“GDPR Will Crash Your Entire Marketing Plan”: Fears, Realities & Choosing the Right Partners

Brent Boswell
Brent Boswell

Managing Director, EMEA

GDPR

Of course the first part of that statement isn’t true. With GDPR implementation slated for May 2018, not surprisingly, some out there are flooding e-mail boxes trying to capitalize on the uncertainties.  But though GDPR is a big deal for sure – the reality for B2B marketers is nowhere near the marketing Armageddon these communications might suggest. That said, it’s certainly important for you to work with marketing partners who have a good understanding of the evolving regulatory environment and are well set up to handle it.  And at this point, it makes sense to cut through the hyperbole to separate what’s reality from what’s still under discussion.

At TechTarget, we welcome GDPR because, by the time of its implementation next May, it will create a more uniform and clear environment for tech marketers.  When you do business with TechTarget, you’re working with a publicly held company with an 18 year operating history built upon informed consent-based relationships with technology and business professionals who rely on our content to do their jobs. Our marketers and legal team have worked through data issues globally including CAN SPAM in the US, CASL in Canada, double-opt-in for German citizens, and self-certification to the E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield Framework.

What you need to know about GDPR

From our close review, there are a few important items to know about GDPR as it stands right now:

  • GDPR requires that you have a “lawful basis” for processing personal information, which includes corporate email addresses and contact info.  User consent is one lawful basis, and it’s certainly the most conservative approach.  There are others applying to direct marketing, like “legitimate interests,” that still await full explanation in the regulatory guidance that isn’t expected until closer to GDPR implementation next year.
  • GDPR creates obligations to the “user” whose information is being processed – like the ability to understand what is being done with their information, the right to object to automated decision making, the right to data portability and the right for them to be “forgotten.” It also creates obligations for companies that hold such personal information regarding their internal processes and infrastructure. TechTarget is prepared:  we track the source of a user’s consent and can supply this to a user if requested.
  • Based on the in-progress review and legislative process of the ePrivacy Directive from the EU Commission, there is a possibility that B2B marketing will retain a less stringent set of requirements than consumer-focused marketing. The process still has a long way to go yet – it won’t resolve itself fully until much closer to the May 2018 GDPR implementation date.

GDPR: Choosing the right partner

Regardless of any twists and turns between now and next May, we’re confident that TechTarget is a safe, trust-worthy choice as a marketing outreach partner for good reason:   Our users visit our websites and provide consent to information processing because they are researching important technology purchases.  They want content from us and from our vendor-customers whose products and services they are investigating.  We’re 100% transparent about where our users are coming from and how we use their information.  Our systems and processes have been designed and built in support of such standards as are envisioned for GDPR.

As you assess your vendor relationships in light of GDPR, it’s worth considering how each one of your providers can address your concerns. We take our data privacy compliance obligations seriously and therefore continuously monitor, evaluate and adjust to the ever-changing regulatory landscape.  GDPR is no different. Do you have questions or concerns about GDPR?  Let your TechTarget account manager know the specifics and they can put you in touch with the right people here for a detailed discussion.

customer data management, data management, GDPR

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