Now you could be forgiven for thinking that Charlie McKelvey, editor of this time-honoured publication and disinterested arbiter of all that matters in the agency world had succumbed to gross venality in allowing me to publish, through the good offices of his mighty organ a shameless plug for a Tangible White Paper that you can download here: http://www.tangible.uk.com/relationship-marketing-white-paper-request/
In which case I forgive you. No. Hang on… I mean, in which case YOU WOULD BE WRONG.
Obviously you would be wrong because Lord Charles (as he allows his select coterie of lickspittles and toadies, among whom I am proud to find myself) recognizes (as only a man at the peak of his professional powers can) that this issue is set to be one of the most important issues – if not THE most important issue – facing those who communicate directly with customers in the decade to come.
EU Data Protection Legislation has been in draft since early 2012 and, however long the legislators take to bring it in, you can be sure that it is coming soon (latest guess? 2016? 2017? 2018?).
‘Why should that trouble me?’ you may trill with a flounce of your foulard.
Here’s why (I would etch this in stone if etching things in stone hadn’t rather gone out of fashion during the ‘election’):
ALL FORMS OF MARKETING COMMUNICATION FROM BRANDS TO A CUSTOMER WILL REQUIRE THE CUSTOMER’S EXPLICIT PERMISSION.
How do you like them apples? As I was wont to say when I worked at Felix’s Fine Fruit on Western Road.
Have a little think about it…
‘ALL FORMS’ that’s letters, emails, SMS - the works.
‘EXPLICIT PERMISSION’ and the key here is ‘explicit’ you will need to be able to prove, in every single case, that the communication you are embarking upon is going to be delivered with the absolute consent of the person you are sending it to.
Failure to comply will bring down the full rigour of the law upon your business.
Now obviously, every Tangible client is fully aware of this and has taken steps to ensure that they are already compliant.
But have you???
If you haven’t, you had better get cracking because you don’t have much time.
If you take the trouble to read the Tangible White Paper, however (downloadable FREE right here http://www.tangible.uk.com/relationship-marketing-white-paper-request/), you’ll know that it’s not all doom and (his inevitable sidekick) gloom. Asking permission to communicate with your customers can bring you a whole slew of advantages, not the least of which is the opportunity to gather data which will render the relationship you enjoy with your clients and customers deeper, richer and, most importantly, mutually beneficial. After all, we are all happy to allow Google to know every last thing about our lives because we perceive the value-exchange as a somehow tilted in our favour.
So we need to be thinking what it is that we offer
to our customers that they value - and how much
we can ask of them in return.
If you can answer those questions in a positive way, then, having set your house in order, you will be able to laugh in the face of the new, tighter regulation.
If you can’t and you haven’t, the next few months could be very interesting ones for you and your business.