The Long Arm Of The Law: New Privacy Rules Have The Most Impact On Email

Email is the channel most affected by privacy regulations, according to Merkle’s Q2 2020 Customer Engagement Report.

Among marketers surveyed, 19% cite email as the medium most impacted by recent laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and GDPR. Digital marketing is listed by 18%. And these channels are way out in front. 

Websites, call centers and direct mail are next on the list. Point-of-sale (POS) is the least affected. 

At the same time, 92% of marketers are confident in their ability to comply with new regulations and 67% say recent privacy regulations positively affect marketing.

Merkle contends that companies need these compliance capabilities (we quote):

Data partners with a broad and deep knowledge of the privacy landscape.

The ability to inventory and categorize data, based on the compliance rules that apply to it, its source, and other factors. That may include multiple regulations.

A customer lookup utility that enables access and retrieval of data — quickly, easily, and in a decipherable format — when required by the legislation.



Routing and archival of subject access requests, enabling detailed historical information and archival to track what was done with the data and prevent the action from being overwritten or undone.

A deletion utility that enables the complete and swift removal of affected data to comply with the regulation.

Of the firms polled, 70% utilize a marketing service provider to help them comply with privacy regulations, 53% employ legal support and 46% get help from a consultancy.

Granted, this survey is more about agile marketing adoption than it is about privacy.

The terms need to be understood. Agile computing has been around for at least 20 years.

What Merkle is talking about is agile marketing. Merkle says Agile Marketing is:

  1. Data driven — validated learnings vs. opinions and ‘best practices.”
  2. Relevant: individuals and interactions over one size fits all.
  3. Nimble: Rapid iterations over big-bang campaigns.
  4. Exploratory: Many small experiments over a few large bets.
  5. Adaptive: Responding to change over following a plan.
  6. Integrated: Collaboration over silos and hierarchy. 

Of the companies surveyed, 85% plan on increasing their use of agile marketing, and 57% have formal plans to do so in the next year.

What keeps brands from deploying agile marketing?

  • Lack of expertise — 39%
  • Concerns about disruption to business — 33%
  • Lack of executive support — 33%
  • Lack of support rom other teams — 30%
  • Team stretched too thin to try new approach — 30%
  • Benefits unclear— 28%
  • Do not see the need —12%

The study was conducted by Ugam, a Merkle company, in February. The firm surveyed 400 marketers at major US and UK brands.

Next story loading loading..