Consider this ....
Jenna walked up to a bakery and asked for a doughnut.
Jenna’s parcel had a doughnut and a free pastry with a note that said, ‘we thought you might like it.’
From there on Jenna gets a different dessert delivered to her address with its recipe, every week.
Later, she starts getting not only desserts but also the recipes printed on beautiful brochures. Oh, along with a quarterly newsletter and an annual coffee table book made way to her home.
Soon Jenna’s mailbox was full of junk that she didn’t opt for and had no idea where to unsubscribe from. See how good intentions can lead to a crappy customer experience?
So what's gone wrong?
In the current day and age, targeting has been misused in the digital arena. We all have been victims of retargeted ads based on what we clicked and email campaigns that we didn’t sign up for. Companies have invested heavily in data collection and frequently indulge in data swapping/ buying to reach newer audiences. Consumers have been at the receiving end of cold mailing and spamming for lead generation by organisations
The new GDPR i.e. General Data Protection Regulation, passed by EU tries to put an end to these malpractices and establish a culture that keeps the interests of consumers first. The new regulation is centred around consent of the user that must be ‘freely given, specific, informed and unambiguous.’
As more people get access to connectivity and log onto the web, companies have a growing audience that views and scrutinises them. No longer are they confined to addressing only ‘customers’ who would be interested in their product or/and service. They have to cater to an ‘audience’ that seeks shared values or/and experiences. This group is much more powerful and emotionally involved than mere customers for the company. It becomes crucial for marketers to understand this audience and talk to them. Outgoing content must meet the specific needs and pain points of these people.
What does GDPR mean for marketing?
In the backdrop of GDPR, companies too need to have a paradigm shift in the way they conduct business. For marketers, it’s a brilliant opportunity to redesign their strategy and shift from aggressive outbound marketing to generating inward website traffic. Their content needs to be high quality and persuasive that can build a case for itself. The user should be intrigued to know more about the company and what it has to offer. The content should be influential enough for him/her to willingly subscribe for it.
Content Marketing would now value quality over quantity where users will seek substance in every piece of content. For marketers, this poses a challenge of not only producing engaging content but also having an authoritative voice (i.e. of opinion makers and thought leaders) adding weight to it. The idea is to offer real value for the user’s time and attention.
Whitepapers, reports, guides, factsheets and e-books would play a pivotal role to attract subscribers who consent for email marketing. Social media pages can be leveraged for drawing traffic to the website by posting attractive content reaching the user on his/her newsfeed.
In the backdrop of the recently enforced GDPR, vistas have opened up for content marketers. It’s a brilliant opportunity to unlearn the traditional knowledge and formulae of marketing. It’s time to think of all possible ways in which we can tell ‘Jenna’ about everything that our proverbial confectionery sells, apart from the doughnut she bought!
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