This article is based on the guidance issued by the Information Commissioner Office issued in March 2017. This may vary up until March 2018, when GDPR comes into force. This article is in-line with the guidance being offered by the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) of which Prospect Research is a member.
What is GDPR?
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulations, and it’s coming into force in March 2018. It will influence how you, and Prospect Research on your behalf, deal with your data, particularly how it is managed, protected and administered data in the future. This is an EU directive, and will have an impact on anyone dealing with B2B or B2C marketing in any country in the EU.
GDPR will replace the Data Protection ACT of 1988.
What we know at the moment?
The main impact that GDPR will have on the data that you use is around consent. This will have an impact on the data that you hold at the moment (although this is something that the DMA are looking for clarification on) and any new data that you use.
The DMA states:
“The only difference between B2C and B2B marketers now is in connection with email and text marketing to employees of corporate organisations. When dealing with sole traders or partnerships, the rules governing B2C marketing will apply to B2B marketers so the general position for email and SMS will be that you will need opt-in consent. For telephone and direct mail, you need to offer an opt-out. When dealing with employees of corporates, that is limited companies, LLPs, partnerships in Scotland and government departments, the rules for telephone and direct mail are the same, opt-out. However when emailing or texting, you do not need the prior consent/opt-in from the individual. You can therefore send them a marketing email/text as long as you provide an easy way to opt-out of future communications from you.”
I’d like to start a new B2B campaign in March 2018. How do I make sure that the data that Prospect Research buy for me is compliant?
We buy nearly all of our data from Market Location. They started preparing for GDPR a while ago. Any data that we purchase from them on your behalf is GDPR compliant. However, if a contact asks to be taken off a database, we will always respect their wishes, record it on your database, and also let Market Location know.
We will ensure the data that we buy is appended with the source of the data and the date, so when you get the data back, you can show an audit trail.
I actively market to sole traders and partnerships. How does GDPR affect me?
Details of sole traders and partnerships are considered to be personal information, so these people/companies need to be opted-in to receive marketing communications. Sole traders might otherwise be known as proprietors, self-employed, one man bands, and so on.
I have a huge database of companies already. How do I make sure that this is GDP compliant?
This is what is a bit up in the air at the moment. When telemarketing, the consent will still be on an opt-out basis. The changes may come with SMS marketing and e-marketing. The DMA are seeking clarification about whether you will need to get consent to email or text your existing database, even if they have been in your database for years.
However, from what we understand from the draft regulations, the main impact will be on data held for individuals, Soletraders or Partnerships, where you will need to get prior consent before you can email or text them.
Prospect Research has managed my data over a long period of time. If they have checked that it is GDPR compliant once, is that it?
No. We are obliged to check your data is compliant every 2 years. We also check all of your active data against the CTPS register every month.
What else will be Prospect Research be reviewing as part of the GDPR changes?
We will look over how long we hold data for an active client campaign, and how we introduce data gathering calls. We will look into how we track opt-out requests, and also make sure that all opt-out information is as clear as possible on all of our email message from us, and on behalf of our clients.
Keeping you up to date
GDPR is something that Prospect Research is taking very seriously, both for our clients and our own marketing. Another update is expected at the end of May 2017, and we will be posting another blog then.
If you would like to keep up to date with the changes yourself, we feel the best place to do this is on the DMA website – www.dma.org.uk
 B2B Marketing and the GDPR, December 2016, https://dma.org.uk/article/b2b-marketing-and-the-gdpr