GDPR: A Blessing in Disguise?

By Yusef Sanei

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will become fully enforced throughout the European Union on the 25th May 2018. Coverage of the GDPR has created an almost apocalyptic impending sense of industry doom, heavily focusing on eye-widening fines.

The information sways between sensationalist scare mongering and heavy legislative literature, so we were keen to shed some light on the new regulations and explore how they may affect agency (B2B) new business but more importantly, how these new regulations could actually be a blessing in disguise!

(Almost) Nothing New

Despite what the recent coverage may suggest, these new regulations haven’t come out of nowhere. After 4 years of debate and preparation, the EU Parliament finally approved the GDPR on the 14th April 2016. This approval triggered the 2-year post-adoption grace period meaning the GDPR will become fully enforceable in a few months’ time (25th May 2018). The GDPR will replace the already existing 1995 Data Protection Directive, which enforces many similar regulations that the new GDPR will up keep.

Why Something New

The European Commission (EC) acts as a legislation implantation branch of the European Union. The EC has recognised that the digital economy is only going to get larger with the digitisation of most aspects of life. However, this predicted growth can be threatened by a lack of trust on the consumers part, thus, these new regulations ensure trust to be established by giving digital service users more information and greater control over their data and how it is used. This places most emphasis on B2C but still effects B2B in one major way.

Legitimate Interests?

Individual and personal data can only be processed if there is at least one lawful basis to do so. One of these lawful reasons, legitimate interest, is how B2B marketers will legally be allowed to target individuals. However, the industry coverage thus far has thrown this word around as the saving grace clause of the regulations, but what does ‘legitimate interest’ actually mean?

The EU’s GDPR legislation or the ‘Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications)’ as the boys in Brussels refer to it, contains 29 references to ‘legitimate interest’.

What does it all mean?

Whilst mining through dense EU law may not be for everyone – the discussion around legitimate interest needs to be elaborated. Luckily, we’ve done the leg work and discussed the most relevant usages.

Article (47): ‘the existence of a legitimate interest would need careful assessment including whether a data subject can reasonably expect at the time and in the context of the collection of the personal data that processing for that purpose may take place.’

A data subject (target) has to ‘reasonably expect’ to be contacted by you.

For example, if you want new biz for FMCG and you contact someone from Coca-Cola, then you are all clear, as someone from Coca-Cola could ‘reasonably expect’ to be contacted by someone from FMCG.

Article (69): ‘a data subject should, nevertheless, be entitled to object to the processing of any personal data relating to his or her particular situation. It should be for the controller to demonstrate that its compelling legitimate interest overrides the interests or the fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject.’

If I contact Coca-Cola and they never want to hear from me again, then they are entitled to opt-out and never be contacted by me again. I have to make clear to Coca-Cola, why I have contacted them – which is something I imagine most people are already doing.

Article (111): ‘where the transfer is made from a register established by law and intended for consultation by the public or persons having a legitimate interest. In the latter case, such a transfer should not involve the entirety of the personal data or entire categories of the data contained in the register and, when the register is intended for consultation by persons having a legitimate interest, the transfer should be made only at the request of those persons or, if they are to be the recipients, taking into full account the interests and fundamental rights of the data subject.

This one is a bit wordy…but it is important. If I wish to contact the head of marketing at Coca-Cola, I don’t need to source/use data about their children, dogs name and where they last went on holiday. I only have the right to use data that is applicable for my reason of targeting, for example, new biz.

Article (113): ‘Transfers which can be qualified as not repetitive and that only concern a limited number of data subjects, could also be possible for the purposes of the compelling legitimate interests pursued by the controller, when those interests are not overridden by the interests or rights and freedoms of the data subject and when the controller has assessed all the circumstances surrounding the data transfer.’

I cannot continuously spam the head of marketing at Coca-Cola until they talk to me, I need to be able to show that there is a qualified reason to target them e.g. they have a strong lead score. Again, this isn’t rocket science and should be something most respectable agencies are already doing.

Article (6)f : ‘processing is necessary for the purposes of the legitimate interests pursued by the controller or by a third party, except where such interests are overridden by the interests or fundamental rights and freedoms of the data subject which require protection of personal data, in particular where the data subject is a child.’

Nice and simple: Don’t email children (under 16).

Sigh of Relief

Thankfully, after that slight trudge through the heart of dense European Commission’s Legislation, we can draw some very positive conclusions.

This isn’t the apocalypse that some would have you believe. Yes, if you don’t follow the regulations there will be hefty fines, but even in this scenario, you don’t send out an accidental email to someone and next thing you know the Data Protection Police have arrested you in front of your colleagues and have taken over your business. There are warnings and cautions before the fines will be applied – after proved continuous breaches.

