It is a popular opinion among companies that they can really improve their reputation by just implementing Account Based Marketing and it is based on facts. According to a survey conducted by ITSMA, companies that adopted the Account-Based Marketing approach experienced an 84% increase in reputation and a 74% improvement in their relationship with their customers.

In this post-GDPR world, even a minor data breach or a data compliance issue can cause damage to the well-crafted reputation of a company. Poor data management even damages the reputation of the entire business sector! At the heart of implementing ABM under GDPR is a metric that isn’t easy to measure but vital to the success of a business: Trust is hard to win but easy to lose.

Practical Actions

If you weren’t already taking GDPR seriously, which is unlikely, this should awaken the need to make sure you only conduct consensual marketing. There are a few practical actions we recommend ABM marketers take to ensure GDPR compliance:

  • Keep abreast and carefully review all current and future GDPR information that gets released. Keep the GDPR guide that is provided by the Information Commissioner’s Office on hand at all times.
  • Audit your data and keep a documentation of what personal information you hold, whom you hold it on and how you store it. Get rid of any data that you are holding onto unnecessarily and make sure that you are in line with new GDPR requirements. That data in your databases must be kept up to date with information on their opt-ins.
  • Your business’ privacy notice must be always kept updated and need to accurately state what personal data you hold, the legal reason for holding it and how people can exercise their rights to complain in case they have an issue with the way you are handling their data.
  • Increase your efforts in ensuring that the growing list of prospects that you hold is filled with the right people who have expressed interest in receiving communication from you.
  • As a tactical edge, include a marketing preference initiative where the recipient can choose the kind of marketing they wish to receive from you. This helps you in reconfirming opt-ins.
  • Target audiences only after conducting a proper selection process and ensure you have personalized content that is relevant to the recipient’s role.
  • Getting valuable access to new accounts through third-party list vendors is still a viable option under GDPR but need to be approached with caution. Ensure your third-party provider can demonstrate conformity to GDPR. You need to request for documented proof.

The core idea behind adopting the ABM strategy is to create a completely aligned sales and marketing process that helps in building relationships with a very targeted set of accounts. In case you are finding it difficult to get sales and marketing on the same team, let us help you there.

GDPR Implication On ABM

ABM marketers use email, direct and telemarketing as part of their strategy and GDPR compliance involves certain implications on them.

Email Marketing:

The GDPR is unclear on whether corporate email addresses can be deemed as a personal email or a corporate subscriber. A personal email requires an opt-in while a corporate email has no such requirement. It is better to be cautious when handling different types of prospects:

  • Existing Customers: Continue your email campaigns with these customers as they are known as ‘soft opt-in’. This means that an organization is free to provide marketing materials to these individuals as they have not opted out of marketing communication.
  • Prospect: Before sending these individuals any form of email communication, it must be ensured that they have made it very evident that they want to opt-in for it and this needs to be provable. In this stead, individual corporate emails should be used solely for the reason they were provided and for no other marketing purpose.
  • Prospect Exception: An exception to the rule, if your company provides the email communication as a form of a service – like advice series or educational series – then an ongoing email engagement metric that calculates the open and clicks rate may be enough to prove the existence of a customer relationship. But you would need to prove the value the communication provides and how the recipient can utilize it.

As a rule of thumb, any communication from the marketer’s end needs to be easily identifiable as marketing material, who the sender is and the opt-out option needs to be clearly marked.

Direct & Telemarketing:

These campaigns do not require an opt-in option but definitely necessitates the offer of an opt-out. An organization that uses this campaign strategy need to have evidence that the data they have in their possession was acquired lawfully and fairly. Their records need to be always kept up to date.

ABM ad targeting options have changed since GDPR was enforced. In the past, before GDPR, ABM targeting based on job title will be used in both the US and UK market but now this is allowed only in the US.

Valasys Media

Valasys Media is a data-rich company and we have devoted significant resources towards being GDPR compliant. Through a course of action that we believe helps represent the best interest of our clients, and the industry as a whole we are focused on maintaining best practices when it comes to managing, processing and storing personal data within the ABM setting. Our plan includes adherence to the principles of user consent, data minimization and data subject rights. We also review technical and organizational measures in order to ensure a suitable level of security.


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