Data is one of the most important assets a company can have. Organizations across the world find enormous value in collecting, sharing and using data. On 25 May 2018 the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. The GDPR sets rules around privacy and consent to ensure organizations are responsible while handling their customers’ sensitive information like email addresses, phone numbers and more.
To know more about data privacy policies, Sweet Fish Media Podcast Host Logan Lyles and Hemal Shah, Vice President – Business Development at SMARTe, revisit the legislations, diving deeper into the definitions.
Listen to the entire podcast here:
Hemal, give us a background about yourself and what you and SMARTe team are up to these days?
I’ve been selling data solutions for the last 17 years with a focus on marketing data and lead generation data in the last 7 years. A couple of years ago, with the onset of GDPR, there was a lot of noise around data privacy. Our customers were concerned since GDPR and similar regulations came into existence across the world.
In the last 15 years of being in the business, SMARTe has been a responsible data partner. Even before the existence of these data privacy regulations, we have always delivered double opt-in data. This helped us be more prepared as a company than many other vendors in this space and fortunately, trust and business has only been growing ever since.
One term that relates directly to GDPR is this term “Legitimate Interest”. Can you speak more about it and its importance to the industry?
As a company, you need to often process personal data in order to carry out tasks related to your business activities. The term refers to the interest that you may have in that processing. It gives B2B sellers and marketers the flexibility wherein as long as you are reaching out to a defined audience, you can leverage the provision of legitimate interest.
Based on our client’s requirement, we process and ask the prospects if they are okay to receive communication from our client. This includes 3 touch points – a one-time notification and 2 follow-ups. Then we collect the responses to get the list of prospects that have opted-in and also those who have chosen not to opt-out. Our client can then leverage the provision of Legitimate interest and market to those prospects.
SMARTe works with a lot of companies that sell to prospects in Europe. How do these data privacy regulations apply in the DACH region in Europe?
Double opt-in is mandated under GDPR, predominantly for the DACH region. Long before the enforcement of GDPR, DACH countries like Germany, Switzerland and Austria were always asking for double opt-in data. We would recommend our customers selling to these regions to continue with double opt-in data. For countries outside DACH region, you can leverage flexibility of the provision of Legitimate Interest.
What other advice would you give to marketers on a broad scale on data privacy?
SMARTe encourages our clients to abide by law. It is our responsibility as sellers and data providers to make sure sensitive information is not abused.
Ever since the GDPR has come into effect, we have wondered whether we can use personal data for cold calling. Technically, the answer is YES. The legislation allows businesses to cold call but ensures this is done in a responsible way, only where there is a ‘Legitimate interest’ to do so, and where the interests and rights of the individual are protected. Because, when you call a customer, you ask a simple question “Do I have the permission to speak with you?”. You can introduce yourself and tell them where you got their number from. You’re actually seeking consent. Custom e-mails with personalized content is also allowed.
Yet, some of our marquee clients which comprises of the largest enterprises choose to take a conservative approach with double opt-in data. Nevertheless, SMARTe is a very responsible data partner and will always be prepared to deliver double opt-in consented data so that our clients can connect with their target prospects confidently.
To listen to the full podcast:
Sweet Fish Media Podcast
-> Sweet Fish Media About Data Privacy
-> About Data Privacy In B2B Marketing
Hemal is a VP – Business Development, EMEA and APAC, at SMARTe. He has over 16 years of rich experience in International Business Development and Consulting working with marquee Global 2000 companies across industries. Hemal has earlier led the business development for a large global BPO/KPO company and built key new services within Demand Generation from scratch to a multi-million-dollar practice. Hemal has also played a key role in establishing the US Mid-West practice for a large spend management company by building a roster of marquee Fortune 500 customers. Hemal has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering from University of Mumbai and an MBA in international business from IIEIM (IIFT Affiliate).
About Sweet Fish Media
Sweet Fish Media produces podcasts for B2B brands. The podcasts they produce help people get better at work. B2B Growth is a daily podcast for B2B marketers with over 3.5 million downloads and over 1,500 episodes.
SMARTe serves 300+ customers in 150 industries across 202 countries. SMARTe works as a true agile Data-as-a-Service partner for companies to provide them with high quality global B2B contact data fueled by data science. To know more, visit www.smarteinc.com.