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Disrupting Disruptive Disruption

More often than not, disruption, in the negative context rather than the hipster “that industry is ripe for…” context, in the technology industry is caused by a change of legislation, and we have all been talking about GDPR now for months.

I first heard about the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation back in February on discovering that one of the larger charities we work with would need to change the way in which they stored, handled and behaved with the data of their 3m members. Natural reaction from IT, Marketing and Digital Departments was fear and intrepidation; natural reaction from the Chiefs…how much is this going to cost?

Now let’s turn to the hipster, bearded, innately positive context of disruption and challenge the common beliefs around {insert appropriate legislation acronym here}.

Any major, enforced reworking of content, data, brand structure or terms of business can be spun positively, and having worked across industry verticals for many years, I believe it comes down perception, or indeed, how you perceive and harness the outcomes of such a change.

The implied volume of toil and restructure invoked by the GDPR changes is, for some, exactly that – a lot of work, a lot of time and yes, a lot of money. For Retailers, Charities,  Enterprise, Public Organisations, you name it, they all have to address the way in which they handle and store the personal, locational and communicational data of their members / users / customers / pets of their customers (Pets at Home have the microchip number of my cat, Calico, and my address, and whilst I appreciate the points they send me, I would really not appreciate Calico’s eating habits being exposed to the hacking community…so to get in there first, it’s all about the Dreamies!).

So how about we use it to our benefit and start telling our customers and clients the steps we will be taking to ensure we are compliant, and the positive impact it will have? I for one am looking forward to the added weight behind the right to be forgotten, and marketing departments should be addressing this in their positive positioning, and whilst Mailstrom has my inbox under control, please start telling me how you no longer capture my email addresses for frivolous reasons.

Case in point, for any membership organisation or trade association GDPR heralds the most opportune of moments to reach out to the membership body and present candidly and accountably the ways and means by which you intend to bolster and fortify the way in which their data is stored. For organisations where a membership of an individual or business is their life blood, take the new regulations by the horns and show the World how best practice is best done!

GDPR is not a bad thing. It requires work and it is a challenge but most of all, it is the latest and greatest of opportunities for the marketeers, the DBAs, the security consultants et al to spin an otherwise vilified scenario in to something positive and constructive for their business, whilst at the same time, contributing to the public good.


Further Reading

For the financial trade association GDPR is the next in a long line of data compliance regulations. Read more about how our trade association CRM manages data in our project summary for PIMFA.


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