There’s a lot of debate, discussion, misinformation, concern and even panic about the GDPR. Self-proclaimed experts are making good money by providing guidance and advise to companies that are uncertain about the implications of the GDPR and need help.
At Aexus, we have never been too concerned about the GDPR, really. Or actually: not at all. Reason is that in our sales and marketing activities, we have basically been GDPR compliant all along.
GDPR in a b2b environment
Yes, the GDPR is also very relevant for us. Key topic in the GDPR is the protection of personal data. The GDPR is not designed for a b2b environment, but is also relevant here, for example in relation to personal data of personnel, prospects and customers.
For a sales and marketing company such as Aexus, two areas are of major importance. First of all, it’s important to have very clear guidelines and policies in place about the way personal data are being stored and maintained within the organisation. Aexus only stores and uses the data for the purpose for which they are intended. Moreover, we only process personal data if this is strictly necessary and the data are not kept any longer than necessary. Furthermore, Aexus has implemented safety measures to prevent loss, unlawful use and dataleaks.
In addition, anyone may, at any time, ask us which data of him/her we store in our database. And if someone wants their data to be deleted, we will immediately oblige. We have always done that and will continue to do so.
In addition, the way in which people (customers, prospects) are approached is relevant within the context of the GDPR. Here, too, the way we work will not change drastically.
GDPR and sales
In its sales efforts, Aexus focuses on a (very extensive) network of contacts and relations in various segments and industries in Europe. These business partners value Aexus' input and ideas and appreciate the fact that we contact them regularly to discuss the latest market developments, to place trends in a broader perspective and to introduce new partners (vendors). Many of these people, who often hold key positions within the organisations where they work, have considered us as a trusted advisor for many years. Many of them have joined the "Friends of Aexus" community, thus explicitly expressing their commitment and interest in Aexus' activities and partners.
If we have not contacted someone yet, we will not cold contact him/her on his/her direct telephone number or personal (business) email address. Even though contacting people on the general company telephone number is and remains permitted, we nevertheless prefer to contact people who may be relevant to us or our partners within a particular organisation in other ways. If we want to get in touch with someone we do not yet have an existing relationship with, we prefer to be introduced to the relevant person through our network. In some cases, using social media such as Linkedin and Xing is also a great way to establish contact.
Moreover, Aexus has invested heavily in inbound marketing in recent years. Inbound marketing is focused on attracting customers through relevant and helpful content and adding value at every stage in your customer's buying journey. With inbound marketing, potential customers find you through channels like blogs, search engines, and social media. Aexus’ inbound marketing works via privacy by default whereby a double opt-in is included at all times. A great way to tap new prospects and obviously in full compliance with the new legislation.
So at Aexus, we welcome the GDPR. It helps us stand out. It confirms that the way we have been doing our business is right and appropriate. And we are pleased to say that in our sales and marketing activities, we have actually been GDPR compliant all along.