In the run-up to the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) implementation, a study predicted that the legislation was set to render 75% of UK marketing data obsolete (Campaign Live, 2017). While it’s hard to substantiate this entirely, some evidence would suggest the impact was certainly significant. Information management firm Iron Mountain was left with just 8% of its database after compliance steps were followed (Demand Gen Report, 2018).
Pub chain Wetherspoons deleted its entire email database.
GDPR has forced organisations to think smarter when engaging its database. The rebuild job is in full flow and the power is very firmly with the recipient. While content is a valuable tool in this process, so too is strategic and structured planning.
If managing and nurturing a badly weathered database is on your radar, take note of these five ways you could be more effective. After all the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data, according to The Economist.
1. DIG DEEPER
In the run up to GDPR’s implementation, inboxes were unsurprisingly full of emails from companies requesting that their database updated their preferences to ensure they had a compliant opt-in. For those who did subscribe, the question organisations should be asking themselves is: Why did they do that? Conducting research to understand what they engage with and find valuable is the first step in treating your database as more than just a list of email addresses.
2. BE DISCIPLINED
Often, content creation is less of a challenge. In fact, getting stakeholders within the business to buy in to the concept of database strategy can be the real barrier. Your audience will respond well to consistent contact as well as valuable content. Creating a schedule of content that flows with corporate objectives is a good way to ensure a strategy has momentum and staying power. Consider the negative impact of a one-time communication to your audience and look to build a framework that individuals can begin to expect and trust.
3. ADD VALUE, BUILD LOYALTY
Organisations must consider what they can offer subscribers in return for their commitment. Thought-leading, hard-hitting, high-quality content that truly resonates can help add genuine value to your relationship. By sharing industry-leading insights, businesses can establish themselves as the ones in the know, and they become the go-to for all the latest news and insights. Leverage your knowledge and position, who within your company has a wealth of knowledge that could be used as bait to attract and engage?
4. LOOK FORWARD WITH ANALYTICS
There are many platforms out there designed to make delivering and measuring the success of your content marketing easier, including Campaign Monitor for email marketing and Hootsuite for social media. These platforms offer automation in the first instance, but moreover they enable a clear insight into the success of campaigns, which enables you to fuel future projects with the content that works. Don’t waste time guessing, use analytics to understand your database and build stronger campaigns each time.
5. JAB, JAB, JAB
Marketing guru Gary Vaynerchuk talks about a jab v right hook approach to marketing and it works well here too. With simple segmentation exercises you can start to work out where in the sales cycle people are within your database, then create the content that will have the highest impact with the right audience. Those who might not be ready to buy will need to be put into a nurture programme where you can continually jab to stay front of mind. Content marketing has six times the power of traditional marketing for converting people into leads and leads into consumer (Content Marketing Institute, 2017), but databases are complex and varied, so consider how you can approach different people with different messages.