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Could ePrivacy compliance help boost your sales?

12th Sep, 2023

ePrivacy is a European regulation that governs direct digital marketing like email, SMS and targeted online advertising. It is implemented in the UK through the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulation (PECR). The regulations have been around for a while and have become more important over time as digital marketing strategies become more complex.

The Talan group, of which Gemserv is part, also includes Business Data Partners, a specialist data company. Business Data Partners is currently working with a blue-chip household name brand to improve their ePrivacy compliance. In the process, their client’s marketable base has increased by 23% while decreasing the risks associated with their marketing activities. That kind of change could have a significant positive impact on sales revenues.

So, what did they do and does your organisation need to do the same things?

Understand the Rules

ePrivacy requires valid consent for most kinds of digital direct marketing. There are specific rules for different kinds of activities, such as making marketing calls, placing marketing cookies and customer privacy if you are collecting data such as location data.

If your organisation isn’t certain that your marketing team fully understands these rules and complies with them, the first step is to provide them with training. This is crucial as the ICO issues more fines for poor marketing practices than for any other category of failure.

Understand your Data

Organisations need to be able to prove that they comply with the law. This means that for each record that receives marketing communications, the organisation needs to be able to prove that it has the right kind of consent; the consent hasn’t been subsequently withdrawn; and it is still fresh enough to be valid.

In many organisations, data is accumulated over time and sometimes by acquiring or buying additional databases. It can be very complicated to prove that you have the right consents in place and that your processes all work as intended. The result is that many organisations don’t market to all their customers because they don’t have confidence that the data is accurate.

A data discovery exercise can help organisations understand how data is stored across multiple data systems, and the customer journeys that result in personal data being collected, changed and deleted.

Create your Action Plan

Once the organisation understands how much data can be relied on and used, it can start to develop an action plan. This might include addressing problematic customer journeys that result in unusable data, or carrying out re-permissioning exercises to establish whether customers want to receive marketing or not. These must be carried out with care. Companies such as FlyBe have been fined for getting these kinds of exercises wrong.

Correct your Master Data Management Strategy

When there are multiple routes for data to be collected, changed and erased, it’s vital to ensure the organisation is clear on what the master record is and how conflicting information should be handled. This is at the heart of ensuring that the data issues stay fixed.

It may seem like a daunting project to any organisation with a lot of data and a lack of confidence, but the results are so very worthwhile. Not only has Business Data Partners increased their client’s addressable market by almost a quarter, but those extra names are known to be engaged and low risk for complaints and unsubscribes. Their client knows they aren’t wasting money marketing to uninterested individuals. Complying with data protection regulations has had a positive business benefit for them – what could it do for you?


Camilla Winlo

Head of Data Privacy

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Alex Ripley

Head of Consulting, Business Data Partners

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