Leaders And Losers: How Emailers Have Prepped For GDPR

GDPR is driving many firms to change or upgrade their email marketing systems — but not to go much further, according to GDPR: Impact and Opportunities, a study by the CMO Council in partnership with SAP Customer Experience.

The CMO Council surveyed 227 senior marketing executives to assess their readiness for GDPR. Of that group, 27/% expect to upgrade their email marketing platform, 42% to modify it and 2% to replace it. But 29% anticipate no change.

In addition, 10% plan to upgrade their newsletter platforms, 42% to modify them and 5% to replace them, with 43% expecting no alteration.

Vendors, take note: the most likely platforms to be replaced have to do with third-party data — cited by 9%. And 8% will put in a new data management platform.

Asked which data they think they can use freely under GDPR, 48% cite email address. However, 54% believe that is about behavioral data, 51% about third-party data. In addition, 31% say home address, and 24% IP address.



In addition, 30% believe GDPR will affect the ability to obtain consent. But 25% say that it won’t.

According to the study, there are two classes of marketers: leaders and laggards. 

The laggards feel that no changes would be made to platforms supporting data management, email marketing, customer experience, customer identity, governance, compliance and data security.

The leaders see GDPR as:

A responsibility to better protect customer data

A change to build customer trust and loyalty

An opportunity to provide better customer experiences

A call to action ot overhaul organizational perspectives on customer data 

In contrast, Laggards see GDPR as “an EU issue that doesn’t impact our business,” and as “an overwhelming burden that we don’t know how to tackle.” However, they agree that it presents a responsibility to better protect customer data.

That said, 20% believe that GDPR will make personalization more difficult, and 19% foresee a limiting of the frequency of touchpoints.

Who owns GDPR compliance? Leaders say that it belongs to cross-functional teams. However, laggard are more likely to pin it on the chief information officer.

Leaders are also much more likely to get more out of their data audits — namely, knowing where they stand in compliance. In addition, audits can “touch, shift and impact plans from market growth and acceleration all the way down to a simple email campaign to engage and communicate with customers,” the study notes.


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