Connecting, the Power of Networks and Professional Sales with Mike Roberts
Today on The GDPR Series podcast, we talk connection, networks and messaging. Our guest is a solutions provider in the field of keeping mail safe, physical and digital. He is also a well-known LinkedIn personality who is passionate about professional selling. Listen on to find out how he uncovered successful ways to network, connect and sell professionally on LinkedIn through selling a solution for secure mailing. Our guest today is Mike Roberts the sincere and friendly helping hand behind ‘LinkedIn 101’ and the seamless secure and confidential mail communication solution Frama Rmail . Frama Rmail is a solution that encompasses email encryption, tracking, large document delivery and e-signatures. Installation is fast and painless and help is always at hand with Mike as part of your vendor team. Through selling this solution online, Mike came to realise he had developed a successful method for connecting with and selling to his professional network on LinkedIn. Thankfully for us, Mike realised people might want to know the secret sauce. Mike offers a one-to-one 90 minute online session where he gets hands-on with you and your LinkedIn presence. This is followed up with a comprehensive report which serves as a guide for you going forward. Mike is a great believer in connecting with his clients in a personal way and also a great believer in building networks. In this episode, Mike shares some great advice about the type of messaging we should be focusing on that is client-centric and presenting information in a way that people can receive it. We hope that you enjoy it and that you do reach out to Mike be it for a seamless security solution or for a LinkedIn revamp. Tel: +447545292184 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org LinkedIn 101 Website Frama Rmail Website Transcription: Philipa Farley: Hi, and welcome to our podcast called the GDPR Series, where we discuss data protection, privacy and cyber security matters that ordinary people in everyday businesses face. We have a series of really interesting and lovely guests, and we hope you enjoy listening. Philipa Farley: Today, we’ve got Mike Roberts on The GDPR series. I met Mike on LinkedIn, which is a great place to meet professional contacts. I think Mike, we kind of met probably when you were I don’t know if you had started with RMail, or how far along the lines you were a bit. It’s quite a while ago now that we’ve been connected. Mike is going to chat to us today about professional selling on LinkedIn. I’ve got his website open here, www.mikedroberts.co.uk. The links will be in the podcast web page with other links that Mike will provide us. Do you want to introduce yourself? Mike, you probably do it far better than then I will and then we can get chatting. Mike Roberts: Yeah, of course. Thank you so much for having me on today. I really, really appreciate it. And, and for all your support recently as well, it’s been absolutely fantastic. Yeah. So a little introduction about me. So for the last 15 years, I have been helping people with their mail. And that was in the physical format. So I started off as a young, fresh straight out of college salesperson selling mailroom equipment for law firms and regulated industries. And I have progressed into the digital age. Yeah, so now I’m still helping all of those same clients and all those same customers of mine, protecting their mail, but in a digital format, so there’s two sides to me. One, I help firms and companies, make sure that their email is secure. And yeah, help them automate some of their processes with electronic signatures, and things like that. And then the other side to me is I absolutely love helping salespeople and professionals on LinkedIn. I’ve been using the platform ever since day one. And I just, you know, really enjoy showing people how it’s helped me how it’s helped my business. And, that’s me. Philipa Farley: Yeah, that’s that’s a fantastic summary, Mike. Honestly, like I hadn’t realised that you went so far back with it the mailroom equipment, type of thing. I thought that you were more digital, but that’s fascinating. I’m a bit of a geek for, like, old machines and things. So yeah, we’ll have to talk about that another time. Yeah, yeah. So you’re most of your clients. You mentioned law firms there, and professional firms. Who would you say are kind of the core clientele that you would deal with on the mail side of things? Mike Roberts: I would say there’s three: there’s wealth management firms in the financial sector. There are legal firms, so solicitors, barristers, people like that. And then there’s your other regulated industries. And I would probably say that that would be healthcare. Yeah. But wealth management firms are probably my biggest sector. And I and I’ve been thinking recently why that is. And it’s because when you’re speaking to a wealth management firm, for example, their clients are for life. So, your client will be with them from day one, and until the end of their lives. Yeah. So it’s absolutely critical that you make sure that everything is perfect from day one, and no better place to start really than making sure their electronic communications are secure. Philipa Farley: Yeah, I mean, in that context, Mike, like they’re based purely on trust, you know, obviously also with their strong obligations to the laws that govern them. But nobody wants to see a wealth management firm in the news for breaking trust. And that’s what we deal with in the GDPR, is it’s about to trust more than anything else. And once trust is broken, it’s so difficult to come back to that. So when you’ve got that, kind of, those stakes on the table, you need to make sure that what you’re using is pretty much bulletproof and easily managed by the client that’s using it. So I think that’s what’s come across to me on a lot of your posts and your videos, which I love. I love the way that you present your product on LinkedIn. You know, you’re not a pushy salesman, you engage with your clients, your customers, your potential customers, you know, you have relevant industry discussions. It’s