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I need to get this off my chest…

I need to get this off my chest… I’m as bored as you are.  I’ve got a to-do-list as long as my arm, and I don’t want to hear any more about GDPR for a while!  But I’ve got to get this off my chest… I want to clear up some of the nonsense which some people are saying about GDPR! So, if you’ll indulge me for a minute or so, here we go… Firstly, I’m totally on board with the intentions behind GDPR (although I feel like I'm swearing when I say those 4 letters)... but I hate all the scaremongering which has come from certain groups of people.  As a result of all this scaremongering, a lot of people’s decisions are being based on fear and misunderstanding. Here’s the truth behind the lies… every business owner has the legal right to run their business.  In fact, it’s a legal duty to act in the best interests of your business and – for most of us – that involves Marketing & Business Development.  Scaremongerers would have you believe that GDPR means you can no longer target prospects through email, direct mail, and telemarketing.  Simply. Not. True. Here comes the boring bit, but it’s important… There are 6 Lawful Bases under which companies can hold and process personal data.  Of those 6, the Legal Basis which gives Marketing the most flexibility is called Legitimate Interest.  For those who have been misled by scaremongerers, here’s my simplified explanation of Legitimate Interest, particularly in relation to Marketing & Business Development. 1)     Purpose… what are your business objectives? Example… you want to generate new clients, provide a high quality product/service to your marketplace, provide employment, grow the business and ensure the business is profitable.  I think it’s fair to say these are reasonable objectives! 2)     Necessity… does the Marketing activity you’re doing support those business objectives? Example… You’re targeting the right companies & job titles, and you’re targeting them in such a way that is appropriate and reasonable.  Basically, your database hasn't come off the back of the proverbial lorry and you’re not harassing people! 3)     Balancing… is there a conflict between your objectives and the individuals’ rights? Example… if someone has previously asked you to NOT contact them, you respect their request and make sure they are removed from the marketing database.  But you’re already doing that… right?! Boring bit over. So, GDPR doesn’t mean you can’t do Marketing, it just means you have to do it properly.  Is that such a bad thing… I’ll add that no system is perfect; no plan is infallible.  From time to time mistakes will happen and lessons will be learned, but GDPR won’t be used to shut companies down the minute they make a ‘mistake’.  Take appropriate measures to ensure that the data you hold is safe and secure, and use your data responsibly.  If we can all do that, my guess is we’ll be fine. Rant over, back to my to-do-list… and guess what’s on the agenda for today… Marketing. Thanks, Luke PS, sorry for swearing.

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February 14, 2020