How Will GDPR Affect The Mobile Marketing World?


If you’re in marketing, you’ve probably heard rumblings about Europe’s new data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. It’s the largest data privacy law passed to date, and it likely impacts your company.

The new law gives consumers more power over the data they share and forces marketers – including those in the mobile marketing world – to make big changes to comply. To help, here’s a primer on GDPR and what you should do to prepare.

What is GDPR?

Responding to fears of data breaches, identity theft and the increasing role digital data plays in our world, authorities in the European Union created a law to protect consumer data.

The new law requires companies to safeguard customer data and changes the way companies collect, store and use it. It also forces companies to be transparent about how they use customer information. In addition, it gives individuals the right to access and control how their data is used by companies. It takes effect on May 25, 2018.

How does GDPR affect mobile marketing?

Any company that uses personal data from a citizen in any of the 28 countries that make up the European Union is affected by this change. If you’re in the mobile marketing industry, you likely have a global audience that includes at least a handful of customers from this area, and that means the new law applies to you.

You can create a separate marketing plan to manage data from EU contacts, but most companies are choosing to bring their entire mobile marketing plan into compliance. Why? For starters, it’s confusing to treat customers differently based on where they live. Additionally, most experts believe more stringent data regulations are inevitable, so bringing all data protocols into compliance now makes sense.

What changes will mobile marketers have to make?

To be GDPR compliant, mobile marketers need to change their procedures and marketing tactics. Here’s a look at specific changes you will have to make:

• Strengthen your opt-in process: Most mobile marketers have an opt-in process. If you’re asking customers to allow push notifications within an app, for example, you probably already ask customers to opt in. That’s a great start, but GDPR makes you go a bit further. For starters, users must actively and voluntary consent to receive your messages. A pre-checked box doesn’t work because it doesn’t show active, voluntary consent. In addition, you have to explain how you’ll use a customer’s information before they give consent. Do you plan to market products or services to customers via email or text? You have to create a data use policy and share it with customers before they give consent so you’re 100% transparent about data use.

 Understand that consent for a specific asset doesn’t imply blanket consent: If a customer gives you their email address to gain access to something specific, like a white paper or to attend a webinar, that doesn’t mean you can add that person’s contact information to your master list. Display your privacy policy wherever you take users’ personal info to make your website GDPR compliant. If you want to add a customer’s name to your master list when they access a specific product, you have to tell them. Again, you have to explain how data will be used when a person gives consent.

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