Thursday 11th January 2018

So what’s going to happen in 2018? It’s very early in the year, but people are already starting to predict the next 12 months for us. Here are some of the latest bets that seems to be tickling the fancy of some punters…

• Trump to be impeached – evens with plenty of bookmakers
• Third Royal Grandchild most likely to be called Arthur or Alice – around 6/1 up to 8/1
• Kane to be Sports Personality – around 7/1

Odds of course are an example and correct at time of printing, Databroker certainly don’t encourage gambling! In the data industry I’d be betting on one four letter acronym dominating the schedules throughout the year! It almost seems a relief to many that we’re finally at the point where GDPR will come into effect, so long have been the legal wrangling’s, edits and date changes. If you haven’t yet started planning for the impact of GDPR from May this year, stop reading this blog now, close this window and redirect to the ICO or DMA websites – good place to start. Oh and act fast!

Fortunately most of you are still reading, because like Databroker you plan in advance for legislation change! The first thing to remember is that it is not yet May, the nights are still long, the weather is cold, wet and miserable and trees don’t have new growth. So that means you have time to increase the volumes of correctly permissioned data within your CRMs. The big brands are already doing this (in fact they’ve been doing it for ages). The data industry is busy because companies are boosting their marketing campaigns to ensure they get as much permissioned data as possible pre-May.

Secondly, get your own house in order. We speak to companies like yourselves all the time who acknowledge that their in-house data is in a state – previously too many people have overlooked this, but you can’t, because of old Mr GDPR. Where have you been for the last 12 months? Within all good GDPR plans is a clear pathway for improving, permissioning and augmenting your existing data. You’re a Nokia 3210 in an iPhone world if your existing client database is an amalgamation of spreadsheets on individual PCs, let alone an incident waiting to happen!

For too long now, our industry has been blighted by a small number of non-compliant operators hiding behind outdated regulations or overseas premises. GDPR will bring many changes, not everyone will agree with every change, not everyone votes for the same political party, not everyone drinks the same brand of lager! The majority of changes are logical and fair. Everyone in the chain has a responsibility to ethically and legally source, store and use data – no hiding in the Cayman Islands now. And the good news is – those that flaunt the rules get heavily fined.

Big regulation change brings with it a pivotal year for our industry. Companies who’ve spent the last 24 months planning sensibly, in line with the new regulations, will grow; marketing lists will actually become more reactive and their customers will receive more pertinent communications to suit their needs. Conversely, the sharks will suffer, no-one will trust companies that cannot comply, the ICO are unlikely to spare them and the press are bound to ensure that they’re named and shamed to consumers.

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