After years of build-up and preparation, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will be imposed by the EU on May 25, 2018. The goal for this new data protection regulation is to provide citizens with a greater level of control over their personal information, but it means fewer data will be available to businesses; potentially a problem considering that 40% of marketers already state that a lack of data is stopping them achieving effective CRM strategies, according to research from JayWing.
Thankfully, businesses looking for accurate and up to date company information will still be able to find valuable insights through the Global Database platform. Far from being just another contact directory, the database contains records on millions of companies with key details that can help power almost every aspect of a business.
We all know by now how much of an impact the vast amounts of data being produced everyday have on our lives, and of course, our businesses. With this in mind, it wasn't too surprising that the previous regulations surrounding data privacy needed an upgrade, considering they were established in the mid-nineties. The main factors of the previous legislation remain relevant, but there will now be more limitations on how individuals' data is collected, and how it can be used.
In terms of what actually qualifies as personal data, the official GDPR website defines it as:
‘Any information related to a natural person or ‘Data Subject’, that can be used to directly or indirectly identify the person. It can be anything from a name, a photo, an email address, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or a computer IP address.’
Thanks to these data protection changes, 2018 will see businesses needing to gain verifiable consent from citizens at the point the data is collected, as well as detailing the purpose behind it. You must also make it quick and hassle-free for an individual to withdraw their consent should they wish to do so.
These rules aren't just for companies resident within the EU; they actually apply to any organisation that holds data on EU citizens, regardless of where they are based. Businesses who fail to meet GDPR compliance regulations could face potentially huge fines; the biggest breaches could result in charges of up to 20 million Euros, or 4% of their annual revenue, depending on which is greatest.
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This new European data protection law will undeniably have an impact on the availability of third-party data, so it’s more important than ever to appreciate the advantages it offers. The main ones being:
Quality - Almost half (45%) of marketers state that data quality is their top challenge in audience acquisition, according to research from Informa. Third-party data providers help resolve this issue due to the verification checks required as part of their service, thus enabling users to access more accurate information.
Enrichment - Having more data at hand gives you a much better understanding of your target audience, and gives you a greater chance at engaging them effectively.
Affordability - The benefit of having a large number of providers on the market is that prices are kept reasonably low. If GDPR leads to less providers, the cost of company information will undoubtedly rise as a direct result.
With all of this in mind, businesses will no doubt want to make the most of the reputable providers available to them. Far from becoming obsolete under the GDPR regulations, the Global Database platform offers businesses a wide range of extremely useful company information, a large amount of which is free to access thanks to the opening of the datasets.
Global Database provides data on millions of companies across 195 countries, including financial, structure and general company information. Businesses accessing the EU database can still find excellent value thanks to the wide variety of uses this information represents. These include:
Just because personal contact details are off limits under GDPR, that doesn't mean you can't use the database to find new leads. In fact, it offers a wide range of filters so that you're able to narrow your search right down to the prospects that fit your specific criteria. These filters include location, industry, company size, import or export, turnover, and activity type (producer, distributor, or service provider).
All of this information will undoubtedly mean higher-quality leads, which, as the chart below from DemandWave demonstrates, is a priority for the majority of businesses - it really is quantity over quality nowadays when it comes to prospecting.
Once you’ve found your new leads to target, you can reach out to them with the general company emails provided, which are GDPR-compliant owing to the fact they don’t pertain to individuals.
If you already have a specific prospect in mind but you’re unsure whether or not to make them a priority in your marketing efforts, you can run a quick search for them in the database and then make an informed decision with the insights provided. For example, if your product or service is an expensive one, you'll obviously want to ensure they have the budget for it.
Stay up to date with what's happening in your niche; discover how many other companies are providing a similar service to yours, find the current average revenue, which technologies are being adopted across the board and the average company size for the market. When you have this information at hand you can use it to find any potential gaps in the market, decide whether to expand into a new locale and ensure that you're not falling behind.
Find information on individual companies in your industry to see how your business stacks up against them. See what technologies they're using, whether they're currently making a profit or loss, and many visitors their website is getting. If they’ve made big changes recently, for example, expanded into a new territory or launched a new product, see how it's affected them financially.
You can then leverage all of this data to adapt your own business plan accordingly. Unsure whether or not to test your product in a new country? Let your competitors do the hard work for you first, and see how it’s worked for them before embarking on a risky venture yourself.
Carry out background checks on potential suppliers, clients and business partners to avoid any unnecessary risks. Using the Global Database platform you can easily access financial information, company credit reports, structure and ownership details, company status and year of establishment.
Entering into risky business deals that ultimately have a negative impact on your business is not only detrimental to your finances; it also affects your company’s reputation and potentially undermines both your customers and employees’ confidence in you, so why not just play it safe and perform a simple and quick check beforehand?
Whilst email can clearly be a lucrative tool when done right, it is becoming increasingly difficult to connect with prospects this way; according to research from the DMA, only 14.2% of marketing emails were opened in 2017. As the chart below taken from HubSpot's 2017 State of Inbound report shows, the majority (59%) of businesses believe that their best leads come from inbound methods, but the key here is personalisation.
Personalised content means better engagement and conversion rates, improved customer experience and increased customer loyalty. What's more, research from Hubspot found that the majority (88%) of marketers believe that their prospects have actually come to expect a personalised experience, so in failing to provide one you've already given them a disappointing impression of your company.
However, a disappointing number of businesses say they're not currently confident in the tools they have for this purpose; as the chart below from ResearchScape shows, just 33% are very or extremely confident they have what they need.
Global Database's platform is the ideal tool for personalisation. You can gain enough background information on each company to be able to target them with account-based marketing, either targeting one big (and particularly lucrative) prospect specifically or several different segments.
You can use their turnover and company size to ascertain the kind of budget they're most likely to have or use their location or industry and activities information to suggest the right products for them. You can even look at which technologies they're using in order to market products to complement them or recommend a service that will help them get more website traffic is theirs is faltering, for example.
While the new EU General Data Protection Regulation undoubtedly means that businesses need to be more cautious about collecting data about EU residents, and the ways in which they use it, it is far from the end for third-party data. There is still a wealth of incredibly valuable insights on companies in the region available, with the Global Database platform being a prime example. Not only does it have a variety of uses, the majority of data is now available completely free of charge.
To find out what our company directory can do for your business, get in touch with Global Database to organise a demo, or to obtain a free sample of data to test.