Buzzing Around the Ointment

This could, however, be susceptible to change due to the upcoming E-Privacy Regulation which, were it to be passed, would work alongside/compliment the GDPR. However, the E-Privacy Regulation is still in draft form and is being heavily debated between the Council and the Parliament, so we are still unsure what the final regulations will look like. This is something we will be following closely and will be sure to discuss in upcoming articles.

What we can take from the GDPR is that the new legislation should act as a much needed wake up call. We should all practice and implement qualified targeting, lead scoring and transparent reasons for contacting someone. This should be embraced by businesses, and if you are already practicing good etiquette then there’s nothing to worry about. This is a chance to change the digital industry for good, not the beginning of the end.

Please note that this article is written from writers point of view. The information herein does not replace qualified legal advice, and should not be taken as such. Please consult with legal experts if you would like further clarification.

Ones to Watch: 5 Agencies marketers need to know, now

The start to this year is well under way, and we’ve been seeing some particularly exciting marketing and digital agencies popping up on our radar. They’re a heady mix of seasoned talent and innovative minds. If you haven’t heard of them already, they’ll be ones to watch out for in the coming months, so we thought we’d pull together a few that we’re really chuffed about. In our list we’ve got the likes of:

  1. Hyperactive

This new creative brand experience agency believes that big ideas are half the story; it’s what you do with them that count. A start up backed by Fold7, the agency is led by Andrew Casher – former Managing Director for Experiential at Cake. They’re the creators of brand experiences that can’t be ignored, producing unprecedented results through their work in experiential, social, content and partnerships. You might have seen their work with Beats by Dre or Eurostar. A start up with industry-leading results? You can’t get much better than that.

  1. SentiSum

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) to improve customer experience and conversion, SentiSum began with the aim to help companies understand their customer’s opinion, turning those opinions and experiences into a competitive advantage. Started in (when did they start) by Roy Jugessur, this company has grown exponentially since their beginnings, winning pitches for the likes of Just Eat and Auto Trader. Their ethos is backed by a dedication to leverage their insight in order to help companies leverage Custom Experience (CX). No challenge is too big for these guys, and their proven methods of translating CX data to actionable insights sits at the heart of their proposition – great news for the decision makers of the world.

  1. Margaret

This team of creative expert matchmakers specialise in connecting brands with early adopters, developing unique collaborations that create fans for their clients. Headed up by Co-Founder and Creative Director Olly Dixon (who you might remember from indie British magazine Dazed), Margaret has worked with the likes of Kopparberg, Auchentoshan, Bacardi, Bowmore, Becks and Reyka. Utilising their connections and expertise through a combination of campaigns, content, peer-to-peer connections, social media, PR, experiential events, influencer casting and design, they’ve more than made their mark in London’s scene. So, if you don’t know Margaret, now you know.

  1. Kaizen

Started by Managing Director Pete Campbell, Kaizen was borne out of the realisation that most agencies employ a half-baked approach to SEO & Content Marketing. He’s joined by Ian Fergusson and a team of SEO experts who deliver award winning innovative SEO and Content Marketing campaigns for brands like TotallyMoney.com and River Island. For brands looking for someone that can do it all, it’s a one stop shop at Kaizen – from Technical SEO to Digital PR and Outreach, there’s nothing these guys can’t do (and they’re not afraid to say it). Check out their blog for regular thought leadership pieces, helpful resources and links to their upcoming webinars. We’re excited to see what these guys will do next, and we reckon, now, so are you.

  1. That Lot

Content is their bread and butter, served with a side of humour. Started by Co-Founder and Director David Schnieder (you may know him as well known British comedian/actor/writer) this social creative agency has been on our radars since day one. Awarded Agency of the Year at this year’s Social Buzz Awards and Best Large Agency at the UK Social Media Communications Awards, they’ve worked with the likes of BBC’s The Voice and The Apprentice, providing brilliant content to brands and broadcasters in order to help them grow audiences and cut through on social. Terrible with names? Fear not – all three directors are named David, and this no-nonsense approach to nomenclature mirrors their approach to content. Keep an eye out for these guys, or at the very least, follow their feed for a good laugh.

 

Business Development Benchmarking Report 2017

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With over 25,000 agencies in the UK, the competition is fierce and the pressure is on business development to deliver. To keep ahead, you always need to be on the lookout for new ways to improve.

For even the most successful Business Developers it’s hard to know if you’ve got it quite right – which is why Upstream surveyed top UK agencies to find out how they go about their prospecting and pitching, to bring you our Biz Dev Benchmarking Report 2017.

Prospecting can be a painful process, so it’s no surprise our survey found that 25% of agencies outsource their prospecting. The Biz Dev Benchmarking Report will lay out what companies are doing, and how big and small agencies go about their prospecting. It might surprise you to find that over half of agencies who outsource their prospecting have a turnover under £5million.

