Five Years of GDPR: Data Protection Laws and MarTech


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Marketing leaders are exploring opportunities to assemble robust tools in their Marketing Technology (MarTech Stack) to streamline and optimize their marketing operations at various stages of their client lifecycle.

Every tool integrated into the MarTech stack offers different solutions for the enterprise. Still, all of them have one thing in common that is they have access to all the sensitive customer data. These tools help marketers simplify their work, but they also might expose the sensitive customer to various threats.

While processing data on these marketing tools, businesses must comply with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to ensure the customer’s privacy right. Marketing tools like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) add value to data processing for the organizations that leverage these tools.

As the fifth anniversary of GDPR is approaching, businesses need to ensure that all the tools on their MarTech stack are GDPR compliant to avoid heft fines or a negative brand image.

Get all the MarTech Partners Onboard to Comply with GDPR

The data processor is any person, agency, public authority, or other organization that processes Personal Identifiable Information (PII) on behalf of the data controller. Hence all the tools integrated into the MarTech stack become the data processors because they get access to sensitive customer data. For instance, all the third-party applications, software or tools, enterprises, agencies, business allies, or subcontractors that enhance the data, gather it on behalf of the data controller become a data processor. Even partners that gather, mine, segment, or evaluate the customer data on behalf of the organization need to be GDPR compliant to ensure users’ privacy rights.

Also Read: Agile Marketing: Why Marketers Should Care for their Digital Transformational Journey

A data controller is an organization that leverages third-party tools or services to process data on its behalf. According to the general data protection regulation, data processors and controllers can be penalized in case of non-compliance with the laws. The data controller defines what type of data they will collect, why, and how they will use it. Data controllers have the bear the ownership of processing the data according to GDPR. Businesses need to ensure they have efficient strategies implemented to improve GDPR compliance. While selecting the data processor, ensuring that the vendor offers sufficient documentation to prove their capabilities to adhere to the GDPR needs for both technical and organizational measures is crucial.

The Latest GDPR Laws Marketers Should Know?

EU has enforced GDPR to revolutionize how many organizations gather and process customer data. Here are a few factors that marketers should consider to ensure compliance with the GDPR laws:

Businesses that gather data through a form should tell the user filling out the form for what purpose they will use the data.

Many organizations today provide free content or contests to gather leads they require for their sales or marketing funnels. Enforcement of these GDPR rules will ensure that businesses will need the best possible approaches to tell users how they plan to use their data.

Enterprises can only gather data that is essential, relevant, and restricted for the intended purpose of collection.

Marketers need customer information to determine their buying patterns, preferences, and other valuable client information. GDPR allows marketers to gather the required information instead of asking for irrelevant information.

Businesses can only use customer information in the ways it was intended.

Marketers that want to transfer or share information need consent from the users.For instance, if the RevOps teams partner with a third party to host a webinar, they need to ensure that both partners have consented to interact with them, or they should have knowledge of this partnership to comply with GDPR.

Marketers should ensure that the data stored is in a GDPR Compliant manner.

Marketers must take strategic approaches based on the data type they process to adhere to the GDPR laws. Organizations can leverage encryption, pseudonymization, or anonymization to ensure data privacy and compliance. Marketers should ensure that they have efficient tools in their MarTech stack to protect their data. Businesses must hire a data privacy or compliance officer to keep pace with evolving regulations.

How Should MarTech Evolve?

Offer a customer experience that clients want.

Gone are the days when organizations developed a list with a discreet, pre-checked box that assumed the customers intended to opt-in for the email subscriptions. Businesses to acquire new clients will have to raise the bar to develop compelling content communities that clients would like to be associated with.

Focus on engaging and retaining customers.

It can be challenging for businesses to acquire new customers, but they must have strategic plans once they onboard any customer. Marketers can benefit from creating a community rather than just jumping into sales conversations. GDPR-compliant businesses will have higher customer engagement and retention rates as they know their data is safe.

Businesses need to develop a MarTech stack with all the necessary tools that help them to acquire new customers and engage and retain them without compromising on customer experience or GDPR. The enforcement of GDPR has enabled businesses to optimize how they gather, manage and process data. However, MarTech cannot keep up with evolving GDPR laws. Marketing tech industry veterans need to explore opportunities to develop MarTech tools that help businesses to reduce fraud and increase transparency while complying with GDPR.

Nikhil Sonawane
Nikhil Sonawane
Nikhil Sonawane is a Tech Journalist with OnDot Media. He has 4+ years of technical expertise in drafting content strategies for Marketing automation, and MarTech tools. His Commitment to ongoing learning and improvement helps him to deliver thought-provoking insights and analysis on complex technologies and tools that are revolutionizing modern enterprises. He brings his eye for editorial detail and keen sense of language skills to every article he writes. If he is not working, he will be found on treks, walking in forests, or swimming in the ocean.


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