How Marketing Automation Aids GDPR Compliance

By Marianne Chrisos - Published on May 27, 2019
How Marketing Automation Aids GDPR Compliance

Marketing is essential to business – in order to convert customers, it’s important to share your brand messaging. But businesses also need to respect their customers’ privacy. Marketing often requires that businesses reach out to their potential consumers using personal information like address, email, or other identifying details, so businesses need to be diligent of privacy in their customer information.

GDPR works as a privacy safeguard for consumers. Marketing automation can be a useful tool in helping businesses increase their GDPR compliance and ensure customer privacy.

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation is an important tool in modern marketing. It helps create more effective, more targeted marketing that can reach the right audiences with the right messages at the right time. Software platforms with built-in automation tools help create effective marketing campaigns that grow brand awareness for businesses. Marketo, a popular marketing automation platform, defines automation as what “enables business processes that are essential to any modern marketing department. For B2B companies, this includes lead nurturing, lead scoring, and lead lifecycle management. For B2C companies, it includes cross-sell, up-sell, and customer loyalty. And for all companies, it includes marketing ROI analytics.”

All in all, marketing automation is a tool that connects business messaging to customers and then helps to gather information about audience engagement to optimize communication efforts.

What is GDPR compliance?

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation – the core of Europe’s digital privacy legislation that went into effect in 2018. ZDNet defines it at, “a new set of rules designed to give EU citizens more control over their personal data. It aims to simplify the regulatory environment for business so both citizens and businesses in the European Union can fully benefit from the digital economy. The reforms…bring laws, and obligations – including those around personal data, privacy, and consent – across Europe up to speed for the internet-connected age…almost every service we use involves the collection and analysis of our personal data. Your name, address, credit card number and more all collected, analyzed and, perhaps most importantly, stored by organizations…Under the terms of GDPR, not only do organisations have to ensure that personal data is gathered legally and under strict conditions, but those who collect and manage it are obliged to protect it from misuse and exploitation, as well as to respect the rights of data owners – or face penalties for not doing so.”

This means that all companies that do in business in the European Union are under the obligation to legally collect and safely store data.

How does marketing automation help your GDPR compliance?

1. Setting prospect and customer permission levels

If a customer to has agreed to communication from a brand, marketing automation gives customers a way to revoke their permission at any time.

2. Allowing customers to manage their communication and information shared with them

Marketing automation allows customers who are opted into marketing communications to manage what they want to receive – which emails, texts, calls, and other methods that a company might use to contact a customer.

3. Keeping track of information

Part of GDPR compliance rules include marketers being able to justify why they’ve collected information they’ve collected. Marketing automation allows better, cleaner databases of customer information that marketers have an easier time analyzing to ensure compliance.

GDPR plays an important part in protecting privacy – and it’s necessary for businesses to pay close attention to their compliance to ensure they don’t rack up fines and create customer trust issues. Marketing automation tools work with businesses to not just create more effective messaging and customer communication, but more also effective compliance, helping the business protect itself and its customers.


Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, digital marketing, and content strategy.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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