GDPR forces marketers to embrace data segmentation
Marketers have moved to data segmentation and multi-channel marketing tactics, following the introduction of GDPR, which has triggered a major overhaul of data strategies.
According to research from TransUnion (formerly Callcredit), two-thirds of marketers (66%) said they are now less able to personalise marketing to individuals, and have switched to segmentation, with eight out of ten marketers (78%) agreeing that being able to segment or understand their existing customer base is more important now GDPR is in effect.
The study found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of marketers are now using widely accessible data such as firmographics, demographics or geodemographics as their primary segmentation dimension, and a similar number (62%) said they felt confident they can segment their consumer database more effectively.
Additionally, marketers are adapting their marketing tactics to address this changing landscape. The research revealed a blended approach of push and pull tactics is evident. For ‘push’ tactics, almost half (46%) of businesses are increasing their focus on digital advertising; while the same number are increasing their focus on direct mail. Meanwhile, the ‘pull’ tactics saw the biggest increase of focus as a result of the tighter data handling guidelines, including content marketing (53%), paid social (51%) and online PR (50%).
TransUnion business development manager Ryan Kemp said: “GDPR has restricted marketers’ abilities to micro-target customers and that’s why we’ve seen a huge rise in the use of widely accessible data that doesn’t infringe on a person’s privacy, but can give a better understanding who you’re marketing to. There’s also a clear indication that as a result of GDPR there has been a rebalancing between both push and pull tactics, as well as online and offline marketing.”
These changes are in response to the challenges the GDPR has presented. Marketers listed restricted access to consumer data (38%), reliance on customer consent going forward (37%), reduced pool of prospects to target (26%) and reduced insight on existing customer database (25%) as some of their post-GDPR hurdles.
Kemp continued: “While it’s positive to see marketers adapting to the new environment, it’s more important than ever post-GDPR that brands treat any data they use with care. Sources of data have to be reliable and compliant, and marketers need to understand the repercussions if they don’t follow the regulations, not least because the rules will tighten further with ePrivacy on the horizon.”