GDPR brings context back to the table for brands

Predictions 2018: GDPR

We’ve seen just about every conceivable angle covered on the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ahead of its enforcement date of May 2018. But, while much of the coverage has been some general approaches to getting ‘GDPR ready’, maybe it's the right time to turn to the opportunities and specific tools to ready us for this ‘brave new digital world'.

GDPR is so much more than a data ‘spring clean’ or ticking that GDPR ready box. It offers us a chance to take a step back and review all those processes and practises that underpin simple transparent collection and activation of customer data. The output of all these new processes won’t just be protection, but an entirely new set of tools and practices that help deliver more value to the end users and their interactions with your brand.

It’s time to scale back

Our scale and data has arguably been bad for both the brand and consumer. Whilst we’ve seen a greater focus on quantity over quality, there has also arguably been a failure to truly nurture those datasets we have been collecting since the outset.

As it stands, it's been estimated that only 25% of data currently meets GDPR compliance. (W8 Data). This means that 75% has been acquired outside of the terms that reflect a fully informed, full ‘opted-in’ user. Or put another way, a large chunk of these users probably don't even know they are featured in a brand's little black book of contacts in the first place.

Let’s get relevant

Now that brands are asking something more of their contacts, in turn those contacts should be asking what it is they're getting in return. Brands should therefore be asking ourselves “what are we doing to really create an opportunity to be having the right conversations with the right people?” Because ultimately, if you’re not delivering relevant content in the right moment, are you really offering value?

So maybe we need to look past our little black books and instead focus on how we’re driving value and engaged audiences first and foremost. Get this right and opted-in audiences follow.

Combine the power of context with cookies

Relevance is determined by right time, right place, right content - or simply put, context.

Context, or marrying the right ads to the right content in real-time ensures a brand can drop in when it matters, with an audience it will resonate with. Context takes us from a cookie reliant world of engagement, based on yesterday's behaviours to a model that is based on the now. And of course because it's based on content in real-time, it does not rely on cookies, adhering to GDPR guidelines.

Exploit your 1st party data

Adding a contextual provider such as Grapeshot across your own 1st party data brings more relevant context in real-time to audiences you already engage with. This in turn lays the foundation for creating value and relevance. Contextual relevance sets you on the road to converting your potential and current customers to engaged audiences and ultimately opt-ins.

The old models of targeting and data acquisition are on their way out - and if retargeting methodologies were one of the tools that got us into this GDPR spin, contextual targeting technology that drives real relevance will be the one to get us out.

GDPR is an opportunity to refocus brands on nurturing the users they have (and creating value for new ones). At every single turn, touch-point and engagement is an opportunity to add value. Say goodbye to building the biggest database possible – now’s the time to engaged customers with content that is “relevant” and “in-the-moment”.

Mike Hemmings, Marketing Director EMEA, Grapeshot.

Join Grapeshot at The Drum's Predictions breakfast on Thursday, 25 Jan.

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