The study, by omni-channel data services supplier Ensighten, which surveyed UK brand marketers on their attitudes towards GDPR, reveals just 28% of marketers expect their websites to be compliant by the May 25 2018 deadline.
Marketers called out managing multiple suppliers (31%), marketing complexity (31%) and understanding vendor compliance issues (25%) as the main roadblocks to preparing for GDPR.
While two-thirds of marketers believe GDPR presents a strategic opportunity for businesses, three quarters (76%) also view it as a challenge, citing factors including the stifling of creativity (64%), the costly replacement of existing technologies and services (59%), a lack of clarity around who holds responsibility for enforcement internally (50%), and the detrimental impact on advertising revenue (46%).
Confusion still reigns around accountability for GDPR compliance, with 46% believing their company is not responsible for data collection across all its digital properties.
Only a quarter of marketers think they hold responsibility for all channels except those managed by marketing suppliers – when in fact they are accountable for all digital channels, regardless of who runs them.
UK brands work with five digital marketing suppliers on average, yet less than half of them (43%) have had conversations about GDPR with suppliers and discussed implications for online marketing.
Ensighten chief revenue officer Ian Woolley said: “The combination of growing digital marketing complexity and sweeping regulatory change makes for a challenging landscape for marketers. Yet by employing tools that simplify GDPR compliance and governance, marketers can focus resources on future-proofing their strategies and providing flawless digital experiences to customers.
“Our research indicates that many marketing decision makers see the regulation as a strategic opportunity. As GDPR forces brands to re-approach how they interact with consumers, it will create a whole new meaning to the idea of the value exchange, ushering in an era of transparency that will change our industry for the better.”