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By Alan Coleman on 25 Apr 2018

Jaysus! GDPR is nearly here. Companies are frantically preparing for the latest EU regulation on how people's data is used. What does this all mean for digital marketing? Well, let's be honest. Most digital marketing is complete crap and GDPR is going to clean it up by making marketing permission-based. Give the video a watch then jump on over to Twitter and use #WolfgangBites to join the conversation.

Wolfgang Bites: Watch Most Marketing Is Crap - GDPR Is The Solution

Wolfgang Bites: Read Most Marketing Is Crap - GDPR Is The Solution

Oh, I feel sick, May 25th is coming. GDPR, Jesus. So I've been nauseous, anxious, just like all of you, all the digital marketers in Europe, fretting over the impending doom that is GDPR. So in the video, I'm going to talk about what does GDPR really mean for us marketers in Europe. And I believe there's some short-term pain, but long term this is a brilliant thing for marketing and a brilliant thing for marketers.

Most Marketing is Crap

First up, let's boil it right down, what is GDPR? Essentially GDPR means marketing becomes permission based. If you want to market to someone you need to get their permission. And this is beautiful because let's talk about the elephant in the room, most marketing is crap. I know this, you know this, the spam in your inbox, the trash in your newsfeed, the tripe on TV.

Most marketing is crap.

What's going to happen post-GDPR is there's going to be greater rewards for greater marketing. Brilliant. So we're really going to be motivated to up our game a number of notches, and there could be some sort of a marketing renaissance right here in Europe, as it makes this thing harder by creating great marketing experiences for people.

Another interesting outcome of GDPR is this and to explain this let me bring in my old friend, all our old friend, the digital marketers best friend, the purchase funnel. So at the moment, most advertising budgets, which make up most of the marketing budget, are aimed at the top, at the awareness and interest part of the funnel.

Now, this isn't going to be such a smart move post GDPR. Think about it, who's most likely to give you permission to market to them? Somebody who barely knows you exist, or somebody who's actually already given you their money? Of course, it's the person that's spent money with you, they're much more likely to give you permission. The other advantage you have there is that moment, the transaction itself, is probably one of your best opportunities. If you're providing a good experience around the transaction, that's when people are most likely to give you that permission.

What happens then is when marketers learn this, that there's a pot of gold at the bottom of the purchase funnel, much more budget is going to go there, and that allows us to be much more creative in how we make our existing customers love us a little bit more.

GDPR and the Two-Track Internet

Now, any of you out there who've already been running user-generated campaigns, where your ultimate goal is to generate advocacy, are probably already thinking this way. Like anyone who's run a successful user-generated campaign knows that this is the most successful marketing, they've possibly ever done. Anything your happy customers can say about you to their friends and family is worth at least 10 times more what you say about yourself on TV, in a newsfeed, or in an inbox.

marketing budgets are going to shift towards the bottom of the funnel. Great, and a great thing for customers as well, they're going to get more love. So, the last thing I think we really need to think about here is this, GDPR is creating a two-track internet. The approaches to ownership of data in Europe and in the States are actually going opposite directions right now.

So in Europe, GDPR gives ownership of data to the individual, to the person, whereas in the States, 12 months ago Mr. Trump signed into legislation, an act whereby your online data, your search history, your browsing behaviour, is owned by your internet service provider, not you.

Think about that, you don't own your search history, your browsing behaviour In theory, not in practice, but in theory, I've read that a company could actually buy data on an individual and market to them based on that. This two-tier internet is very interesting, the European digital marketers are going to have to get better at creating great experiences for the opt in, the American marketers, it just got easy for them to do even more scary targeting. So, there could be, we could be at the cusp of a renaissance in marketing, which once again will be born in Europe.

Your Email Today - Tomorrow Your Thoughts

Moving onto the future, what this means in the future, and this two track internet. So, this is the Wolfgang Bite part of the video, so this may or may not happen, this is more a bombastic prediction. But how we interface with the internet is always evolving. It used to be exclusively type, now it's increasingly talk, and a lot of people, much smarter people than me, like Elon Musk, believe the next interface is thought. Right now Elon's actually developing inserts that can go into your brain and you can think commands to your computer, which sounds pretty mental, but it just may be.

Think about that, think about which environment do you want to live in? A GDPR type Europe, where you own the data you type, the data you talk, and the data you think is yours? Or the States, where the data you type, talk, or think is owned by your internet service provider?

There's some really Orwellian thought police notions coming up with that. That's today's Wolfgang Bite on what GDPR means for marketers. I'd love to hear what you think, is all marketing crap? How will you make your customers love you a little bit more? And am I totally bonkers to be talking about thought as an interface with the internet? Let me know, send me your comments or questions, your suggestions. The hashtag is #WolfgangBites, hope to talk to you there.

Bonus: Read our key takeaways from GDPR Summit

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