B2B businesses rely heavily on data sources to target their customers. These data sources provide companies with accurate information about their customers, their buying journeys, and their areas of interest.
Information about customers is crucial to curating marketing and sales team strategies, but it is also essential to look out for the customers' privacy. Therefore, there has emerged a need for data protection rules.
The data privacy act is very customer-centric. You can access the customer's data, location, browsing activities, and more if and only if they want you to have it. This applies to both B2B and B2C types of businesses.
With the increase in technology, digitalization, and access to the internet, data privacy is treated as a subject of prime importance. There are laws to be adhered to at local, state, country, and global levels.
As we all know that, data is of immense importance for the sales and marketing teams to enhance customer experience and generate revenue. So, here is all you need to know about data privacy in the B2B market.
If you use the internet for various activities, you will notice that your information is being asked to allow access. Even if some sites provide information for free, they ask you to enter basic details like your name, number, and email ID.
Now, this information is stored by the site to enhance search results. But in the past few years, there has been a surge in the amount of data being misused, sold, and more. It has led to consumers being particular about where they provide and share their data.
Amid these rising concerns about online data privacy, the General Data Protection Regulation was implemented on May 25, 2018.
EU organizations have a compulsion to abide by the GDPR rules, but many countries are adopting the law. In addition, many countries have data privacy regulations for organizations to comply with.
Data Privacy in B2B Market
Apple CEO Tim Cook has raised awareness about data privacy and said, "This crisis is real. It is not imagined, exaggerated, or crazy."
Amazon, Google, WhatsApp, and other companies have faced massive GDPR fines for data breaches. In addition, it has led to more awareness in B2B companies of the need to comply with data privacy regulations.
The General Data Protection Regulation Act is updated regularly, considering the changing scenarios of organizations and the privacy of individuals.
When B2B organizations read or hear about data privacy regulations, they tend to panic. But it is important to understand that these laws are not harmful, but they give more control to the users over their data. Users decide where, when, and how they want their information to be shared. So, if your business proves its trustworthiness to the customers, they will undoubtedly provide you with all the information you need and more.
Let us further see how and why a large audience will give access to their information.
Using Third-Party B2B Marketing Data
As customers become more aware of their shared information, data privacy in the B2B market becomes more precautionary. The General Data Protection Regulation and other data privacy compliance countries will ensure that organizations only use customers' data if consent is granted.
How do you get consent to use the data?
The answer to this question is that your customer should trust your brand and the website or any other platform that they interact on. A survey stated that 79% of customers refrain from sharing their information if they do not find the site trustworthy.
To make your business look trustworthy, especially in the B2B scenario, here is the basic checklist to prove the authenticity of your business.
- Ensure that your site has SSL certification.
- Curate quality and plagiarism-free content.
- Ask your customers if they are willing to share the information (cookies).
- Request only the necessary information for contact forms. Keep the contact forms as minimal as possible.
- Provide authentic customer reviews on your website and social media pages.
- Keep the pages active, wherever you represent your brand.
- Incorporate chatbots.
Let customers have easy access to the sales and marketing POCs.
These are some of the value-adds that customers notice when they visit a particular site. Thus, try to be as transparent as possible.
When your brand is trustworthy and you have audiences consent to their data quickly, their visits to your brand pages will give you access to all the B2B marketing data you need.
Role of Data Privacy in B2B Market
Enhancing customer experience, driving sales, and increasing conversions can go hand in hand with GDPR compliance for B2B.
If you are a global enterprise, you may need to adhere to the data privacy compliance of every country. But believe us, it is not as challenging as it sounds. All you have to do is ensure that your brand is transparent, explicit, and plainspoken about how you collect, treat, and protect your customer data.
Here are some vital points that shape your brand value when you align it with data privacy compliance.
It says a lot about the company when you tell enterprises what data you are collecting and how you will use it.
Transparency is the foundation of building trust. So instead of panicking about the whole data privacy thing, be transparent. Tell organizations how and why you will be using their data and give them no reason not to trust your business.
If you consider GDPR compliance in regards to B2B, then you will understand that what data you collect and save is as important as how you use the data. So, be very judicious in the information you seek to acquire.
For example, if a healthcare company is looking online to buy some equipment in bulk, and the site asks them about the number of doctors the company has, won't that be irrelevant? The first thing that the customer will do is exit the site and never revisit it.
In such cases, always ask and collect only the data that you truly require. Prioritize quality over quantity. Generally, for B2B marketing data, a name, email address, contact number, and reason for inquiry should be sufficient to take things ahead.
More Trust = More Brand Value
When big brand names pop up in data breaching scandals, customers tend to lose faith in sharing even the most minor details online. Data-driven decisions can play a vital role in getting faith back.
B2B companies have to be very virtuous in their approach. When you get access to the data, use it to enhance the customer experience and make data-driven decisions for sales and marketing.
B2B data protection is a subject of acute seriousness. The entire organization has shared its data with you. It means it trusts you, so you should not take any action to taint it. Even if you need to share the data with providers, ensure that they adhere to the data protection laws.
Don't Take Any Risks
Remember, not complying with data privacy policies in the B2B market is not worth the risk. If you get caught, you will have to pay 4% of your annual business turnover as a fine for not complying with GDPR-compliance for B2B. With this crippling fine, your business may be temporarily or permanently suspended for data processing services.
Be a GDPR-compliant company, adhere to data protection rules, and build your brand on the pillars of trust, transparency, enhancement, and confidentiality.
In the US, states have adopted their legislation like the CCPA in California. Every country in the world has its own set of rules for data security, so frame your policies accordingly and never give the customer a chance to doubt you.
Conduct Regular Audits
Cybersecurity is a shared responsibility. You need to do whatever it takes to have the best security system to avoid data breaches. Even if you have a GDPR-compliant policy but not a safe procedure, data breaches will happen, and you will have to pay for them.
Owing a top data security system is the need of the hour. You have to conduct regular audits to ensure that your security system, cookie policies, terms and conditions, privacy policies, and more are aligned with the data protection for B2B.
- Your data protection audit for B2B must contain:
- Encryption of user data and secure recovery in case of disasters.
- Mobile data security to ensure no installation of malicious software can damage data.
- Firewall protection so that database security is maximum.
- Checking compliance, maintaining backup operations, and securing company information.
- An identity management audit ensures that customers' data is safe and used rightly.
- Checking secure communication processes.
- Review that the data masking software is up to date.
Try to use cutting-edge and modern technology to safeguard your data. Being GDPR compliant is one thing, but enhancing internal security systems is also necessary for data protection for B2B.
Data collection is essential for making data-driven decisions. So, ensure that you collect, use and store data while complying with the data protection rules.
These rules will only help your businesses perform better, gain more trust, and set examples.
Take a look at what Jeff Bezos has to say when asked about the economic value of data privacy,
"If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends."
Frequently Asked Questions
Do B2B and B2C have the same data protection rules?
No, there are specific differences in the data protection acts for B2B and B2C. But the central idea of having the customer consent to access, store and collect information is the same.
How do data privacy regulations impact businesses?
Data privacy and protection rules impact businesses, but in a positive way. The more transparent you are with your policies of retrieving, storing and collecting customers' data, the more brand value it builds.
How does GDPR positively affect CRM?
If you are a GDPR-compliant organization, customers will have better trust in your business. In addition, this compliance leads to improvised, data-driven decisions, which lead to a stronger relationship with your clients and an efficient CRM.