fantastic. So, yeah, I think like you’ve got this lovely way of reaching people kind of where they’re at, and drawing them in and making them feel very comfortable. With the solution that you provide, and obviously you’re fully behind that solution with the knowledge that it’s one that works, you know, and I think that’s a great message for people to hear. Mike Roberts: Absolutely. And then one of the big key things that I talk about regularly is clients’ experience. And that hits so many levels with me, because when I’m talking to my clients who use Frama R mail. Yeah, and they’re, they’re needing email encryption or electronic signatures, it’s not all about security. A lot of it is about the client’s experience and making it easy for their customers. And I try to do that myself on LinkedIn. So when I’m, when I’m selling my product to potential clients, I want to make their experience good and I try to do that in as many ways as I can, whether it’s engaging content, creating videos, trying to use a bit of my graphic design in there. I just want it to be a pleasant experience right before we’ve even spoken. Philipa Farley: Yeah. And you know, I think that’s one of the things that I really love about you and your personality, Mike, like. Just to get really personal here is that you’re just, you’re such a nice guy. And I think I’ve known you for long enough now to know that that’s not like a huge pretence, you know, you’re not like some kind of, I don’t know, Jekyll and Hyde, where you have this persona online and a persona offline, you are genuinely a good guy. And that comes across through everything that you do. So you really like, live your brand, which is amazing. I know that I have sent some questions over to you. Can I ask you a couple and we’ll get back to this discussion because it’s flowing really nicely, you know, and back to you specifically your www.mikedroberts.co.uk website, where you offer LinkedIn training and other services. Yeah, because I think we’re kind of crossing over here a little bit now. Specifically, and I’m going to reiterate what you said to me: you’re not a GDPR expert, a specialist, but I believe that the work that you do and the services that you offer, bolster a message that we who kind of work purely in the field, are trying to send out, where you’re approaching it in a way and with a language that the customers understand. Sometimes we can throw language or things, throw requirements at things that really scare people off. And I’m very, very mindful of that because I don’t want anybody to be scared of owning their responsibilities to others’ personal data. So, I sit back a lot of the time and I kind of “watch and learn.” And I really appreciate somebody like you who is giving it to people in a way that they can receive it. You know, we have to learn as an industry, there’s an appropriate time to kind of get heavy about the topic. And then, there’s an appropriate time to kind of tone it down, and bring it right down to earth for people to receive it. So that’s kind of the mission that we’re on, if you want to call it that. So I asked you here, where did you first come to grips with or aware of data protection and the GDPR? Mike Roberts: I 100% fell into it by accident. When I was transitioning from physical mail into a digital mail specialist, I began to understand the basics of email encryption. What happens to a standard email as opposed to how an encrypted email looks? Yeah, and this all was happening around March of 2017. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Mike Roberts: So GDPR was slightly in the news. And people were talking about it, but as the months went on, it became more of a big thing. And I just thought to myself, you know, I was in a very lucky situation where I was learning this with everybody else in the UK or, I mean, as much as you know, people that weren’t, you know, “with it” as much as I was. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Mike Roberts: And by the time May 2018 came along, I was in a great position to talk to my clients and, by the way, my clients are not big companies. They’re probably in the one to 20 headcount. So they wanted to be able to speak to somebody, without having a techie jargon-filled conversation. And I was fortunate enough to be able to say, “Okay, well, I’m all I’m going to be talking to you today about is a Microsoft Outlook or Gmail plugin. And I’m going to go through the basics with you. And I’m just going to simply show you how you’re going to transition into basically being secure with your electronic communications.” And I did it in a way that I wanted to, I wanted to have it done to me in March 2017. And that’s basically one of the things I do where a lot of people want to go down the whole jargon-filled, really technical-filled conversation. And that’s not me, but if my clients want that, I’ve got people fantastic in my network, for instance, yourself with Serity, and things like that, who have got some amazing offerings and platforms and discussions that they can have. So not only have they got a great product with me that I can provide to them, but I’ve got a network behind me that really does know their stuff. So I’m very fortunate. Philipa Farley: Yeah, and Thanks, Mike for that. I do appreciate it because like, you know, you can approach us anytime and give us a shout and say: “Would you mind chatting to this person or that person or what’s our opinion on this?” And I think you’re quite great at that. Like, just sort of, minimally tagging people who are relevant to posts to hop into a discussion and I love that. You know, I love interacting in that way. And I think what you say is so important because, let’s just focus there, what you were saying about sort of the technical kind of reviews of a platform. Now, we would speak about vendor assessments, and due diligence, and all of these things. And, you know, there are certain parts of the GDPR that vendors have to stand up to. And then, there’s sort of more nebulous parts that aren’t very specific, like technical and organisational measures, you know, and you have to kind of dig quite deep to find