Commentary

GDPR Disconnect: 1 In 3 Know They Are Headed For Huge Fines -- Where's The Action?

The results are in, and they are pretty damning. One in four businesses report that they are not prepared for GDPR and one in three, -- yes, that's a third -- of companies are not expecting they will be compliant by May 2018 when the new law's massive fines come into being.


We'll move on to quite how alarming these DMA figures are in a moment, but first, there's a massive disconnect at play here. As Marketing Weekpoints out, awareness is improving among companies from just over a half last summer to two in three this month. At the same, marketers' own feeling of preparedness has leapt similarly from just under a half last summer to 71% today.

Also, reassuringly, just over four in five companies say they are not factoring Brexit into the equation. Put simply, they realise that GDPR is already technically the law and that its massive fines will hit from May 2018 onward, when the UK will still be a part of the EU. Plus, most companies will want to maintain EU trade links and so will want to be compliant after the UK leaves the EU, so there really is no option of not implementing GDPR and then remaining compliant in the longer term.

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Interestingly -- and not surprisingly -- nine in ten marketers reveal that email will be the channel most affected by the new law, followed by direct mail and mobile marketing. Permissions was the top concern with being GDPR-compliant for nearly three in four marketers, with profiling and legacy data coming second and third.

Another point worthy of note is that marketers are correctly identifying their next moves should be to carry out an impact assessment, give control of data back to consumers and revise their data policy. 

So it's all a little perplexing. There is a massive disconnect between knowing this is in the post, if you'll pardon the direct mail pun, and knowing what to do about it and then actually doing something about it. The really strange thing is that two in three companies know this is coming, and 71% of marketers personally feel able to cope. Yet at the same time, a quarter of companies are saying they are not currently prepared and a third reckon they will miss next May's deadline. 

There should be very loud alarm bells ringing at many companies up and down the country. OK -- so there's a year to go, but at the moment we seem to be passable on the awareness front but not doing very well on turning this awareness in to action.

The disconnect has to stop this year, because the fines in May 2018 could notch up in their millions. The warning is clear -- the disconnect has to stop soon.

1 comment about "GDPR Disconnect: 1 In 3 Know They Are Headed For Huge Fines -- Where's The Action?".
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  1. Robin Caller from LOLA GROVE, February 15, 2017 at 6:44 p.m.

    Dear Sean, 
    We're providing clear roadmaps to compliance for all our clients.  I concur that they are not yet moving as swiftly as required,  but disagree with your conclusion. 
    The slow companies will simply and more than likely just delete the data from their CRM and ecosystems,  rather than face the fines.
    Surely the more relevant point is that zero hour is here and now,  and that those who delay are simply shrinking their prospects to deal brilliantly with the future. 
    Robin 

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