B2B marketers underestimate impact of new GDPR rules

DataIQ News

Just one in four (25 per cent) of business-to-business marketers describe themselves as likely to be extremely or very affected by GDPR once it starts being enforced in May 2018. This constrasts sharply with two-thirds (66 per cent) of B2C marketers who expect a significant impact. 

The findings from a new bi-annual tracking study by the DMA seem likely to reflect an historical belief that B2B data is not subject to data protection laws in the same way as B2C. GDPR makes no distinction between the two types.

While awareness of the changes being wrought by the Regulation was very high in both sectors, consumer marketers are far more prepared than their business colleagues, at 68 per cent compared to 36 per cent. Across all respondents, however, a gap emerged around who should take responsibility for GDPR compliance, with 21 per cent of those surveyed saying they did not know whose role this was.

Chris Combemale, CEO of DMA Group, said: “Data protection is now firmly a board-level issue and should be seen as a critical business risk, rather than a compliance issue alone. Loss of customer trust, security breaches and the reputational damage of fines could pose risks to brand and shareholder value. As well as protecting consumers, the new legislation also provides a framework for businesses to ensure the potential economic opportunities that digital transformation and big data offer are fully realised.”

Across the survey, 30 per cent of marketers said their company was unprepared for GDPR. This seems likely to change over the coming two years before enforcement, not least as the DMA itself develops its suite of GDPR-related advice, events, training and research.