Over a third of marketers still don’t understand GDPR as implementation deadline looms

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New research from marketing automation provider Act-On finds a significant number of firms across Europe and the US lack essential knowledge about the new regulation

London, 14 March, 2018: With less than three months to go until the implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), new research has revealed that over a third of marketers across Europe and the US still don’t understand the changes or the impact it will have on their businesses.

The study, which was conducted by marketing automation provider Act-On and polled the opinions of 200 marketing professionals, also found that the knowledge gap is even greater outside marketing departments, with just 45 per cent feeling that the rest of their business understands the new rules and their implications.

A significant 31 percent of firms meanwhile, still haven’t taken any action to adjust their operations or engagement strategies in anticipation of the switch, despite the imminent deadline.  

Commenting on the findings, David Fowler, said: “These results are hugely significant, as for those firms that don’t comply with the new regulations the consequences are likely to be severe. We already know that from the 25th May, any business holding data on EU citizens that violates GDPR will be subject to fines of up to 4 percent of their annual worldwide revenue or €20 million, and that goes for companies in the US as well. There’s no question that it would be a massive blow to any firm’s bottom line.”

Over half of respondents (53 per cent) say they have GDPR-related spend in their budget for 2018, and of those 24 percent are budgeting to spend over £7,500. Almost half (49 per cent) are also worried about the extra time compliance with the new regulations will require.

When it comes to the financial impact, 42 per cent of respondents were most concerned about the impact of non-compliance (either fines or brand impact), while more than a quarter (29 per cent) say they are more worried about the cost implications of their preparation and ongoing compliance.

Fowler added: “There doesn’t seem to be an industry-wide consensus on GDPR, but it’s clear that marketers and marketing automation platforms will need to support these new regulations. For those choosing to turn a blind eye, they could potentially be putting their organisations in the most financially risky position possible.

“It’s not too late however, for remaining companies to make necessary changes to stay compliant. Now is the time for marketers to take a hard look at the systems that support their digital marketing efforts and make sure they will help them comply with GDPR, while minimising the amount of time required.”

For more information please visit https://act-on.com

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