This year GDPR could launch a marketing compliance grenade into the UK business arena that could be financially devastating for unprepared businesses.
Not adhering to the new rules could result in fines of up to €20 million or 4% of annual global turnover. This means every UK business MUST re-think their outbound marketing strategy.
If your business relies on sales people making outbound calls to sourced data, you probably already know this year’s going to be challenging. You need enough compliant data to make sales and generate revenue. You also need to keep accurate compliant prospect records and adhere to the time limits on data permissions.
For a lot of UK businesses, outbound marketing channels (specifically internal telesales teams) have generated the vast majority of leads needed to drive revenue. This will need to change in 2018 if businesses are going to survive and prosper. As an agency we are already seeing clients pivoting on their business models to compensate for the incoming GDPR regulations.
The good news is that inbound leads generated via a website/landing page is still fair game and one of the best ways to fill your business sales pipeline.
2018 is when inbound marketing truly becomes king. This will be the year of the Performance Marketing Experts, as businesses seek greater visibility, accountability and ROAS (return on ad spend) .
The bad news:
In the coming year, marketing juggernauts Google and Facebook will no doubt have a field day with increased advertiser numbers and revenue (not like they need it). According to the September 2017 Adstage report (after analysing 8.8 billion Facebook ad impressions), it found Facebook’s CPC’s (cost per clicks) had increased by 136% since January 2017.
With Facebook impressions being flat whilst ad spend was increasing, the conclusion was that advertisers were paying more to enter an auction but getting the same number of impressions. This will get a lot worse with the increased number of advertisers that I expect to flock to the platform in the coming year.
The lesson here is to sharpen your business’ marketing game for a competitive year ahead.
So what does your business need to do?…..
- Have a concrete marketing plan for replacing any shortfall in outbound generated lead volumes
- Implement greater measurement where possible (presuming GDPR will also affect IP targeting) of your inbound lead/prospect flow.
- Further streamlining/optimising of assets (online written content, websites, landing pages) that have a direct impact on lead conversion rates.
- Engage with your prospect list (gained via compliant marketing) regularly so your permission time doesn’t expire.
- Get used to the term “Social Selling” and have your team use social media to generate new prospects.
- Use a good marketing provider to leverage Google and Facebook more effectively and increase ROAS.
Who will benefit in 2018…..
Business who embrace platforms like Linkedin and Facebook to educated, nurture, capture leads and re-engage prospects. More importantly the need to align sales and marketing has never been so important.
Marketing providers who genuinely add measurable value and can generate a significant number of inbound leads for businesses to turn into revenue, will benefit hugely. The ability to go upstream and take leads from consideration to lead/sale will be key. Which is why I believe Facebook and LinkedIn are the best platforms to make this happen.
Highly skilled sales professionals who can legitimately generate their own warm prospects through social selling will command a higher premium.
Lastly, Google and especially Facebook will benefit greatly. The latter I believe is still not quite leveraged effectively by the majority of businesses and marketing companies alike.
2018 is going to be an interesting year and I wish you the very best of luck for the year ahead.
Co-Founder – Hotwire Media
PS. Look out for my follow up articles expanding on some of the topics covered in this article.