GDPR & PECR: How will these changes in legislation affect your B2B …

Here we explain the key things you need to know about GDPR & PECR for B2B email marketing:

At first some B2B marketers were under the impression that GDPR wouldn’t apply to them as GDPR centres around personal data and did not state whether it was B2B or B2C specific. However, the Privacy and Electronics Communications Regulations (PECR) which relates to email marketing, is also in review and there is clear indication that it will be brought into alignment with GDPR. PECR previously stated that the soft opt-out approach was sufficient for B2B marketing, but now this will apply depending on the classification of the organisation:

1) Sole traders and partnerships: Details of these people or companies are considered as personal information. Opt-in is required for this group to receive communications. For example, self-employed individuals.
2) LTD, PLC, LLP, LBG, public sector and charity organisations: Do not need to be opted in to receive email marketing communications, but there must be a clear way to opt out. However, it’s worth remembering that an opted-in list will always generate better results, so this is something to aim for wherever possible.

Additionally, whereas PECR allows for soft opt-in during the negotiation of a sale, the new regulation will mean that email communication with these contacts will be limited to ‘the context of the sale of a product or service’. This means that marketing messages unrelated to the product/service purchased cannot be sent unless these consumers, sole traders and partnerships have actively opted in.
Organisations, working with the public, sole traders and partnerships delivering one-off services need to be particularly mindful about gaining active opt-in once an individual is no longer classed as a customer to legally continue email marketing.

Advice to clients includes:
1) Identify all personal data, start by reviewing data for any sole traders or partnerships on your database, obtain their opt-in consent or completely erase all their data from all your systems and devices.
2) Build opt-in consent to all data collection processes and maintain detailed consent evidence in a contained and secure location.
3) Ensure third party providers understand and follow your GDPR processes – get this in writing!

All companies, big or small, must comply with GDPR and prepare for an audit which could come at any time. Any GDPR violations will be met with fines and could be as much as 4% of your company’s turnover.

The silver lining

GDPR is not all doom and gloom, it will also bring some benefits to your business. The end result will be better quality data, with a higher proportion of genuine prospects. From a marketing perspective, this means more effective email marketing. You have until 25th May 2018 to comply, so now is the time to start!


We are already in the process of helping many of our clients prepare for GDPR. If you want to talk about GDPR or need help getting prepared please contact Definition Consulting on 0161 696 3459.


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