The future of marketing beyond GDPR

By Natasha Joslin

So, the deadline for GDPR has come and gone, but what difference has it made for customers and brands?

The DMA recently published some good stories about how Manchester United and Lloyds Bank have seen 20%+ increase in read rates indicating that they are getting more engagement post-GDPR. But is this just based on the removal of dormant and non-engaged subscribers?

Are customers seeing any difference with their email? And are brands developing the value exchange that they promised when they were asking for re-permission?


Wanting to get a bit of a steer I asked the office (I know this is a skewed sample, so we asked a few family and friends too!)

44% haven’t seen any impact on their inbox, with only 25% saying they the are getting a lot fewer emails.

Most respondents said that they are much more aware of managing their inbox, with 44% saying they are more likely to now unsubscribe from brands going forward.

The promise of GDPR improving relationships with customers by being more relevant doesn’t seem to be coming through as 74% stated that they have seen no difference in the quality of the communication and only 11% say they are more likely to open their emails.

Personally, I was quite brutal with who I was prepared to give my details to (well for the first 100 or so – and then got a bit bored).  My inbox, however seems as full as ever, but with fewer brands who seem to be bombarding me every day, I hadn’t really noticed the frequency of them before, possibly because they were hidden by the noise of other emails.

As I am noticing them more – I have opened more – but disappointingly they are just the same as ever – Booking.com continues to suggest other hotels in Sutton Coldfield based on a booking I did for a wedding I attended 4 years ago.  Expedia tells me daily I am entitled to an exclusive offer that is going to end today – it’s alright I’ll get another one tomorrow!! And Groupon is just pretty much wallpaper now…

As I’ve already culled a few brands I’m finding it easy to hit the unsubscribe button to cull a few more and take even more control of my inbox.

Even though the deadline is over – the hard bit has only just begun as I think brands will need to work harder than ever to stay relevant for consumers to continue the engagement and deliver against the promises they made.

With consumers now more aware of their data rights, their expectations have increased and will no longer tolerate anything they don’t feel is giving any value.

At Table19 we firmly believe in using data to put the customer at the heart of the customer journey to react to customer expectations by delivering the right message at the right time. Combining data from transactions along with web experience to create tailored and relevant 1-2-1 conversations.

-Natasha Joslin, Data Strategy Director