GDPR compliance in B2B marketing: the difficult decisions

GDPR compliance in B2B marketing: Let us help you through those hard decisions

The time has come for decisions to be made. As the 25thMay 2018 draws ever closer, companies need to pin down their requirements for data processes to become fully GDPR compliant. Lead Forensics is here to help you with that very task! When it comes to B2B marketing, there are some finite conclusions that you need to arrive at, and with our fully compliant software at the ready we’ll take you through how we can help your business get there.

Being able to stand up and proclaim full compliance is a testament to hard work, co-operation and nous. Many companies fret and become disorganised when legal requirements step into already established processes. Don’t let yourselves be part of that! Though a legal requirement, the GDPR isn’t in play to stop everyone’s processing dead. What sort of economy would we have if no one could do any marketing at all?! Madness!

We simply need to work together, harmonising your organisation’s processing with the GDPR, so everyone sits on the same page. Get to grips with the basics with our free guide GDPR: 12 Steps to take now then let us look to the future of your organisation’s B2B marketing…

Legitimate Interest vs. Consent: What to choose for B2B Marketing

When encountering terms like “legitimate interests” and “consent”, it’s easy to be confused. We all know what we think they are…but do we really know? The more you question it, the more you get confused and the vicious circle continues to revolve until you end up at a complete loss, anxious and everyone expects you to know the answers but you just don’t.

Stay calm! It’s much simpler than you think; the GDPR states that all data processing systems must be carried out under a lawful basis of processing. It’s understandable that these will be different between departments, as data is a fully fluid entity, its requirements and operations differing in each area of business.

So what is a lawful basis of processing? When you process personal data for any reason within business, you need a reason enabling you to do so, to fill a necessity. This reason must be lawful and fall under the GDPR. To simplify this, there are six different lawful basis for processing to choose from, allowing your organisation to discover which one is best for each department’s needs. Only two of these six really apply to B2B Marketing – consent and legitimate interests. Consent is (as you would imagine!) when you have the express consent of an individual to process their personal data, whereas legitimate interests allows you to process the data of any individual you believe would have a genuine interest in what you’re marketing to them, or that there are fundamental legitimate interests for your business in processing the data – however this must not be at the detriment to the rights and freedoms of the data subject. These are very simple definitions -you can find some more thorough information on consent and legitimate interest outlined in our blog What does GDPR mean for B2B Marketing?.


As with any decision, there are compelling positives and negatives for both options, but the way we see it, legitimate interests has become the front-runner for these reasons:

  • It’s more time efficient. B2B marketing differs from B2C in that its audience is far more niche and specific, you as an organisation will have a precise buyer in mind when you go to market. You’ll know quickly whether a company would have legitimate interest in what you offer or not- far quicker than if you were to gain the consent of every individual whose data you wish to process.
  • It’s “The most flexible lawful basis for processing”- The ICO. This flexibility enables legitimate interests to be tailored to a variety of marketing strategies across plenty of industries. When you’re processing personal data through several different channels for marketing, consent can only suit certain areas (such as events). Legitimate interests, however, is able to suit a myriad of channels within marketing, as long as you ensure it’s followed through properly – importantly that it doesn’t infringe on the individuals rights or freedoms and you have a necessity to process the data.
  • Cleaner system of documentation. When initiating the process of documenting your lawful basis of processing (a new legal requirement under the updated GDPR), consent has many extra steps to take in its documentation, including how you gain consent, who you have consent for and evidence of all consent given- it’s a mammoth task! Legitimate interest is smooth and simple, and includes commercial interest, so suits the necessities of B2B marketing perfectly.

Obviously you should choose the lawful basis of processing that works best for your B2B marketing needs, but ensure you weigh up the details carefully and make the decision that’s beneficial for your future marketing plans as well as those already in action.


How can Lead Forensics help you?

