Brands turn to segmentation as GDPR hits data strategy

digital twoGDPR is having a major impact on marketers’ ability to run personalised campaigns, with the majority of companies switching to data segmentation and multi-channel activity since the regulation came into force last year.
According to a study by TransUnion (formerly Callcredit), two-thirds of marketers (66%) said they are now less able to personalise marketing to individuals, and have switched to segmentation, with eight out of ten (78%) agreeing that being able to segment or understand their existing customer base is more important now GDPR is in effect.
The study found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of marketers are now using widely accessible data such as demographics or geodemographics as their primary segmentation tools, and a similar number (62%) said they felt confident they can segment their consumer database more effectively.
Additionally, marketers are adapting their tactics to address this changing landscape. The research revealed a blended approach of push and pull tactics is evident. For ‘push’ tactics, almost half (46%) of businesses are increasing their focus on digital advertising; while the same number are increasing their focus on direct mail.
Meanwhile, the ‘pull’ tactics saw the biggest increase of focus as a result of the tighter data handling guidelines, including content marketing (53%), paid social (51%) and online PR (50%).
TransUnion business development director Ryan Kemp said: “GDPR has restricted marketers’ abilities to micro-target customers and that’s why we’ve seen a huge rise in the use of widely accessible data that doesn’t infringe on a person’s privacy, but can give a better understanding who you’re marketing to.”
These changes are in response to the challenges the GDPR has presented. Marketers listed restricted access to consumer data (38%), reliance on customer consent going forward (37%), reduced pool of prospects to target (26%) and reduced insight on existing customer databases (25%) as some of their post-GDPR hurdles.
Kemp continued: “While it’s positive to see marketers adapting to the new environment, it’s more important than ever post-GDPR that brands treat any data they use with care. Marketers need to understand the repercussions if they don’t follow the regulations, not least because the rules will tighten further with ePrivacy on the horizon.”

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