Claims the GDPR would wipe out tens of millions of customer records have proved about as accurate as a Donald Trump tweet with new research claiming marketing databases have recovered to 93% of their previous levels.
The study, by customer journey optimisation firm Yieldify, shows marketers’ expectations of the impact of the regulation have proved pessimistic. The retail sector has been the most successful in its recovery.
Back in May last year, over a third (33.4%) of marketers lost over 30% of their databases and just over a fifth (21.6%) claimed to be unaffected by the more stringent legislation on consent.
However, since then different sectors have reported different levels of recovery. Retail marketers, for instance, report their databases have recovered completely, in fact they have grown to 101% of their pre-GDPR size, whereas travel marketing databases remain at 74% of last year’s levels.
Some of the hardest-hit sectors have seen the greatest recoveries: the media industry and IT/telecoms industry saw a 27% and a 29% regrowth respectively.
Larger businesses generally lost greater proportions of data last year (an average of 29% for businesses of 100-500 people), but have recovered at strong rate of 24%. In comparison, businesses with less than 100 employees have only recovered by 18%.
The study found that the larger the business, the greater range of strategies used, including loyalty programmes, content optimisation and in-store incentives alongside competitions and incentivising newsletter sign-ups.
The survey also found that marketers’ expectations about the impact of GDPR were often inaccurate. With high levels of panic and scaremongering, many were overly pessimistic: a year later, 25.5% of marketers said that the impact on overall acquisition, website personalisation and single customer view was better than expected.
However, this trend changed for email marketing and ad personalisation, where nearly one-third (32.4%) and a quarter (24.4%) respectively said that they were worse than predicted.
Yieldify CEO and co-founder Jay Radia said: “This time last year, marketers were heading into the unknown – we saw an unprecedented level of panic as everyone struggled to pick their way through complex new rules. What today’s report shows is some good news – while there’s a way to go and marketers still need to work to make up for lost time, they’re finding a way through.”
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