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How Optimove Beat GDPR (Again): What Happens When You Put Data into Good Use

By using Optimove, companies decreased the likelihood of their customers asking for their data to be forgotten, 10-fold! Our VP Marketing explicates

This year sure flew by. Seems like just a few weeks ago you heard from every room in our offices: “GDPR this, GDPR that” and heard the familiar sounds of our Chief Information Officer and our Director of Legal in Optimove pacing nervously from meeting to meeting, trying to explain the particular types of security; Specifying IT and administrative activities necessary for handling personal data. And all to get ready for the new EU personal data protection regulations – GDPR, that came into effect late May 2018.

We then talked about pseudonymization, encryption, documentation and taking measures to ensure the integrity, confidentiality, availability, resilience, assessment, and post-incident-recovery of processing systems and services. Many people at Optimove did a tremendous job preparing our company and the 350+ brands we cater to for this new era of data protection and control.

But from the first time we heard of GDPR and got a handle on what it would mean, we treated it differently. Not as an obstacle, but rather as an opportunity to improve. As we wrote in a former blog about the subject: “We believed from our own experience as customers – regulars on online shops, bank clients, travel agency users or slots players – that if personal information is put to good use, e.g.: contacting customers at the right time with the right message via the right channel, they will feel safe and comfortable sharing it.” A year passed and I must say – we nailed it. We beat GDPR.

99 is more than fine

A quick brief: Under GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), individuals (European Union citizens) have many new rights, such as submitting a request that an organization ‘erase’ their personal data – so-called, ‘the right to be forgotten.’ GDPR gives users more control over their personal data. And all companies that process EU resident data must comply. Non-compliance has severe consequences for any organization hinging its success on their user’s data quality – with fines starting at €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover (whichever is higher).

According to a TrustArc benchmark report, 10% of the population made requests to be forgotten. That’s quite a number –one that directly hits a company’s bottom line, potentially resulting in the loss of customers and employees, a drop in share price, and other hazards of a tarnished reputation.

But research we conducted across all Optimove GDPR compliant sites, told a different story and gave a different number: 0.94% to be exact. That’s only 1 in every 100 customers or players that requested their personal data to be removed and forgotten. This is a huge achievement, and to put it in plain words: by using Optimove, brands were able to decrease the likelihood of their customers requesting their personal data to be forgotten, 10-fold!

According to a TrustArc survey, while 10% of the population made requests to be forgotten, 35% chose to unsubscribe from emails, and 23% declined the use of cookies, numbers which indicate distrust. The same survey, however, shows that 36% trust companies that are GDPR compliant, and 57% say they are more likely to buy from a website abides by the regulations. This shows that the relationship between companies and their customers and players is more important than ever and has great effects on brand loyalty.

Women over men, the young over the old

Diving a bit into our research, we see that most users who asked for their data to be erased weren’t active users. From our gaming clients’ players – 55% who asked to be forgotten never made a deposit, and 33% haven’t been active within the last 90 days. Furthermore, 80% of those who asked to be forgotten made deposits of 0 to 20 euros only.

Another interesting stat shows that women asked to exercise the right to be forgotten more than men and made up 68% of the ‘forgotten.’ It will probably come as no real surprise that when looking at age as a factor, the younger groups – aged 39 and under, made up 67% of those who asked to be forgotten.

When data is misused

Looking at such a strong approval for our dictum – data that is being treated with care, for the customer to realized swiftly its value, and thankfully continues to share it – can have an hypnotic effect, but we at Optimove already looking forward – to help our clients improve even these great results.

In needing to be more careful about attaining consent and data, brands must refine their personalized marketing skills, improve the customer experience, and constantly seek to create value. In that sense, GDPR is making CRM managers and marketers work harder, resulting in better data, better actions, and a better overall experience.

Look at it like this – Consider all the times you unsubscribed from a service or a newsletter and try to think what caused you to opt out. Chances are, something was off in the way you were addressed and approached. This is basically a misuse of your personal data.

Protecting the consumer has always been a top priority for us at Optimove, where user privacy is always a constant commitment. This is another reminder for our clients to embrace this motto – sharing data is not a bad thing. When you use data in a smart way, your customers will appreciate and even treasure your relationship with them.

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