GDPR and the Channel: We've Updated Your Marketing Policies


“We’ve updated our privacy policy.”

How many times have you seen this message in the past month? And how many have you deleted without even a cursory glance? You can bet many of your customers and prospects are doing the exact same thing.

We’ve all been inundated with emails about updates to privacy policies. Every time I opened my email account the last week of May, I knew I was in for another batch of privacy policy updates. Usually, I’d delete them without thinking too much about it. Maybe, if it was for a service I use regularly, I’d open the email and give the text a cursory skim. As I deleted another seemingly irrelevant email, I did catch myself wondering: How have this many sites captured my email address? What do some of these services even do? Do I even remember signing up for some of these? With every privacy policy email I received, I realized how many people were talking to me that I’d tuned out.

GDPR not only affects the privacy policies of companies doing business in the EU, it is also affecting marketing strategy and tactics. It forces organizations to step up and put new practices in place. Net new prospects now have to raise their hands and signal interest. And organizations have to do much more than blasting out “spray and pray” emails. Will this impact your numbers? How much interest was “spray and pray” generating, anyway? This remains to be seen, but it will be interesting to measure.

GDPR is also making companies across every industry step up in terms of what they are offering to prospects. Sending out email after email to people through lists bought online or filled with outdated contacts won’t cut it anymore. Instead, reaching the people who are asking for info and who have a real need for what your business offers should be your end-goal. You still have to deliver value and tell a story to get customers to take those next steps toward a purchase. And, doing so will take a more integrated mix of tactics.

All the best practices for post-GDPR marketing were in place prior to the regulations going into effect. If anything, GDPR has forced our hands into taking a more targeted approach. Is that such a bad thing? Connecting with prospects who are truly interested versus sending them to disinterested people who delete them as though they were just another privacy policy update on May 24 certainly seems to be the better end of the deal.

You have the opportunity to talk directly to people who are listening now. Keep looking for those prospects who are engaging with what you’re putting out there. And take a hard look at how you intend to move them toward a sale.

This is the first in a series of posts on GDPR and the Channel. The next post takes what’s established here and elaborates on ways you can engage prospects outside of their inbox. Stay tuned!

Don’t miss more from Laz and other channel thought leaders on  You can reach Laz at or follow @lazgonzalez and @zift on Twitter.

As a prominent thought leader, Laz brings unparalleled channel expertise to Zift as Chief Strategy Officer. Before Zift, Laz was Group Director of Channel Sales & Marketing Strategies at SiriusDecisions serving as a strategic advisor to leading B2B channel programs worldwide.
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