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One year after GDPR, marketing industry shows remarkable recovery 

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Marketing databases have successfully recovered to 93% of their pre-GDPR levels, according to brand new research released today by Yieldify, the customer journey optimisation company.

The study showed that marketers’ expectations of GDPR’s impact have been proven pessimistic and that businesses in retail have been the most successful in their recovery.

The new report found that overall, remarkable recoveries have been made in the year since GDPR was implemented last May. At the time, over one-third (33.4%) of marketers lost over 30% of their databases and just over one-fifth (21.6%) claimed to be unaffected by the new regulations stipulating higher levels of consent to process customer data (including, unsurprisingly, all the legal businesses surveyed).

Since then, retail marketers report their databases to have recovered to 101% of their pre-GDPR size, whereas travel marketing databases remain at 74% of their levels last year. Some of the sectors hardest-hit for losses have seen some of the greatest recoveries: the media industry and IT/telecoms industry saw +27% and +29% regrowth respectively.

This pattern of the hardest-hit being the best-recovered continued as a trend in business sizes. Larger businesses generally lost greater proportions of data last year (an average of 29% for businesses of 100-500 people), but have recovered at strong rate of 24%. In comparison, businesses with less than 100 employees have only recovered by 18%.

While recovery for larger businesses is not complete, their high re-growth rate can be attributed to the diversity of tactics they employed in order to re-capture data. The study found that the larger the business, the greater range of strategies used. These included loyalty programmes, content optimisation and in-store incentives alongside the more common strategies of competitions and incentivising newsletter sign-ups.

Romain Sestier, VP Product and Data at Yieldify, says: “The results of the study really confirm the trends that we’ve been seeing amongst many of our clients over the last year: recovery from GDPR is completely achievable if you employ a smart and diverse range of strategies. We’ve created nearly 3,000 lead capture journeys in the last year, resulting in over 2.6 million new email leads for our clients’ CRMs – and even better, these contacts are usually far more engaged than those that were lost in May last year.”

The survey also found that marketers’ expectations around the impact of GDPR were often inaccurate. With high levels of panic and scaremongering ahead of staging, marketers’ expectations were overly pessimistic: a year later, 25.5% of marketers said that the impact on overall acquisition, website personalisation and single customer view was better than expected. However, this trend changed for email marketing and ad personalisation, where nearly one-third (32.4%) and a quarter (24.4%) respectively said that they were worse than predicted.

Jay Radia, CEO and co-founder of Yieldify, adds: “This time last year, marketers were heading into the unknown – we saw an unprecedented level of panic as everyone struggled to pick their way through complex new rules. What today’s report shows is some good news – while there’s a way to go and marketers still need to work to make up for lost time, they’re finding a way through.”

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Paul Skeldon

Editor and content creator for Telemedia – for 18 years and counting

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