Marija Ivančić: We will see the real consequences of GDPR in a few years

Soon it will be four months since the introduction of GDPR, and Marija Ivančić from UM Zagreb commented on the experience brought to us by this regulation and the panel at Weekend Media Festival, in which she participated.

I am sure the marketing industry will remember May 25th, 2018, the day that GDPR was put into effect. Although the regulation was passed in 2016, no one has dealt with this topic until a few months before the regulation has become official. Not only in Croatia, where we like to be considered as a procrastination nation, but throughout Europe – there was a lack of interest in this topic.

I believe that this is one of the key reasons why the GDPR, its penalties and the issues that the regulation actually implements in practice have resulted in increased panic.

The day before the GDPR was officially put into effect will remain engraved in our memory. To a certain extent, it felt like the announcement of the end of the world. A huge number of mail came to business, but also private mail. The fear of great punishments prevailed, they asked for the consent to absolutely everything and stopped or deleted everything we were not sure of (if it was allowed or not). But, as it always happens with the announcement of the world's ruin, it did not happen on May 25th, which of course doesn't mean that the GDPR didn't have any impact on our daily business, nor that we might see its real consequences in just about a year.

For this reason, this topic is still relevant, and I am convinced that it will remain so for some time, at least until the first court verdicts and penalties come to an end, or until the e-privacy law is updated that will make the present regulation a little more enlightening and give additional guidance on its application in practice.

The working group will help in understanding GDPR regulations

Due to GDPR, a large number of companies had to invest in internal policy updates and software development that allow data flows to be monitored, which must be matched to the level of the entire group within which the same companies operate. They also had to invest in employee education and finding adequate partners for the implementation of the regulation, such as lawyers, all of which led to an increase in the cost of doing business. The companies also discarded a large number of data they gathered about their consumers and users, and in order to ensure that all future steps were maximally aligned with the regulations, they started off from scratch and this also caused a certain reduction in revenue.

Because of the fact that practical examples and unified GDPR practices in the marketing profession are still missing, HURA agencies have initiated the creation of a task force whose task is to create guidelines that would be helpful - not just to agencies that are members of HURA - but also the entire marketing profession. By using the documents we have agreed upon, the desire is to help agencies to implement and uderstand the GDPR regulations easier, as well as offer documents that can be called upon in conflict situations.

Of course, the ultimate goal of the GDPR group, as well as the GDPR regulation itself, is a higher level of protection of the consumers, more transparent data processing and a better user experience.

According to various research, and one of them is the research of Wave 9 which UM is conducting on a global level, a total of 39% of respondents from Croatia said that they don't mind the collection of their personal data if they gain better user experience. The data shows that users are willing to share their personal information with the brands if they will have a visible benefit, which is why it should be the main guideline when creating marketing communications and campaigns for brands.

More on the working group, and about the things already being done, was disscussed ad the Weekend Media Festival and the panel "These terrible four letters or how we prepared ourselves for the GDPR - powered by HURA".

The panel was attended by all members of the GDPR working group: Krešimir Dominić (Communication Laboratory), Matija Hrestak (404 Agency), Marija Ivančić (UM Zagreb), Boris Rogan (Luna / TBWA Zagreb) and the moderator Aleksandra Đermanović (Mediacor, Croatia).

Read the whole interview HERE.