Digital Marketing Regulations - The Quick & Easy (Non-Boring) How to Guide You Really Need!

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A quick & easy guide to digital marketing regulation compliance

Digital marketing regulations & compliance can be confusing, to say the least. So we’ve broken down the acronyms & laid out the rules so you can check to see if you’re compliant.

Digital marketing has become the go-to marketing for most businesses. It allows companies to reach a wider audience and engage with potential customers. Tracking the success of campaigns has also become easier too. But as the field of digital marketing continually improves, so do the digital marketing regulations and laws set out to protect consumers.

The problem businesses have is that some of the legislative protections can seem complicated, and overwhelming. Plus there are so many acronyms to remember! But whether you’re capturing leads, cold calling, sending emails or SMS, you must be bang-up-to-date with digital marketing regulations. Why? Because it prevents you from receiving customer complaints and hefty fines. In addition, it can significantly improve your digital marketing efforts.

So here at Data Soap, we’ve put together a quick and easy guide so you can check and make sure you’re up to code, and boost your bottom line too.

GDPR - what it means for your business

GDPR Regulation

The GDPR or General Data Protection Regulation is one of the most important regulations in the UK for marketing. It applies to any business processing the personal data of individuals in the EU, regardless of where their company is based.

Incorporated into UK Law as the Data Protection Act 2018, GDPR policy requires any business to get an individual’s explicit consent before recording, using or sharing their personal and private information and data. Further principles include:

  • Making it easy for the user to opt out of any marketing contact.
  • Being transparent about how & why you will be using a person's data when asking for consent.
  • Only using a person's data for the purposes consented to.
  • Deleting a user's data once the goals outlined in the consent have been achieved.
  • Making every reasonable effort to ensure that every user's data is accurate & up-to-date.
  • Storing & processing customer data in a safe & secure way.
  • Allowing users the right to access, rectify & delete their data at any reasonable time.

Failure to adhere to GDPR policy can lead to customer complaints and a large fine. For small to medium businesses, this can be especially devastating. The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) can issue fines of up to £17.5 million or 4% of a business's annual turnover - whichever is the greatest.

GDPR Compliance

It may not be obvious how you can adhere to some of these digital marketing regulations. However, when it comes to ensuring the data you already have is accurate - we’ve got you covered! Here at Data Soap, we’ve designed a system that can check and validate all of your data in seconds. That includes postal addresses, email addresses, landlines and mobile phone numbers. It also flags up customers who’ve chosen to opt out of any marketing contact. You can check single or bulk information, and costs start from only £4.99.

Validating your data will prevent you from inadvertently failing to follow digital marketing regulations, landing yourself a fine and damaging your brand's reputation.

PECR - what it means for your business

PECR Regulation

PECR or Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations is another data protection policy that applies to UK businesses. It is the perfect partner to the GDPR as both require a user's consent and the option to easily opt out of any marketing.

The difference is that GDPR covers the processing of any form of personal data, while the PECR is specific to electronic marketing. Electronic marketing includes cold calls, emails, SMS and cookies. Here are some of the rules you must follow:

  • Your users must be able to easily opt out of any electronic marketing offers.
  • You must be transparent about how & why you will be using a person's data electronically when asking for consent.
  • All your user's electronic data must be used safely & kept secure to maintain privacy & prevent unlawful use.
  • Your customer’s electronic data must be accurate & maintained as so. Old or inaccurate electronic data must be deleted.

You should know that just like the GDPR, PECR doesn’t tolerate persistent offenders. They’re happy to take any enforcement action needed against companies that fail to adhere to their electronic online data protection regulations. You can find out more about PECR on the ICO website.

PECR Compliance

A great way to ensure compliance with the PSCR is to be transparent in your website marketing pop-ups or online forms. Tell your user exactly what you’re going to do with their information and how it benefits them.

At Data Soap, we’ve designed an API that can integrate a specifically tailored form onto your website. It’s a time-saving tool that will validate addresses, emails and phone numbers in real time. This means that you only capture accurate information from your leads and customers; another tick for your compliance list!

Digital marketing regulation compliance means big business

Compliance Benefits Everyone

Adhering to digital marketing regulations may seem like more red tape, but it ensures you are lawful as a company. It can also help to boost your marketing efforts and improve your brand image. This is especially so when it comes to email, SMS and cold-calling. Here are some examples:

  • Being transparent with your data protection policy shows respect for your customer's data & builds trust. This credibility can nurture leads & existing customers, making them more likely to respond & spend.
  • Having accurate data that’s given with consent will increase deliverability & engagement as your marketing efforts will be well-received.
  • Your marketing results will be optimised as you will be targeting genuine leads.
  • Having correct user details reduces spam, customer complaints & bad reviews which can be damaging to the reputation of any sized company.

It’s essential that a company like yours familiarises itself with the UK's data protection and privacy policies as it’s a legal requirement. And by implementing measures to confidently collect, store and use personal data in a transparent and safe way, you will ensure that your customer’s privacy rights are protected and that you don’t incur any substantial fines.

Here at Data Soap, we offer an affordable way to guarantee that the data you have, and collect in the future is accurate, and has been given with consent. It will certainly cross through some of the requirements of the GDPR and PECR digital marketing regulations. To make sure you cover everything, you can use the handy checklist from ICO.

Just remember, by understanding what you need to do and making compliance your top priority, you will achieve long-term success when it comes to marketing your business and earning trust within your industry.