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By now a million words have been written about the impact of the forthcoming GDPR regulations which clear 25th May 2018

Well, I’m adding 500 words to that soup. Sort of.

I’m not going to dwell on the fact that according to the DMA only 54% of businesses say they are on course to be ready for GDPR, or that failure to comply with the new regulations could lead to a fine of 4% of global annual turnover. We can all recite those stats in our sleep by now.

What I am going to dwell on is the new approach businesses will have adopt - and the opportunities that brings.

If the new regulations had to be encapsulated in a single quote, it would be:

"Consent must be freely given, specific, informed, unambiguous, unbundled and granular. This does not include silence, pre-ticked boxes or inactivity."

In other words, consumers are going to have to really want to share their data with you before you can legally collect it.

This of course has repercussions for traditional marketers, but it could also prove a challenge to digital display campaigns – collection of ad-targeting data will have to be agreed to by consumers who are already weary of perceived intrusions on their privacy.

Whereas Google and Facebook users will continue to sign their data away in exchange for access to the platforms, publishers may have a harder time collecting consent. 

This could point to a further boom in native advertising (which grew 28% last year alone according to the IAB) as brands struggle to stay on-screen without relying on personalised data.  

Content marketing may also see further growth – especially from Direct Response brands, who will have to offer more of value for people to willingly submit their data.

One way to do this is by offering content that is emotive, useful or entertaining – your marketing is going to have to be good enough that people actively want to hear from you.

Offers, competitions and giveaways are all simple mechanisms to obtain consent, but a longer-term strategy must also be in place.

Luckily, it’s rare that a business doesn’t have something genuinely engaging to offer consumers: charities can tell emotive stories, financial brands can offer help and advice, tech brands can cast an eye to the future, fast food brands can even bring the laughs, as Chipotle have done with Farmed and Dangerous in the States.

As long as brands can harness their authentic, helpful voice and use that to create content which genuinely engages consumers, they have a route to pull consumers in and offer something worthwhile for their data – from technical whitepapers to heartwarming videos.

So use GDPR as an opportunity to take stock, get your compliance strategy in place (something Response One can help with), and devote some time to thinking about how your content can be happily exchanged for consent.