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Data provides companies with an incredible competitive advantage, and post-GDPR it will continue to do so.

When the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May, it will herald a fundamental reset of the digital economy. Designed to give citizens greater control over their data, it will also force data seekers to be more open, transparent and secure when handling an individual’s personal information.

The penalties for non-compliance are severe, with potential fines running as high as €20million, or 4% of a company’s turnover (whichever is higher).

In 2018, the digital economy is in fact the data economy. Data provides companies with an incredible competitive advantage, and post-GDPR it will continue to do so. But what Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) have to understand is that the manner in which they gather and use that data will have to change.

So what do CMOs need to know? How can they address GDPR? And, vitally, what opportunities does a post-GDPR landscape offer?

Big Data vs Minimum Data
One of the biggest challenges CMOs face is grasping the idea that the days of relying on Big Data to drive customer experience are drawing to a close. Under GDPR the notion that more data is better is erroneous. Moving forward, precision and accuracy are key. The central move after 25 May will be towards minimum data. In effect, only using the minimum data to complete a task.

Identifiability vs Non-Identifiability
CMOs will already be cognizant with the concept of known customers and unknown customers. Previously, knowing who your customers were was seen as essential. Under GDPR this is no longer always the case. Personalised services don’t have to rely on companies knowing who you are, but rather, what you are. An audience of one doesn’t garner a profit, but an audience of one million that behave in similar ways and they can address in an efficient manner will.

Anonymity by default
The net effect of data (and therefore identifiability) minimisation called for by GDPR and private-by-design principles is anonymity by default. This is a fundamental inversion of the current marketing paradigm. In a post GDPR world initial customer engagements will need to be anonymous by default. Brands will need to encourage people to share their identity with them in a consented manner.

Open/Owned/Co-owned/Customer owned data
It’s important to differentiate between these types of data…

Open - data that is open-sourced and available anywhere
Owned - first party that companies own
Customer-owned - owned by customer
Co-owned - Could be a loyalty points scheme, or even a simple transaction

The rules around GDPR and compliance in terms of permission, consent, portability, right to correct, the right to be forgotten, etc become a lot clearer and easier to understand when you look at them from the perspective of who owns the data. With self-sovereign data ownership as a foundational principle that CMOs need to understand; things begin to make logical sense.

Opportunities
The big opportunity that GDPR creates - particularly when you think about it in terms of self-sovereignty (allowing individuals to control their personal data) - is to build trust. This is why GDPR was needed. There has been a breakdown in trust around the use of individuals’ data. GDPR is a regulatory response to the abuse of consumers by corporations around their data.

Trust can form the basis for a new competitive advantage for CMOs. If consumers trust a company/retailer/advertiser, they can have richer relationships with them. Companies will begin to understand their needs better and come up with better services to furnish these needs. People are increasingly recognising that their data is worth something and companies that enable a value exchange will be leaders in this space.

The Digital Giants’ Stranglehold
GDPR is an opportunity to break the monopoly of the digital giants. The ability to engage with customers directly is a massive opportunity for CMOs to really break away from the stranglehold of the digital giants. The more ambitious and enlightened CMOs will recognise GDPR as chance to innovate and see it as an opportunity rather than a costly compliance exercise.

TheInternet.Foundation
This premise is at the heart of TheInternet.Foundation’s personal data wallet and marketplace, metâme. Led by London-based entrepreneur, author and acclaimed digital innovator, Dele Atanda, TheInternet.Foundation advocates the use of ‘Clean Data’ as opposed to the wasteful and invasive nature of ‘Dirty Data’ (harnessed from surveillance, tracking, cookie data etc).

This ‘Clean Data’ is made tangible in the form of mPods. mPods are crypto information assets that use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to enable granular and precise quanta of data to be isolated and encrypted based on a user’s intent - buying car insurance for example. mPods aim to become the universal unit of trade for personal data and can be exchanged contextually and privately for Krypto Koins, the protocol’s token.

Says Atanda: “metâme enables brands to access really rich, GDPR compliant data direct from customers. We’re creating a direct relationship between customers and brands, so they don’t need to go through a second or third party like Facebook or Google. They can establish the relationship directly with the consumer. In a post GDPR world the trick will be in providing high value prospects with the right incentives to transition from anonymity to identifiability in a sustainable, trust building manner. This is essentially metâme’s key benefit and unique value proposition to marketers”.

Atanda confirms that trust is king in the GDPR world, and this is something CMOs need to acknowledge. He explains: “Trust is quintessential for durable competitive advantage going forward. This is the opportunity that GDPR provides. Some look at it as a compliance exercise. A better viewpoint is to see it as a means of investing in and creating a new trust paradigm in and with the marketplace. The progressive companies will do the latter.”

The opportunities for CMOs going forward are monumental. A new digital model that pivots upon data is being created before our eyes. As Atanda notes, the most forward-thinking CMOs are already embracing this brave new world.

ENDS

Dele Atanda is available for interview and high-resolution images are available on request. Media information provided by Famous Publicity.

For more information, or if you would like to speak with Dele Atanda please contact Adam Betteridge at adam@famouspublicity.com, Ed Patience at ed@famouspublicity.com or Tina Fotherby at tina@famouspublicity.com or call the office on 0333 344 2341.

About Dele Atanda

Dele Atanda is a digital visionary and entrepreneur. Dele is a long-standing advocate of digital human rights, a cyber expert, a Fintech and crypto-economy theorist and an advocate of using technology to form a more compassionate, empathetic and human centred world. Supporting this is his belief that data - and in particular the ethical use of personal data, can transform society and revolutionize the world.

Dele is a celebrated innovator having led digital for some of the world's biggest brands and built enterprise solutions for FTSE 10 and Fortune 100 companies that have become the gold standards for engagement within their sectors. He leads IBM’s iX Automotive, Aerospace and Defence practice as Chief Digital Officer. He is a renowned thought leader on digital culture, and has been a pioneering voice on the emergence of web 3.0 technologies and their impact on society most notably with his best-selling Digitterian Tsunami: Web 3.0 and the Rise of the N.E.O Citizen published in 2013.

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