80 Percent of Marketers Concerned Their Marketing Technology Vendors Might Expose Their Company to GDPR Legal Risks

New Demandbase Research Indicates Only 32 Percent of Organizations Surveyed are Fully GDPR Compliant; Most Companies Still Working Toward Compliance

San Francisco – July 31, 2018 – Demandbase, the leader in Account-Based Marketing (ABM), today unveiled the results of its Privacy and GDPR survey, issued in conjunction with global research firm, Demand Metric, to understand marketers’ approach to data privacy. The research was conducted about one month after the GDPR deadline and found that 23 percent of marketers surveyed were not even aware of the GDPR. Of those who are aware of the GDPR, only 32 percent of marketers report that their companies are fully GDPR compliant. Third party vendors may be an even larger concern, as 80 percent surveyed report concern that their marketing technology vendors may expose their company to legal risks because they are not GDPR compliant. Based on these results, it is not surprising that nearly 75 percent of study participants also report that their companies will invest in technology to improve their approach to data privacy.

Click to tweet  .@Demandbase & @DemandMetric research uncovers insight on marketers approach to data privacy & #GDPR compliance https://demandb.se/2LJgX1J

The survey results demonstrate that there remains much for marketers to learn and implement after the GDPR deadline. Survey respondents listed the top GDPR challenges for marketers as:

  1. Understanding the GDPR (57 percent)
  2. Data management (44 percent)
  3. Obtaining consent from users (40 percent)
  4. Technology barriers (37 percent)

“GDPR compliance is particularly important for the B2B industry because no company wants to do business with another company that’s going to be a liability for them,” said Fatima Khan, Chief Privacy Officer at Demandbase. “Marketing teams have a lot at stake to implement the GDPR regulations properly, which is why we have invested in taking steps toward GDPR compliance, such as internal training to protect ourselves and our customers from data privacy issues.”

Marketers are particularly concerned about obtaining rights to use data through consent. The research found that the main channels that companies use to obtain consent include:

  • Email (80 percent)
  • Online form (70 percent)
  • Website notice or banner (48 percent)

When it comes to refreshing consent for customer email lists, respondents were nearly evenly split between:

  • Asking everyone to re-consent (36 percent)
  • Taking a limited country-by-country approach (35 percent)
  • Not refreshing consent (30 percent)

In addition, the majority of companies surveyed (60 percent) are changing their global approach to privacy in light of the GDPR, with Europe and North America as the most affected regions.

“Companies have to recognize that the GDPR isn’t a single compliance action, but instead is the start of a continuous process of reevaluating privacy compliance as technologies and data processes evolve,” said Khan. “With that said, I do believe that these privacy changes will ultimately create more transparency and provide new opportunities for marketing departments to be more engaging, clear and customer-centric.”

The survey found that 86 percent of organizations value the protection of data from a significant to a moderate extent, citing customer expectations (73 percent) and legal responsibilities (72 percent) as the top reasons. Over 90 percent of respondents believe that ensuring data privacy will help their marketing team build trust with customers and also help their marketing team deliver a better customer experience.

The study results also examined companies’ investment in the GDPR compliance and found that 22 percent of study participants report that they are not spending any money on the GDPR compliance. In an analysis correlating investment to revenue growth, results found that revenue-stagnant companies are nearly twice as likely to report they are not spending any money on the GDPR. Revenue-growth companies were much more likely to report spending $50,000 USD or more on compliance.

The research surveyed 255 marketers globally from June 13 – June 28, 2018. The majority of respondents are employed at organizations with between 20-10,000 employees and come from a diverse set of industries, including business/professional services, consulting, education, financial services, healthcare, Internet, manufacturing, marketing, non-profit, retail, telecommunications and others.

For more information on the Demandbase and Demand Metric Privacy GDPR survey, please register for “The GDPR for B2B Marketers” webinar on August 22 at 9 a.m. PT/12 p.m. ET, which will discuss the full survey report, or visit our blog at “5 Key GDPR & Privacy Findings for B2B Marketers. An abridged version of the report can be downloaded here.

About Demandbase

Demandbase is the leader in Account-Based Marketing (ABM). The company offers the only Artificial Intelligence-enabled, comprehensive ABM platform that spans Advertising, Marketing, Sales and Analytics. Enterprise leaders and high-growth companies such as Accenture, Adobe, DocuSign, GE, Salesforce and others use Demandbase to drive their ABM strategy and maximize their marketing performance. The company was named a Gartner Cool Vendor for Tech Go-To Market in 2016. For more information, please visit www.demandbase.com or follow the company on Twitter @Demandbase.