points? Get in touch to talk!


We were originally going to call this blog ‘The what-the-hell-is-going-on-with-my-website/campaign/landing page checklist, but, that’s a little bit of a mouthful. This Google Analytics checklist covers the basics and first steps you should take if the chips are down on the old conversion front.

It’s reported that marketers are expected to spend over 11% of their total budget on analytics, however only 22% of marketers say they have data-driven marketing initiatives that are achieving significant results. This suggests there’s a slight disconnect with having the data, ready and willing, but not knowing exactly what to do with it.

Tip: deploy a Google Analytics audit before you begin any campaign or project, the information you can gain for the current performance of your website can hugely affect your future strategy.

Google Analytics is one of those wonderful tools, whereby you can get completely lost in the granularity of its data, however, if you don’t have the time, patience or inclination to while away your hours scrutinising page performances, here’s a few handy, go-to pointers:

Traffic acquisition

First step, where is your traffic coming from? If you know this you can work backwards through each channel to gauge your visitor’s behavior and hopefully the reason behind it. Your traffic source from is a great indicator of the strength of your social presence, SEO strategy, site links etc. Use this to identify top performing social networks, improve your AdWords campaign and so on. Once you’re armed with this info, next is to find out what people are doing on page.

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Tip: Be sure to set up goals and conversion tracking, you can easily see the path users took in order to convert

Behaviour flow

This is just a great visual representation of the behavior of the visitors on your site. It allows you to map journeys through your website and specific pages. Dependent on where the visitor starts, where they came from etc. should give you some good indication of page drop offs and potential opportunities certain pages present.

If there are pages with huge amount of drop offs, you may need to look at the UX of that page. Are there enough CTA’s available, enough compelling information etc.? Can you lead your visitors to any conversion pages, or relevant, interesting content?

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Bounce rate & Exit rate

These two indicators tell us, for the most part, what is wrong with a page. If you’ve got a high bounce rate, your visitor immediately doesn’t like what they see, if you’ve got high exit, they’ve checked you out but decided they don’t need to go any further. You should consider where the traffic is coming from in relation to these metrics, it can tell you a lot about the message of that initial touch point and if there is a disconnect with that and the page they land on

Tip: set up filters on your account such as excluding your own IP address if you’re after accurate data

Date ranges & comparison

Often overlooked as a powerful tool or performance indicator, the comparison feature on the date range can give useful pointers as to what you may have been doing right a month ago that you aren’t doing now. Has there been a steep drop in traffic from a specific source? Are you no longer getting traffic from certain social channels if your content promotion has changed?

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Tip: add in annotations as and when you do something considerable with your marketing, be it a press release or significant email campaign. No one wants to sift back through the archives to find out what caused that spike 6 months ago

Google Analytics is only part of the picture and this blog is a mere drop in the ocean when it comes to performance auditing and optimisation The data available should be used in every step of the way with regards to marketing. Google Analytics can tell you the quantitative side of things, but more often than not, the issue lies with a bigger element of the marketing plan.

If you would like a chat about where your sales/leads are coming from, drop us a line at, we’re more than happy to talk all things from strategy to bounce rate.