The General Data Protection Regulation comes into force on 25th May and presents one of the most challenging overhauls that many marketers will have ever faced. Nowhere is that truer than in small businesses.
The ICO’s National Radio Campaign
The Information Commissioner’s Office recently launched a National radio campaign aimed primarily at small businesses. The ICO’s radio campaign called “Making data protection your business”, tells people about the GDPR, what it means and who it applies to, including small businesses. It explains that businesses need to protect the personal data that they hold, which may belong to customers, suppliers, employees and others. If the data is lost, hacked or misused, then innocent parties may suffer and the business may face harsh penalties under the new legislation.
Research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) suggests most SME’s are cutting it fine when it comes to meeting the deadline. In late February 2018, it found 90% of small firms were still not fully prepared, while a third hadn’t even begun preparing and 35% were only in the very early stages.
Mike Cherry, FSB national chairman, said: “The GDPR is the biggest shake-up in data protection to date and many small businesses will be concerned that the changes will be too much to handle. It’s clear that a large part of the small business community is still unaware of the steps that they need to take to comply and may be left playing catch-up.”
The Blind Leading The Blind
Many SMEs will be relying on partners such as trade or professional associations, agencies and law firms for GDPR guidance. However, many of these organisations are faced with the same predicament, often being cast as “the blind leading the blind”. Even the Information Commissioner’s Office are unable to provide hands on guidance, instead issuing a series of factsheets and templates that pass the responsibility for compliance back to the small business.
While many SMEs are finding that outsourcing or at least relying on external expertise is the kick-start needed to get the compliance train rolling, it’s clear that someone internally has to take ownership of compliance – as well as bringing the rest of the organisation with them.
There are massive benefits to be gained through cleaning up databases, deleting unused and outdated information, along with recognising where sensitive data resides within the business and how that data should be protected. From a marketing viewpoint, firms will become more efficient by not spending effort in sending massive email blasts or following up lines of enquiry that have no chance of success. Better yet to devise a focused and targeted sales campaign based upon screened data and engaging directly with genuine prospects.
Jeremy Martin, Director at GDPR Analytics Ltd states that “the fines are the stick but the carrot is that databases become more focused, contacts that want to receive messaging get it and there’s real value in giving customers what they actually want.”
Eventura – Helping your business comply with GDPR
Recognising that many SME’s are unprepared for GDPR, Eventura personnel have undertaken focused training and gained GDPR qualifications in order to provide expert support and advice to its clients.
One of the tools used by Eventura is the GDPR Data Mapper – a low cost, easy to use app that has been thoughtfully designed by data security experts to help small businesses to understand, manage and report upon the way in which personal data flows into, through and out of their business, which are the initial, important steps towards GDPR compliance.
Eventura has teamed up with GDPR Analytics Ltd, publishers of the app, agreeing a discount on the GDPR Data Mapper app to Eventura customers. This will enable you to download the app from the Microsoft Business Store for £108.33. Simply follow this link to access the store and the app.
An accompanying website provides full instructions on how to use the app, GDPR compliance guidelines and cross references to GDPR points of law. The web site provides links to both the ICO for their initial advice and the Microsoft Business Store, where you can download the app.