No matter how successful you’ve been generating leads and opportunities, you absolutely have to deliver in the pitch to ensure Business Development success. A study by The Drum found that clients underestimate agency pitch costs by 41% with very few expecting the client to have to pay for this; find out in the Biz Dev Benchmarking Report how agencies are dealing with this…

The report also delves into how some agencies are standing out with innovative prospecting, creative approaches to pitches and strategic investments in the process.

You can download the full report here. Or for a quick summary, take a look at our infographic below…

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10 things I wish I’d known when I started out in Biz Dev

Business Development is a challenging job: it’s varied and there’s an art to the drawn out nature of creating opportunities for growth and developing meaningful business relationships. But being a business development professional has become a coveted job title.

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Collectively, the Upfront and Upstream business development teams have more than 50 years of experience and there’s a lot we’ve learnt along the way: technical tools and hacks, digital and communication disciplines, industry understanding, and sales and marketing tactics. We want to share these lessons with you.

We’ve reached out to some leading figures in the industry to ask if they could share some nuggets of advice. The result: 10 things I wish I’d known when I started out in Biz Dev.

Click here to download this guide, to find out:

  • Why ‘eating the frog’ could be key to winning new business
  • Learn how to adapt your approach according to personality types
  • Discover the best tools, books and tricks to give you the edge in biz dev

What makes a good donor experience?

In recent times the landscape has shifted for Charities. Advancements in technology, tightening of cold recruitment methods, increased competition and evolving donor habits, all place more emphasis on the Charities creating a positive donor experience across all touch points.

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Customer experience digital agency Shout has undertaken a mystery donation campaign to the UK’s top charities to better understand the digital donor experience.
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This interesting infographic shows Shout’s findings from the first 30 days of being a donor.
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Agency Review for Food Retailer

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Are you a Digital agency in need for a big account?

We recently contacted a leading the foods retailer, and spoke to their Online & Digital Marketing Manager.

We asked when the retailer holds reviews for its Digital agencies. We were informed that the next review will be held roughly in 11-12 months time and that all agencies will come under review.

The Online Digital Marketing Manager oversees the process and said he could be contacted from January 2017. We also took the opportunity to ask about PR agencies but the person responsible for that was unavailable at that moment. However, we will find out more information at a later date.

Currently Design is carried out in-house whilst creative advertising and media buying are already outsourced from agencies.

If you don’t want to miss out on exclusive opportunities like these, sign up to Upstream or contact guy@stayupstream.com to access contact details and be ahead of the game!

 

Possible Digital Opportunities at Recruitment specialists

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Always on hunt for more opportunities, Upstream spoke to the Head of Digital of a leading recruitment agency, after it was reported that it had achieved a 15.6% hike in pre-tax profit.

We learned that the company doesn’t currently have a review procedure in place for agency support, however they review and monitor the progress of their existing agencies on a regular basis.

We also took the opportunity to ask if they would be amenable to hearing from Digital/Marketing agencies. Although they already have Digital agencies on board, they would be willing to hear from agencies who think they can better what is on offer at the moment.

Content was mentioned, but they didn’t specify any particular discipline.

Have you got what it takes? Direct contact details are available on Upstream, so feel free to contact guy@stayupstream.com or get a free trial to not let go of this opportunity!

 

Website Design Agency To Be Appointed

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Upstream has recently got in touch with the Head of Procurement of a national bank to discuss the procedures the bank employs for Digital, Marketing & PR agency appointments.

We were informed that the bank will issue a tender on the European Journal for a website design agency in the next few weeks. It is not certain whether it is on a project basis or 1-year contract, however agencies considering tendering should be aware of CPV search codes as these are most helpful to locate the tender.

Don’t miss out on opportunities like these and get a free trial of Upstream for exclusive news in the industry.

 

 

#Exclusive: Major Consumer Finance Brand Open to Agency Introductions

Our Exclusives team had a conversation with the Head of Brand Sponsorships & Digital Marketing at a major consumer finance brand. We discussed procurement procedures for marketing, PR and Digital agencies, when their next agency review will be and how they engage agencies.

The contact explained that ahead of the planned review later this year, they would be open to accepting introductions from RAR top 100 agencies only. Typically agencies are retained by this client for 24 -36 months.

It goes without saying that if you are a RAR top 100 rated agency, now would be a good time to show off your wares  and build a strong relationship with this key stakeholder.

If you would like the opportunity to start building a relationship with this Brand ahead of their review later in the year, get a free trial of Upstream to gain exclusive news in the industry.

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#Exclusive: Video agencies wanted

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Upstream has recently contacted a leading consumer company who informed us that as part of their social media strategy, they were looking to integrate video content.

They are therefore looking to review video agencies for what can be an exciting collaboration. Some experience in healthcare or engaging with mothers-to-be would be advantageous.

If you are interested in this exclusive opportunity, contact the team at Upstream to put your details forward for consideration.