GDPR and Account-Based Marketing: Staying Compliant

Can you serve up personalized ABM content within the rules of GDPR? Yes.

Like many organizations, you may be looking at personalizing the experience of your customers and prospects with account-based marketing (ABM), an approach that is proven to yield high ROI and engage your target accounts. In its 2018 ABM Benchmark Study, ITSMA revealed that 77% of respondents reported 10% or greater ROI from ABM than from traditional marketing efforts. Of those seeing that positive ROI, 45% reported more than double the ROI from ABM.

However, also like many organizations, you may have also been focusing attention on honing compliance with the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)—the regulation that is designed to protect your current and future customers by giving them the rights to control who collects their personal data and how that data is used. If you are a B2B marketer, your company is a data controller and is responsible for implementing appropriate technical and organizational measures to demonstrate that all data processing activities are GDPR compliant.

So how can you use data to run an ABM program?
CompassABM does not collect the personal data of individuals who visit your website. It identifies the IP addresses of organizations only. The resulting non-personal information enables you to customize your interactions with your target accounts without collecting any personal data or upending the work you’ve done on GDPR compliance.

As with any regulatory issue, remember that you should review rules at the official GDPR Portal and consult with your legal team and data protection officer (DPO) for specific guidance on data use and protection.

How Can We Implement ABM and Still Be GDPR-Compliant?

Good news: When you implement an ABM program, you are not automatically violating the GDPR.
In fact, ABM offers a way to increase the relevance of communications with prospects and customers while NOT using individual private data.

Why is use of personal data problematic?

Although the EU has had in place regulations governing the use of electronic data since the 1980s, those earlier protections did not anticipate the dramatic escalation in the collection and use of personal data that we’ve seen in the past decade. The GDPR was created to provide a more comprehensive, uniform approach to data protection. It is applicable to any company that offers goods or services to or monitors the behavioral activities of EU data subjects, regardless of where that company is located.

Initially, marketers were concerned about the effect the GDPR would have on their ability to communicate with prospects and customers. But savvy marketing leaders have risen to the challenge and look on the GDPR as just the next evolution in personalized, customer-centered marketing.

How Does CompassABM Enable Automated Personalization?

ABM is a good fit for companies that comply with the GDPR because the regulation naturally leads organizations to carefully, selectively target their communications, messaging, and offerings. That level of personalization does not require collecting personal data about an individual.
CompassABM doesn’t collect any individual’s personal data. The platform reveals firmographic data—identifying only companies and websites associated with IP addresses. Those IP addresses never correlate to individual people and we don’t allow those addresses to be mapped to individuals.

In addition, once IP addresses are resolved, that information is held for the minimal time needed. IP data is automatically purged after 30 days and re-resolved if users from that address return afterwards. We use the data only for as long as it’s needed, then it’s gone.

When a visitor’s IP address matches one of your target account companies, CompassABM surfaces content you’ve customized for the account. Simultaneously, your account representative is notified about that account’s activity on your site. From there, your sales team can determine the action to take to form a closer connection to the account.

Remember: A Technology Platform Is Only One Part of Your ABM Program

Because your ABM strategy is built from variety of digital and direct marketing tactics, you’ll want to ensure that your overall GDPR compliance is in place. (For an overview of the considerations for completing a phased GDPR implementation, download the free ebook Making GDPR Happen from Refactored.)
In accordance with the intent of the GDPR, ABM provides a way to bring more relevant and meaningful information to the people who are looking for it—and the people you want to talk to.

Are You Set Up for ABM Activities?

ABM encompasses a range of activities from your teams before, during, and after your program launches. Our experts are here to help your team with the bandwidth and skills needed to get ABM going. Learn more about our services.

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