Most Firms Will Not Be Ready For GDPR: Forrester

One thing is clear as marketers get ready to enter the year 2018: They’re not ready for today’s digital transformation. And they’re even less ready for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), according to "Predictions 2017—A Year of Reckoning,” a new study by Forrester.  

Forrester predicts that 80% of firms affected by the GDPR will not comply by next May.

And of those non-compliant ones, 50% will intentionally ignore the regulation. This means they have “weighed the cost and risk and are taking a path that presents the best position for their firms,” Forrester writes.

Forrester adds that the other 50% will try to comply and fail. But here’s the real problem: 

“The sleeper issue of 2018 will not be compliance but how consumer advocate groups use GDPR to prosecute their agendas by using the regulation’s ‘right to be forgotten’ clause—exhausting companies’ resources and damaging their brands,” Forrester says. 

Meanwhile, 20%% of all firms will fail to act on the ongoing digital transformation (the one that the drives targeted email), putting their firms at risk, Forrester continues.  

At the same time, intelligent agents will influence 10% of purchase decisions.

Forrester notes that “platforms and associated intelligent agents will collect preferences, behaviors, transactions, and emotions, creating a rich view of an individual.”

But 25% of brands will lack expertise in “the lingua franca of intelligent agents,” Forrester writes.

“It is one thing to be disintermediated by the platform and its associated intelligent agent; it is another to not understand or have any real influence on that relationship,” Forrester continues.

At the same time, consumers worth $24 billion in spending will use intelligent agents to escape the noise, Forrester says.

Another prediction is that the advertising market will be flat in 2018, resulting in a “painful correction.”

But companies will look at ways to spend on revitalizing their customer experience, synchronizing loyalty programs to match customer expectations and understand how to decode digital platform algorithms. In addition, they will spent on martech to deliver individualized experience at scale.

That’s critical, given that 30% of companies will “see further declines in CX quality and lose a point of growth,” Forrester states. 

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