• Helen Pritchett

It’s Christmas! But how does Santa cope with GDPR?

Yep, its that time of year again … in the words of 1970s rock sensation Slade … It’s Christmas!!!!The goose is getting fat, Christmas trees and decorations are up, fairy lights abound, letters to Father Christmas should have been written, Maria Carey and Chris Rea are back on the radio and carol concerts and nativity plays are in the diary. On top of all that, many of us are, quite literally, behaving like kids at Christmas!

Father Christmas and his elves are very busy at the North Pole and at this time of year we begin to wonder … how does Santa cope with GDPR?!

“He’s making a list He’s checking it twice He’s gonna find out Who’s naughty or nice”

It’s not so simple for him and his little helpers these days. Before he sets out across the globe, he and his elves must consider the ramifications of the use of personal data for the purposes of providing the personalised products people have requested.Really?!

OK, so we are joking! Father Christmas is the kind of dude who can pretty much get away with murder. He doesn’t need to worry about the use of personal data to spread his festive joy. This is a time of year were we can all be a bit tongue in cheek and we love this blog by Quartz for that reason. It puts into perspective the potential challenges faced by our favourite white bearded, red garbed, avuncular chappie. However, back in the real world, as long as you’ve written your letter and made your requests, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve ticked the opt in box or not, Santa will still deliver your heart’s desire!

On a serious note, whilst Father Christmas doesn’t need permissions, opt-ins and data protection officers, the use of personal data is a year-round concern for marketers. Since GDPR came into effect, as an industry we’ve all done our utmost to ensure any data we hold or use is squeaky clean and GDPR ready (FYI there is no such thing as actual GDPR ‘compliance’; readiness is about as close as you will get). As long as we are using, holding and cleaning our data effectively and have a lawful basis for which to use it, we can ‘carry on marketing’. In our slice of the B2B marketing world (the IT sector), we use the basis of legitimate interest to maintain contact with our database and to market our clients’ products and services. We have an engaged database of people interested in IT products and services and we use their previous interactions, buying patterns/behaviours and installed infrastructure intelligence to choose when and with what we contact them.

This approach means we only contact people on a personal level as and when we have products to market which will be of interest to them, based on the intelligence held in our database, Prospectabase. We also make life easy by enabling a quick and simple way to unsubscribe, leaving control very firmly in their hands. We would rather have a smaller database of engaged recipients, than a huge database of disinterested individuals. We believe this makes for better practice and a better relationship with those on our database.

So, if you’re looking for a new marketing services agency partner with a fresh, clean and simple approach for 202, get in touch!Right, that’s enough of the serious stuff. It’s time we signed off for the Christmas break. But before we do, for a bit of light relief, have a read of this blog by Peak for some big data stats on Christmas that will blow your mind (and give you some answers for the Christmas pub quiz!!).

Wishing you a very merry festive Season and a prosperous New Year …  see you in 2020!