The World’s End for B2B Marketers

The Golden Mile. We’re all on it right now. That long, slow crawl to The World’s End, otherwise known as the General Data Protection Regulation. Along the way, we’ve got stops at the First Aid Kit, the EU GDPR changes, the Compliance Checklist and Confirmation Opt In. But will we, the B2B marketers of the human race, survive?

In order to finish our epic crawl, we’ve been recruited by our B2B marketer, Simon (not Pegg), to make sure we’re doing what we’re supposed to at every stage of the GDPR “Golden” Mile. Unfortunately, not all of us are as quite up to speed as the others in the group, so you’re going to have to bear with. If you haven’t done the GDPR Golden Mile for yourself, feel free to join us. Let’s see who can make it to the end.

First stop: GDPR First Aid Kit

Ironic that we haven’t even started the GDPR Golden Mile yet and we’re being given a First Aid Kit. Then again, at least we know what we have in store for us. The symptoms don’t look pleasant (in fact most of us in the group are affected), and the vaccination looks tricky to implement. (I hate needles). But if it stops us getting the hangover from hell – i.e. a €20 million fine or 4% of our companies global, annual turnover then it should save us from The World’s End.

Second stop: The EU GDPR changes

It feels like we’ve been on this crawl forever, but we’ve got just over 16 months left. Truth be told, I’m already feeling the effects on my marketing data. Having to double opt-in every single contact is definitively slowing my marketing reflexes. Someone in the group, I think it was Sam, suggested that we could do single opt-in shots. But nope. In order to prove that the person talking to you and interacting with your marketing IS who they say that are, it’s a double opt-in shot or nothing.

Third stop: Our GDPR Compliance Checklist

Simon thinks some of us are lagging. It’s not our fault, that second stop was lethal for B2B marketers. And I’ve started to notice something strange. The other marketers around us don’t seem to be fazed. They’re not even worried. No sweat patches under their arms, no panicked looks in their eyes.

It’s like they know the world is ending, and they don’t care! I don’t know whether they’ve just accepted their death or if they’ve found a way around it. Personally, I’m doing everything I can to make sure I survive the impending doom, but I don’t know how much longer I can go on…

Fourth stop: Confirmation Opt In

There’s no backing out now. The GDPR Golden Mile has almost finished and The World’s End is in sight. There’s only a handful of us left in the group now. Some have staggered off unable to cope. Others seemed to have fallen into a black hole where marketing (as we knew it) has ceased to exist. The marketers around us aren’t traditional B2B marketers. That I’m now sure of in my GDPR-drunken state. But all we have to do is finish this confirmation opt-in concoction and we’ve made it.

Final stop: The World’s End – THE GDPR

I was right, the B2B marketers around us aren’t the traditional marketers we knew of. The world has changed. Marketing in the old sense has ceased to exist. The new ICO says that the GDPR brings us closer together with other countries marketing practices, aligning us with the global community. She’s offering us the same chance to contribute to the B2B marketing world.

What choice do we have? It’s compliance or nothing. They’ve changed the rules. There’s a new world order. There’s a new breed of B2B marketers. It’s time to accept our fate.

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