By now, you probably have received a few or a few too many emails asking you to confirm that you still like to hear from this or that company.
On 25th May 2018, a new EU directive, called GDPR, comes into place that more heavily regulates how we as businesses store information about people. For Swedish businesses, it isn't much more stringent than the current data protection legislation BUT it comes with heavy fines as penalties.
The directive is long and extremely hard to read (we had to read it....zzzzzz....) to to try to help you all so you don't need 400+ pages of legalese bedtime reading, here is a small snippet of it in as easy language as we could manage, that outlines the specific reasons you can store information about someone and contact them.
The directive provides six reasons that you need to choose from if you want to store someone's personal information (and if their email address has their name in it, that counts):
(a) the person has specifically given consent to the processing of their personal data for one or more specific purposes;
(b) you need to keep their details and contact them in relation to work you are doing for or in relation to them or in order to do something that they have asked for before entering into a contract;
(c) you need to keep their details because the law says you must;
(d) you need to keep their details in order to protect their or someone else's vital interests;
(e) you need to keep their details so you can carry out a task in the public interest or for official authority;
(f) you need to keep their details for the purposes of the legitimate interests by you or by a third party, except where they are overridden by the fundamental rights and freedoms of the person which require protection of personal data, in particular where the person is a child.
Many companies are focusing on getting the consent of their contacts to continue sending them marketing emails, for example. However, the GDPR clearly states that direct marketing is an allowable 'legitimate interest' for choosing reason (f) above and therefore you don't actually need a person's explicit consent to email them something salesy. You do, however, need to make it very easy for them to ask you to stop emailing them and, if they do, stop immediately. You also must delete old contact information - if you aren't actively marketing to a contact and can't show any other reason from the list above that you should keep their details, get rid of them
What does your contacts list look like? Do you use a CRM system? If a contact asked you to provide all the information they can soon ask for to show how you are handling their information, could you?
If you need help with any GDPR issues or have questions, get in touch with us at My Own Marketing Coach here and/or contact Shadi Amundin, Special Counsel at Cederwalls International Law Firm on Shadi (AT) cederwalls.com or +46 (0)707 75 63 55.
The growing social media wave isn’t ending anytime soon and most business owners know they need to be online and social to remain visible. What isn’t so well understood is that:
Yes, 3 years…
You should get your social media accounts set up from the inception of your business. Or, if possible, well in advance of launching. Pre-launch marketing is often more successful than launch marketing, as people love to feel they know about something before most other people! Your target audience is hanging around in one or more of the popular social networks – work out which ones they are and get your profiles up and running so you can start to:
1. Connect with your target audience
Social media provides a way for you to have an open two-way channel for communication with your prospects and customers. Whether you are there or not, your prospective customers are looking to social media first to connect with you. So be there.
3. Improve client retention
The open communication and convenience of social media is extremely conducive to building deeper relationships with your clients. When people have an opportunity to connect with you or provide feedback, it makes them feel like they have a voice and when you respond in a prompt and professional manner, you boost customer loyalty, which means better client retention.
4. Increase traffic and conversions on your website
Each time you include a link to your website in a social media post, you’re creating new points of entry for viewers to get to your website. The more time they spend in contact with you, via social media and then via the website, the more likely they are to convert into a customer.
5. Open up opportunities for sharing
If you have a marketing message that you want to convey to your audience as quickly as possible, all you have to do is post it to your social media account. The benefit here is that your followers see you as a person just like them, making you stand out more in their minds and you can get the message out too them quickly. If there is a blog post you just wrote - post it. If something has gone really well – post it. If your operational hours have changed – post that too!
6. Keep track of your competitors
Watching your competitors’ activities might should a little creepy but it not only keeps you up to speed on what they’re doing, it provides extra insight into your business’ advancements. Having access to this information, you can compare your competitors’ business actions to yours and use that knowledge to improve your business strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
If you’re already in business and think you could be getting sales from social media, get started. At whatever stage you are at, create a social media plan, get your profiles set up and get posting!
We hear from so many small businesses that they have amazing products and services and now just need people to buy them. With limited budgets, paying a marketing agency or sales staff can be out of the question so we coach you to help grow your small business into the business you want.
We have three levels of coaching packages so you don't need to commit to regular coaching (though you can do that too!). Check them all out here.
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.