GDPR friendly business marketing toolkit
It’s one year since the GDPR came into force and despite the irritating barrage of consent notices that came along for the ride, we can probably agree data protection across Europe has improved.
But it’s also fair to say the new rules have had an impact on the marketing activity of most businesses. Many email lists would have shrunk a little. Like Super Mario when he’s off the mushrooms. Not that it’s all about size, of course.
But we can’t rely on email alone anyway. You have to use a combination of channels to give your business or idea the best chance of being seen or heard. Or better still, talked about.
However, gripped by post-GDPR fear, some businesses have been paralysed into inertia. “Crikey, if we can’t spam all those email addresses we’ve collected, what are we going to do? What are we allowed to do?”
Well, if you’re wondering exactly that, here are five essential marketing channels for your business, wrapped up in an infographic stylee for your viewing pleasure, and with explanations below. Enjoy.
#1 SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Why do you have a website?
To sell more boiler cover packages? To book more appointments for your team? So more people hear about your microbrewery? It’s fair to say everyone’s different. But most people want more of something. And that something usually boils down to more website traffic.
More website traffic comes from organic search than any other source. So whenever someone is using a search engine to find information that’s relevant to your product, service, or website, you need to be there. Or you’re missing out on potential business. And that’s where SEO comes in. What’s SEO?
- More website traffic comes from organic search than any other source. (1)
- 4 in 5 people use search engines to find local information. (2)
- 94% of B2B buyers research online for purchase decisions. (3)
Here’s an odd suggestion. How about getting out into the real world?
We know, sounds crazy, but as the old saying goes, people do business with people. And there’s usually lots of people at events. One 2018 study asked B2B marketing folk about lead gen tactics, and events came out on top.
Which events do your customers attend? A trade fair? A convention? Classic car show, music festival, vintage fete? Could you drum up new business at one of these? Could you create your own workshop, event or open day? Or how about an all-ticket event where people hang out by the fire, eat pizza, hear from experts (and listen to your brand story about handmade jeans in a small Welsh town).
- Events help generate the most B2B leads. (4)
- 79% of marketers generate sales using event marketing. (5)
- 84% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted after the event. (6)
#3 Direct mail
We’ve already talked about how important it is to have a mix of channels. And print cannot be ignored. Even Google send you stuff in the post. Want more examples? Airbnb, Facebook, Amazon, all use print marketing as part of their approach.
And the opportunity direct mail offers has actually increased since GDPR. That’s because you don’t need explicit consent to send a mailer, letter, brochure or catalogue. Provided you make it clear how they stop getting future mailings, and the content is relevant, sending direct mail is allowed under the ‘legitimate interests’ of your business.
The incredible thing about direct mail is, it’s turned full circle. We all get less post than we used to. Yet, research shows that it gets a better response than ever.
- 87% of people said they were influenced to make an online purchase as a result of receiving direct mail. (7)
- 4 out of 5 people say they’ve connected with a business after getting direct mail. (8)
- 44% agreed that they were more likely to remember something they had read in print rather than on screen (only 12% disagreed). (9)
#4 Social media
When engagement rates on Facebook are reported to have fallen to 0.09%, you might be forgiven for thinking social media is a waste of time for business marketers. However, linkedin has proven to be an effective place to hang out, help and connect. Especially if you’re in a B2B sector.
The fact remains that many consumers do scope out the company’s social media presence before making a purchase. And for some potential customers, it may well prove to be the very first exposure to the brand. For that reason alone, it’s important to create content that is on-brand, adds value and is posted regularly to demonstrate that you’re active in the marketplace and a credible option to explore.
- 94% of B2B marketers use Linkedin to distribute content. (10)
- 54% of social browsers use social media to research products. (11)
- 49% of consumers depend on social influencers for recommendations. (12)
#5 Oh, and of course you can actually still email people
But here’s the thing, there are some rules.
Email addresses you’ve scraped from cards at a show, purchased randomly, or even collected in exchange for a coupon code won’t cut it anymore (strictly speaking, they never really did).
Instead, people need to have explicitly opted in to receive the type of emails you’re going to be sending. Or, they could be an existing customer who previously bought or enquired about a similar product or service from you. That’s referred to as a soft opt-in, under PECR.
Marketing is about getting the right message, in front of the right people at the right time. Both digital and offline methods have a role to play in marketing your business. The resources assigned to each depends on your budget and where your customers are. Nettl can help you leverage all available channels to do well in today’s omnichannel arena.