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Simple set-up. No commitments. Get started today.

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Experience turbo-charged lead generation with a free trial.
Simple set-up. No commitments. Get started today.

How will the new ePrivacy Regulation affect B2B lead generation?

“Putting data protection at the center of digital business strategies is the key to improving trust and digital growth.” — Steve Woods, Deputy Commissioner, ICO
 
As marketers, staying on top of changes to data compliance should be deeply rooted in what you do every day. Back in 2018, organizations faced the data compliance giant that was GDPR — a legal framework outlining the rules for collecting and processing personal data. While oftentimes it seemed complicated, the majority of organizations were already working well within the realms of GDPR compliance. But, like all things in the B2B world, as technology advances, processes adapt and political uncertainty remains an issue, changes are always taking place. That’s where PECR and ePrivacy come into play. Let’s explore what they are, highlight the differences, and establish how forthcoming changes to regulations could affect your B2B organization.
 
Generally speaking, data privacy is covered by GDPR. But, as technology and internet use evolved and expanded so quickly, the same standards of data privacy needed to be covered for the online world as well. And so, in 2002, the EU ePrivacy Directive was born — helping ensure the protection and privacy of internet users across every digital touchpoint. Shortly after, in 2003, the UK introduced the Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations (PECR) — a UK-specific regulation based on the ePrivacy Directive. Right now, the existing directive is being updated and replaced with what is known as the ePrivacy regulation — the aim of which is to provide more modern, streamlined and all-encompassing rules for electronic communications. This was initially supposed to coincide with GDPR in May 2018.
 
The ePrivacy Directive is a complex piece of legislation, and due to numerous complications, a number of areas have caused debate — from browser settings and Wi-Fi tracking to consent and confidentiality. So, the completion of the ePrivacy Regulation has been delayed, time and time again. What we do know is that when the regulation comes into force, there are a number of factors that have the potential to affect B2B marketers and their processes. While nothing is set in stone, there are a few key marketing elements rumored to see some changes. Let’s see what is likely to change, and how B2B marketers should prepare.
 
Direct marketing vs display advertising
 
The ePrivacy Regulation could change the definition of direct marketing to distinguish it from display advertising. Going forward, a direct marketing communication must be ‘sent’, compared to display advertising, which is ‘presented’.
 
B2B email marketing
 
Currently, under PECR, B2B organizations can reach out to other businesses via email marketing without consent, as long as an opt-out option is firmly in place. Changes to ePrivacy could mean that, going forward, consent could become a necessity. This could cause difficulties for SME organizations that do not have access to hordes of existing data.
 
Soft opt-ins for existing customers (email and SMS)
 
Today, organizations can contact their existing customers via email and SMS — as long as the products and services are similar to the individual’s previous purchase and a clear opt-out option is in place. The ePrivacy Regulation could put a time-limit on this process.
 
Cookies
 
Internet users will need to actively consent to the use of cookies. Previously, a number of organizations would display a cookie consent banner with an already checked box, authorizing the use of cookies. Under the new ePrivacy Regulations, organizations must leave the box unticked. And, service providers must freely inform visitors about who is accessing their data and how long the cookies would be active for.
 
With Brexit due to take place at the end of October, uncertainty continues to sit at the forefront of marketers’ minds. While we can’t be entirely sure of the changes that the UK leaving the EU will have on data protection regulations, the most important thing is to be prepared. Stay informed, and ensure you have the processes and resources in place to meet any necessary requirements. Businesses that deal with EU-based countries specifically should be prepared for a potentially more complicated data sharing process. While the regulation is still in progress, and there is no definitive date for release, it is important to note that organizations will likely be given one to two years to ensure they are compliant.
 
Lead Forensics is a website tracking software that enables B2B organizations to generate engaged leads directly through their website. It works by alerting users of their B2B website visitors in real-time and enabling them to reach out to potential customers. This all takes place under the grounds of legitimate interest, all comfortably within GDPR. The software fuels your marketing team with warm leads, helps supercharge your marketing processes and gives your sales teams the information they need to personalize their pitch. Discover a bounty of previously anonymous website leads with Lead Forensics and book your free trial today.