Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is an increasingly popular and effective method of promoting products and services. If you’re involved in B2B marketing, it’s important to know how GDPR affects you and how you can best manage to stay compliant with its data protection regulations.
As it currently stands, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) applies to B2B marketing as long as you’re processing personal data. This could be as simple as if you hold the individual’s name who is a representative of a business, for example.
In this article, we’re going to define and discuss the essentials of how the GDPR (and UK GDPR) affects B2B marketing. We’re also going to talk about why a GDPR representative is essential in this day and age to protect businesses regarding GDPR regulations and why it’s sound practice for businesses to appoint a DPO (Data Protection Officer).
GDPR in simple terms
Since the European Union brought GDPR into law, it’s had wide-reaching effects. In fact, the rules and procedures behind GDPR within the EU plus the EEA (European Economic Area) have served as the template behind newer data protection laws in other jurisdictions.
In its most basic definition, GDPR (and UK GDPR) are data protection regulations that give individuals more control over their data. These laws served as a turning point because it was introduced for the effect of making individual rights as data subjects paramount and prioritising individual rights for the first time within the context of data. This has meant corporations have had to do a three-sixty turn to consider how they collect, use and store customer data.
It’s also meant that businesses have to be smart, savvy and keep up-to-speed with what these laws mean. Consequently, many businesses have opted to use DPO services to help them effectively manage the fine elements of properly processing customer data. And if you’re a large company processing large amounts of personal data, you need to employ a DPO to oversee the business’s data processing activities.
If your business processes personal data of any kind, even if it’s only the names of individuals, you’re required to follow GDPR.
What happens if businesses fail to follow GDPR rules
Businesses that fail to adhere to the stringent GDPR face being fined—sometimes very large amounts.
There are two tiers of fines for businesses that violate GDPR. Companies that breach the regulations face a maximum penalty of €24 million ($23 million) or 4% of their annual global turnover (whichever the great). The second tier is less severe. Infractions can hit €10 million ($12 million) or 2% of annual turnover.
But fines aren’t always enforced. Authorities can issue a public reprimand or have restrictions placed upon them.
B2B marketing, GDPR and DPOs
It could be said that B2B marketers are some of the most heavily affected by GDPR. After all, many B2B marketers rely on identifying prospects and direct marketing. The GDPR regulations state that collecting any personal information that makes someone identifiable needs to be handled with the utmost care and respect—and that individual’s rights come before the business’s.
B2B marketers often use cold email marketing and data collection practices as part of their business framework. These businesses need to know that they must allow participants to withdraw consent at any time to remain compliant with GDPR. They must also immediately stop processing data when an individual objects. And if data processing is not occasional but regular practice (as is often the case) then they must keep and maintain full and extensive up-to-date records of the particular data processing activities.
It’s no wonder, then, that many businesses outsourced DPO and use a data protection officer as a service. Businesses use their specialist knowledge to keep on top of these ardent regulations, which can eat up a lot of time and become difficult to follow.
The benefits of appointing a DPO
With the UK out of the European Union, organisations without a presence in the UK and the EEA need separate representatives in both territories. This makes compliance with GDPR even more complicated for many businesses.
Having a data protection officer as a service can relieve a lot of the headaches in following the stringent GDPR regulations. The benefit of outsourced DPO is that you have a professional with expert knowledge of data protection law and practices who can help you manage and comply with minimal effect on your business. Some of the benefits include:
- 24/7 service.
- Specialist knowledge of data protection legislation.
- GDPR is always managed effectively to keep businesses running smoothly.
- Lower cost compared to internal DPO.
- No conflict of interest between the DPO and business activities.
Since GDPR came into force only four years ago, these professionals have become increasingly relied upon. If you’re a business that processes data, you should consider an outsourced DPO to manage your affairs. They’ll help you manage, practice and remain compliant with the ever-changing complicated nature of data protection legislation.