Wise Up Wednesday: Don’t Be Scared Of The GDPR… (Part 1)

Usually, your Wise Up Wednesday e-mail concerns itself with contractual matters, but occasionally, I like to look at other topical matters going on in and around the Construction industry.

Unless you’ve been living on the moon for the last couple of months, you will have surely heard about GDPR and how it will affect businesses and their marketing.

And you might have been fed a lot of BS about it too!

GDPR, or to give it its full title, the General Data Protection Regulation, is bringing major changes to how businesses collect and use data on a daily basis.

Don’t Be Scared of GDPR

With just over three weeks until the 25th May 2018 when GDPR comes into force there seems to be so much scaremongering, that it reminds me of the so called *Millennium Bug if you remember that.

The main issues of GDPR are about transparency, security and how you obtain, record and use data.

Much of what I’ve read about GDPR ‘bundles’ business-to-business (B2B) with consumer data as a single entity and it shouldn’t. They are two different things.

GDPR does apply to businesses, but some important parts, in particular how you use the data for marketing, do not.

Here are some common myths surrounding the use of data for business to business marketing:

Myth 1. I need to wait until GDPR is finalised on 25th May 2018 

No, you don’t. GDPR has already been finalised and the law for nearly 23 months. It comes into direct force on 25th May 2018 when everyone has to comply.

Guidance on how to comply has been coming out from the Information Commissioner’s Office on all aspects of the legislation, so that businesses know how to implement the changes necessary.

What you must do is ensure that you  keep proper records which show how much data you hold, how it is stored, what you use it for and that you have systems in place to release or dispose of data records if a ‘subject’ (the person an individual piece of data relates to) asks you to do so.

Myth 2. I need to gain consent for telemarketing campaigns

You do not need to gain consent. You can use ‘legitimate interests’ for telephone marketing, but you must screen telephone numbers against the Telephone Preference Service and Corporate Telephone Preference Service registers every 28 days.

Marketing can be described as a legitimate interest, as you provide a product or service that can benefit a customer.

If the business you wish to phone is not registered to either body, then you are free to call them. They can at any point make a direct request to you not to call them again, which you must respect, by adding their name to your own internal ‘do not call’ list.

Myth 3. I need to gain consent for email marketing

Not when emailing a corporate business.

GDPR will apply (to the processing of personal data in a general sense), but email marketing is governed by the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR).

In a B2B environment, there is an exemption under PECR for employees of “corporates”, and you can use legitimate interests to send a marketing email to these individuals without their prior consent.

A corporate is defined as a limited company, public limited company, limited liability partnership or government department.

When e-mailing a corporate business, you must:

a) give them the option to easily unsubscribe from receiving further communications

b) the product or service being promoted must be able to be purchased by the recipient in a professional capacity and

c) you must identify yourself as the sender and provide contact details.

In construction, as in many other areas of business, people are generally happy to receive postal or e-mail marketing if it is relevant to them and particularly, if they might gain benefit from it.

Need Some Advice?

So there you have it. Don’t be afraid of GDPR but make sure you comply.

And with the right assistance and application of the right principles at the appropriate time, you can even use your competitor’s fear of GDPR to your advantage, by getting smarter at marketing. Especially email marketing.

Without the right support and advice you could be wasting a lot of money or missing out on really great opportunities.

I have been assisting Specialist Contractors just like you, for the last 28 years, and Streetwisesubbie.com and our Consultants have been providing services to improve the lives of our Buddies (members) for the last 10 years. We have some really clever tricks up our sleeve on marketing, so why not come and talk to us?

We are pretty confident that we can help you, so please feel free to call any time. Initial advice is free, subject to you meeting certain criteria.

Thanks and best regards



P.S. Please remember that we are here to provide solutions exclusively for Subcontractors. If you want access to professional solutions that work, then please give us a call on 01773 712116, or email info@streetwisesubbie.com today.

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