Lead Forensics is B2B marketing software, allowing companies to see who their business website visitors are. Only 2% of these visitors make an active effort to get in contact with your company, Lead Forensics is the software that can change that. Not only does it track the activity of your visits, but also gives you those all-important contact details so you can get in touch with those business leads straight away!

We know what you might be thinking- how can Lead Forensics help me with GDPR compliance? Well in the world of B2B marketing, we’re top of our game and have worked tirelessly to make our software solution fully GDPR compliant. Lead Forensics allows you to have an incredible way of gathering and managing fresh, sales ready leads that will do wonders for expanding your marketing and sales, with the security of knowing you’re fully compliant. Here’s how:

Lead Forensics primarily sources business data- the business name, financial details, business telephone number etc, which is not applicable under GDPR.  Where personal data is processed – the email address and names of the key decision makers, it is compliant under GDPR given the legitimate interest in your products or services from the pro-active visit by the organisation at which the data subject is employed.  The beauty of Lead Forensics, is that whatever data we provide you with, it all stems from a legitimate interest. We only supply you with data for a company contact because someone from that specific organisation has visited your website, showing a legitimate interest in what you’re offering.

It will be your responsibility to ensure you carry legitimate interest throughout your internal data processing for marketing, but the leads brought to you by Lead Forensics have already shown the intrigue needed for you to process their data under legitimate interests.

Added to this, Lead Forensics can help grow your database for other B2B marketing ventures. Our clients have asked if they can still use the email addresses found on the Lead Forensics software for their email newsletters. The answer is yes! As long as the job title of that individual and their company both qualify alongside the legitimate interest shown by their website visit (and you’ve ensured there is no risk of compromising the individuals rights and freedoms), then you’re good to go!


In this way, Lead forensics offers a solution to:

  • Find fresh data under the GDPR
  • Manage those leads through a pipeline knowing that they’ve shown an interest in your company already- GDPR happy and intrigued by your product – a winning combo!
  • Feeding data into your marketing department as a whole under the GDPR regulations – helps you on the way to securing a fully compliant department

Under the new GDPR, documentation is a legal requirement meaning companies must have clear records (in writing) covering a variety of factors. These include all the processes surrounding data (in every instance and department), transparent privacy notices, evidence of decisions made for GDPR, and that’s just for starters! Have a little peep at the ICO’s webpage on Documentation for a full list of all the areas that need documenting. (Probably safest to get started on this ASAP!)

When it comes to documentation, the more thorough you can be, the better. When you’re gathering new data for marketing purposes it’s best to have your documentation as clear as possible, outlining your lawful basis of processing as well as the categorisation of any data you collect. Lead Forensics helps make your documentation process slick and painless giving you precise information about the business’s visit to your website- displaying the legitimate interest shown, along with a clear record of the data available for you to process.

The software also comes with Lead Manager, allowing you to assign your leads and track their journey through your company. This makes it effortless to ensure accurate documentation in your B2B lead generation system. This knowledge will always be available to you, so you’re able to check regularly that your documentation records align with data pulled from the Lead Forensics software. We want to make everything as easy as possible in ensuring you have a stable and reliable lead source for your B2B marketing whilst also complying with the GDPR.


We know how difficult it can be to look hard decisions in the eye and pass final judgement, but we’re here to help your marketing departments do just that. Lead Forensics is passionate about bringing the best B2B marketing results to companies. Due to our full compliance, Lead Forensics has become an enabler for businesses embarking on their journey to GDPR excellence.

Don’t forget to have a little look at our free demo to see how we can empower your B2B marketing team up with GDPR, making them the best of friends from here-on-out.

DISCLAIMER: Lead Forensics is a global market leading SaaS organisation.  We have conducted extensive research into the GDPR and have an active working knowledge intended to help our clients to become better prepared ahead of the GDPR coming into force.  Lead Forensics however does not provide legal advice on the GDPR and cannot be held responsible for the GDPR compliance of any organisation other than its own, it is the responsibility of each business to ensure their own compliance with the GDPR.  If you have any need for legal advice, please contact a solicitor or visit the ICO website for further information


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