As Televerde’s General Manager for our operations in Glasgow, Scotland, I’ve been immersed in the details of the General Data Protection Rule – better known as GDPR – for the past two years. This regulation has brought concern and questions but also purpose and redirection. A benefit to Televerde, minimal shift was needed in order for our team to fall into the GDPR compliance guidelines.

Flashbacks of Y2K
Having been in the thick of GDPR for quite a long time, I can tell you that waking up on 26 May 2018 felt a whole lot like waking up on 1 January 2000. Nothing happened. Our worst fears about Y2K didn’t materialise, much like GDPR didn’t “break” B2B marketing. There was a lot of stirring around to make sure that efforts had been made to comply with the regulation, but when the 25th rolled over to the 26th, marketing emails were still sent and outbound phone calls were still made.

Phone Calls ≠ GDPR
The truth is that GDPR can be a misunderstood regulation. The standard has to do with the way we process, transfer and dispose of personal data.

It’s often thought that GDPR deals with phone outreach, but GDPR and phone call regulation are two separate regulatory issues, with phone calls being regulated through the EU Privacy Directive, though GDPR does include language that supports the privacy requirement. I’ll explain more shortly about Televerde following GDPR to the letter of the rule in reference to making outbound calls for our clients.

Marketers care about Legitimate Interest and Consent
There are 6 “lawful basis” which a company can operate under to meet the requirements of GDPR. The two that impact B2B marketers, including Televerde, are the Legitimate Interest and Consent requirements.

Legitimate Interest focuses on whether you can reasonably expect that the person you are trying to communicate with, and whose data you are processing, would benefit from the services you are selling and that your marketing is balanced against the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.

If so, you’re within the GDPR compliance guidelines to reach out to them via email, electronic communication, or via phone calls if you’re meeting specific requirements such as following that country’s ‘do not call’ list or offering an opportunity to opt-out of future calls.

Legitimate Interest = marketing best practices
The way we look at it, Legitimate Interest is very much about marketing best practices, which Televerde has always focused on when conducting sales and marketing programmes for our clients.

We invest heavily into data intelligence efforts to ensure our clients’ customer and prospect data is up-to-date and accurate and that the customers and prospects we contact on their behalf are targeted and appropriate.

Some people see Legitimate Interest as a gray area that lets businesses claim compliance while possibly breaching a person’s privacy. In truth, GDPR is vague in some important areas, including Legitimate Interest. I expect that with time we’ll see this part of the rule adjust as organisations go through the court system and test what is truly Legitimate Interest and what isn’t.

But, if organisations like Televerde follow marketing best practices, invest in data intelligence platforms, and do their due diligence (with documentation!) to show the research of their total addressable market, they will not only stay within the guardrails of the rule but wholly abide by it, too.

Do your due diligence
For instance, Televerde does its due diligence up front and evaluates all its data. We help companies do their homework to fully understand their ideal customer profile, including specifics such as roles, lines of business, company size and revenue and more.

Using this defined profile to either scrub or source data that fits into their total addressable market.  By scrubbing and sourcing data this way, and matching it up against regionalised “do not call” lists such as the Robinson list in Germany or the TPS/CPTS lists in the UK, Televerde can help clients meet the Legitimate Interest requirements and prove that we have done the research the rule necessitates.

Consent must be obvious
In comparison to Legitimate Interest, Consent is an instance in which a person explicitly gives their permission to be contacted. Whether it’s checking a box on a webform or giving permission over the phone, the act of giving consent must be obvious, intentional and unambiguous.

Consent and Legitimate Interest have an important role to play both in data privacy and electronic communication, but also regarding phone calls made. I mentioned earlier that I wanted to come back to the topic of why Televerde can make outbound phone calls on behalf of our clients while following GDPR to the letter of the rule.

Remember that GDPR and phone outreach are linked by the processing of personal data; GDPR does not regulate phone calls, it regulates the processing of personal data. The personal data used to process the calls must be managed in a way that meets Legitimate Interest balancing test requirements, if Legitimate Interest is the lawful basis for processing.

By meeting those requirements wholly, Televerde can continue to make outbound calls for our clients. We even go so far as to use specific opt-out language so if the recipient of the call no longer wants to be reached, s/he understands their right to decline future contact.

Why Televerde is the right match
Televerde is known for our Lead-to-Revenue model, which is a human-centered approach for a number of different sales and marketing tactics designed to help our clients acquire new business and grow the business they already have.

Our reps are the best in the business, and, long before GDPR, were trained to be disciplined about identifying and contacting only the right people with the right message. It’s how we’ve always done business and is one of the ways we distinguish ourselves in the marketplace.

It’s because of this discipline and long-term focus on defining who our clients’ customers and prospects are, then moving up the ladder to get into personas, levels, etc., that we are so successful for our clients.

GDPR is confusing and in some cases vague and ambiguous. Televerde offers tremendous value to our clients because we understand and abide not only by GDPR, but also EU Privacy Directive, and have done the hard work to identify and defend customers and prospects that fit Legitimate Interest.

Our solutions become 10x more valuable to companies because they know that Televerde is approaching the right people, and no agents in the industry are better on the phone than ours.

Keep Calm & Carry On
The Brits have a great saying, “Keep Calm and Carry On.” While it was originally meant to calm nerves and help England prepare for the Second World War, it’s applicable to GDPR, too. Yes, the rule is a big deal and its steep fines mean that businesses need not only pay attention but abide by it. But, marketers need not worry; they can still do their jobs effectively within the guardrails of GDPR.

Following traditional best practices around marketing and data intelligence, and working with the best, most highly-trained teleservices teams will not only keep you compliant, it’ll increase your demand gen efforts and get you to your revenue goals more quickly.

Televerde offers both – data intelligence and the industry’s best teleservices – and we’d love to chat with you today about your needs and how we can help you grow globally… while still meeting GDPR compliance guidelines.

Disclaimer
This content is an interpretation of Televerde’s knowledge of GDPR as of the date of publication. We have taken a thoughtful approach with our purpose and intent to deliver meaningful and accurate information regarding the regulation. GDPR is comprised of distinct limitations and our explanations of certain aspects may not necessarily be long-standing by the company.

This content is not legal advice nor instruction of how GDPR may apply to you and your organization. Please work with a legally qualified professional to discuss GDPR, how it applies specifically to your organization, and how best to ensure compliance.
TELEVERDE MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS CONTENT. This CONTENT is provided “as-is.” Information and views expressed in this content, including any company website references, may change without notice.

This content does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Televerde product. You may copy and use this content for your internal, reference purposes only.

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