GDPR, the EU’s Global Data Privacy Regulation, took effect at midnight Brussels time today.
In its Winners & Losers article, which I encourage you to read in full, Digiday comments “Bluntly speaking, any business that doesn’t have a direct relationship with users is in for a difficult time,” and goes on to note subscription-focused publishers as one of the GDPR “winners.”
My 2 cents: Moving forward, every publisher, every brand needs to think like a subscription-focused business.
The game is no longer JUST about acquisition or impressions at scale. Audience targeting is about to undergo a major sea change as available inventory shrinks and costs to produce it increase.
Customer loyalty and customer permission are the long-term keys to success in a post-GDPR world. To get and keep them, we need to deliver a stellar experience for customers. This means:
- building a well-loved, well-known brand;
- creating excellent, well-organized content ecosystems that incorporate all the touchpoints consumers have with our brands;
- delivering a quality personalized environment for customers/readers/viewers;
- leveraging customers’ passion for the brand or content by engaging them in the content. Influencer marketing for sure, but also community forums, face-to-face events, private chats.
Remember: consumers like it when content and experiences are tailored to them. Even ads. But they need to be truly tailored to their preferences. No one likes to be stalked by shoe ads just because they looked at the shoes once and their income level matches the advertiser target.
A final note: GDPR is often compared to Y2K in terms of the scope of effort required to comply, and on some levels, this is true. However, Y2K did have an end point. Either your systems fell apart on January 1, 2000 or shortly thereafter, or they didn’t. GDPR on the other hand is far from over. This is just the beginning of a new media environment.
Fasten your seatbelts.