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BizReport : Law & Regulation : May 17, 2018

Expert: What brands can expect from GDPR

The official rollout of Europe's GDPR is only a week away. While most businesses have done what they can to comply with the new privacy and advertising rules, some are still wondering just what the GDPR means for them. We asked a digital expert to explain.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What can businesses expect, in the near term, once GDPR is 'live'?

Amit Dar, General Manager/US, Taptica: Once GDPR is live, there will be an early transitional stage where companies are working full-time to understand the regulations' intricacies and just how their terms will impact business. Small, agile companies will be able to react faster - perhaps even utilizing this time for a push of new business coming in. The larger corporations are going to take it slow and figure out exactly what the fines are and how hard it will be to implement new changes. In essence, there will be one progressive approach and one conservative approach to dealing with these regulations.

Kristina: What about over the next 3-5 years - what changes should businesses begin prepping for?

Amit: The digital industry is too fast-paced to make predictions for 3-5 years in the future, but ultimately, businesses should go back to putting the end user front and center. If the ad and the data utilized to serve it is not bringing added value to the consumer experience, it will have less and less relevance and justification as time goes on.

Kristina: There are some who say GDPR isn't great for businesses, but you seem to disagree, even going so far as to say that GDPR will level the playing field. How so?

Amit: Historically, every regulation is also an opportunity for new tech, creativity, and innovation to swoop in and change the status quo for budget allocation. With GDPR specifically, there are currently two giants (Google and Facebook) outperforming everyone in terms of data. These regulations have the potential to tip the scale and allow new players to go deeper into the ecosystem. In addition, having a "data year zero" will give a fresh start on how we gather and utilize data for advertising. The companies who do this in a way that most benefits the end user will be the ones making the biggest impact.

Kristina: How important is it for brands to be having consumer data conversations now with different departments?

Amit: It's just as important for brands as it's always been. The lack of internal communication between brands and marketers is what led us to this point in the first place. That is, a point where big governments and regulatory bodies needed to step in and fuel digital accountability. Organizations that have already begun to have these discussions are now better equipped to handle the current situation.

Kristina: How has the Cambridge Analytica issue changed the data conversation?

Amit: Cambridge Analytica brought the discussion from the digital advertising ecosystem into the mainstream media world. Regardless of the flashy headlines, after the Cambridge Analytica debacle, your average Joe is now aware of his data and what companies may be doing with it. The first step in any change is self-awareness.

Kristina: Is this change in the conversation a good thing for brands moving forward?

Amit: Absolutely. Consumers are the force that drives brand to act. Currently, there is a disconnect between what the end user is looking for and what brands and their marketing efforts are delivering. The ones who hold the real power are people, and brand credibility can either falter or succeed based on how audiences react to their advertising. This is the first step in starting a long overdue conversation between brands, marketers, and audiences to establish a healthy, added-value ecosystem to benefit all sides.

Tags: advertising, customer data, data privacy, ecommerce, GDPR compliance, GDPR tips, Taptica

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