A number of marketers still feel unprepared for the implementation of GDPR

Tyrone Stewart

Data privacyThe General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a European Union (EU) law which intends to strengthen data protection for all people with the EU, is set to come into force on 25 May 2018. Despite the closeness of the data, many marketers remain unprepared.

According to the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), which has more than 1,000 companies as members, overall marketers with ‘good’ GDPR awareness rose by 13 per cent to 66 per cent, but B2B marketers continued to feel unprepared when compared to a year prior. 28 per cent of B2B marketers feel unprepared – down only two per cent year-on-year – while only 15 per cent of B2C marketers felt unprepared – down from 32 per cent.

“May 2018 should be a date that is in every marketer’s diary,” said Chris Combemale, CEO of the DMA group. “It is concerning that only half of our industry feels their businesses are prepared for the new rules and not that many more believe they will be ready in time. The finish line for GDPR readiness is fixed and the risk to businesses of not being compliant is significant. Our advice is to continue preparations in earnest over the coming year. Not making it across the line in time is not an option.”

In addition to the lack of preparation, the DMA’s research found that the biggest concern about GDPR was consent, with 70 per cent of marketers stating so. Consent is followed by legacy data at 50 per cent and profiling at 37 per cent.

As a result of these concerns, the biggest priority for businesses is ‘conducting impact assessments’ – with 42 per cent of marketers ranking it on top – followed by ‘giving data subjects greater control of their data (36 per cent) and revising their data policy (31 per cent).