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This week, the Austin Marketo User Group (AMUG), led by M&T Director RevTech Anthony Figgins, hosted Chris Arrendale, CEO of Inbox Pros. Chris was in town to talk about something that’s been on the mind of every single marketer with business in Europe: the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR if you’re into brevity).

GDPR and Austin Marketo User Group

Many of M&T’s clients have questions about the new law, so here’s the skinny. The GDPR takes effect this May. It synchronizes the many different data privacy laws across member nations. This new law-to-rule-them-all keeps many marketers up at night because of how it increases standards for gathering and storing consent. According to the new changes, “Consent must be clear and distinguishable from other matters and provided in an intelligible and easily accessible form, using clear and plain language. It must be as easy to withdraw consent as it is to give it. ” 

Here are some of the key points that Chris addressed in his talk with AMUG this week.


Yes, that’s a lot of acronyms. At this Austin Marketo User Group meeting, members learned about how the new law will affect market and sales development reps, and how they sell to European contacts. Under the new regulation, activity-based interest (e.g. downloading a whitepaper) does not meet the standard of consent that would allow MDR and SDRs to reach out to a lead. The individual must clearly give their consent on a form before they can be contacted.

Relationships Matter

Communications can only come through an established relationship between a brand’s representative and the lead. If you can’t validate that you work with them, you can’t contact them. The services and products you’re trying to sell the person must also be similar. Here’s an analogy. If you’re selling a person bathroom tile, you could conceivably market to them products like bathroom cleaner or bathtubs, but not gardening equipment.

“The Right to Be Forgotten”

Also called “Data Erasure,” this provision means that anyone can request that a brand remove any and all of their personal data. The brand then has 30 days to comply with the request. Austin Marketo User Group members learned that this may not be a hassle for smaller organizations, but for large enterprises with backups of backups of data in cold storage, it could potentially cause some serious headaches. It also raises some questions if the contact is a customer or former customer. Customer contracts could be considered data, but they cannot be deleted. How organizations will address this particular caveat remains unclear.

Data Protection Officer

The new rules require that organizations designate a “Data Protection Officer.” This may be a brand-new position or an addition to an existing employee’s title. The goal of this position is to add clarity on how businesses enact the new rules. Designating a single point of contact, in theory, helps everyone. It will likely fall on the DPO to put protocols in place for dealing with things like “The Right to Be Forgotten.”

Key Takeaway: This Was a Good Austin Marketo User Group Meeting

These are just some of the concerns raised by the new law. If you want to talk shop on the GDPR, give us a shout. If you’re an Austinite who wants to learn more Marketo tricks and tips (and hang with some very cool folks), don’t forget to join AMUG.


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