The most important ‘trend’ for 2018

Now that we’ve come to the end of the 2017 rollercoaster, we’ve turned our attention to 2018.

Every company with a newsletter has an opinion on the ‘Top Trends for 2018’. Articles that promise to inform marketers of ‘everything they’ll need to know’ to navigate the 2018 maze. There’s a wealth of reports out there; from Foresight Factory’s #thenevernormal[1], Mintel’s Teenaiders[2], and Automated Commerce[3], to name just a few that caught my eye.

However, very few are talking about 2018’s most impactful event. It’s not sexy and there’s no snappy headline for it, but GDPR is going to make waves. The General Data Protection Regulation steps in to bring regulation up to speed now that 1995’s Data Protection Directive[4] is out-dated as “data becomes the new oil[5]. In a nutshell, GDPR does two things:
It enhances the rights of consumers over their data; giving them the right of access, of erasure, of transfer, of restriction and importantly, of not being profiled.

Secondly, it establishes heavy penalties against companies that mishandle data. This is great for consumer confidence, and businesses that get this right will benefit to see their brand trust strengthen.

However, with the majority (54%) of UK business expecting a data breach in the next 12 months (and 36% already had one), it’s surprising to see only 5% have the necessary strategies in place to be compliant[6]. For a bit of context if fined under GDPR, Uber’s[7] recent breach would have cost them 260 million[8] pounds, 4% of their annual turnover.

GDPR becomes enforceable on the 25th of May 2018. Being on top of the latest consumer trends and tech is important, but are you part of the 20% of businesses that admit they haven’t even begun to prepare for GDPR[9]?

[1] Foresight Factory
[2] Mintel Teenaiders
[3] Trend Watching
[4] DPD
[5] The Economist
[6] Financial Times
[7] BBC
[8] Business Insider
[9] DUB