In our data-obsessed times, privacy is a hot topic more than ever. For companies, however, having access to customer data is essential to providing customized experiences. But where do we draw the line? What personal data can we request for marketing purposes, and how should we go about it? These and many other questions are answered in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And while the answers will significantly impact key aspects of your entire business – from IT to organizational structure – they also reveal opportunities for success.
GDPR distinguishes between three roles:
A couple of the most important changes in GDPR are:
Non-compliance to GDPR can result in fines of up to EUR 20 million or 4% of the annual turnover – whichever is higher. In short, GDPR will have a major impact on most companies. It will require them to rethink their corporate structures, customer strategies and IT architectures.
Profile stores and strategic opportunity
There is no reason to despair, because the stringent rules that come with GDPR actually offer a major opportunity as well. Most companies these days find it challenging to communicate clearly with customers. GDPR levels the playing field and offers a (relatively) simple set of rules companies can follow to clean up customer information and make it accessible. In this way, it makes it easier for businesses to cover the basics of setting up a successful omnichannel customer strategy.
A way of ensuring that customer information is up-to-date and centralized for easy access is through profile stores. In many companies, customer data is still scattered across different departments, namely sales, marketing, and customer service. This makes it difficult to be transparent about which customer data you have and how it is used, let alone ensuring customers their ‘right to be forgotten’. Profile stores, which are often cloud-based, offer not just a 360-view of the customer, but also make it easier to comply with GDPR.
The biggest risk of non-compliance with GDPR isn’t technology, however, but people. No matter how safe your system is, if employees with access (processors) don’t handle data correctly, all efforts will have been in vain. That’s why, in addition to adapting your technological architecture to the new rules, it’s also important to create awareness and provide end-user training for any new guidelines or applications.
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