out exactly what that means. And then we get to places where it says, you know, in proportion to the risk presented to the data subject, and then it’s like, oh, it doesn’t necessarily have to be state of the art, but it must be appropriate to that risk. And these kinds of things, like really frighten people. So I’m gonna say it again, that really, I love the way that you present your solution and particularly, that point of people wanting it to be an easy customer journey. Because going back to applications, that would have sort of mushroomed up around the time that the GDPR was brought into force, I would have tried a couple of email encryption solutions. And I mean, 10, 15 steps down the line, you still don’t have your message and you actually really want to just throw the computer out the window. It’s just an impossible landscape for people to navigate. So I think, really, it’s so vital, what you’re saying there, that people work together to provide the best, overall global solution – the networks work together. And this is another message we’ve been trying to put out as this podcast is that, yeah, competition is healthy, but actually, like we’re all much better off for working together, because our clients actually benefit from that, Mike Roberts: Well, you know, well, absolutely, for sure. And the thing is, with Frama, we, you know, we’re not a multi billion Dollar organisation. Yeah. Often when I’m demonstrating our mail to my clients, they ask about the support and I tell them about my team and myself. And I say to them, you know, chances are you could text me or call me at 8 o’clock in the evening. And if you need help, chances are if I’m available and I probably will be, I can jump onto a quick screen share, and help you send that email, or create that document for an e-signature. And a lot of people think Yeah, okay, you know, he’s saying that because he just wants the sale. But when they actually do make that call, or give me a text at 8 o’clock and realise that I am there, I’m able to help them think, do you know what? That’s absolutely fantastic, because people are looking for that little bit of extra customer service especially in today’s day and age. Because you know, our big giant competitors you know, yeah, they are a customer and there is a figure on a whiteboard to them. Philipa Farley: Oh, yeah. And all the call centres are outsourced, and good luck to you actually finding something that’s not a computer that’s answering questions. My favourite trick with the help bot is “Please may I speak to a human?” And, they all seem to have some kind of code programmed in to pass you off on to, like a human being, that actually will answer the questions, you know. And what you’re saying is so important, because I’ll just put a note here, because this is kind of like evergreen content. But we’re recording this in the middle of the lockdown in 2020, where we’re working from home offices and people aren’t having meetings in person unless you’re essential services. So, that kind of goes to what I’m about to say here is that, you know, you say your customers are in the bracket of people, you know, in one to 20 teams, of one to 20 in the business. So not more than 20 employees, where we ourselves, we deal with a lot of people in that bracket, a lot of local businesses around Cork city and Cork county. And then we would have a lot of startups that we deal with globally. Also, in, like, the 1 to 5, 10, 20, not more than 30, teams, because when they start getting to that stage, they start hiring in-house and we kind of help them cross over, you know, Internet security and data protection expertise that they need on board permanently. And, going back to my point of people working from their home office, and that I think, like I’m, I see, maybe a shift in business where, you know, obviously, there is a place for the enterprise and there always will be the enterprise-level business, but there will be a lot more smaller businesses around, Mike. And, you know, we can’t, I think this is just this is just me personally, we can’t think that anymore in business that the goal is to make millions and millions and millions of Euros, Dollars, Pounds, whatever. Because what we’re seeing now is this sort of humanity around us where, that’s not really appropriate, you know, the human connection is far more important than the money making. Yes, the money does grease the wheels of the business to continue. But I think what’s really coming to the fore, is that that human connection that one to one, reputation matters. You know, and I really love the model that you’re building here because I think that’s, that’s core to you. That’s the LinkedIn sales, professional selling, that you do the help there is really, really core to that. And it, kind of, is parallel to data protection and the trust, you know, and it’s a very philosophical message and, and a lot of people kind of battle with that. That it’s not just another law, you know. That we all have to do and we have to tick the boxes, and we have to, kind of, it’s such a drag, it actually really should be like a pillar to your business that: How do I care for my customers? What am I doing to make sure that their trust is minded? It’s taken care of. And, you know, they deserve to have that trust. So, yeah, like it’s GDPR and data protection, and it was a drag, and it shouldn’t be a drag. But I think, you know, with enough of a message going out, people will hopefully start to see that. Mike Roberts: Yeah, absolutely, totally agree. Philipa Farley: My soapbox. My soapbox, there! I asked you a second question here: the impact on you personally of the GDPR. And it’s fine, like if you haven’t had kind of a personal rumble with the law as such. Everybody who follows my Twitter will kind of have a laugh every now and then about the things that I post where I might get into a situation. The one was the insurance broker or company and asking for the blood tests because we are kind of newly arrived in Europe enough, for you know, HIV to be a concern, but the way it was handled was just really, really difficult and it took months before the correct information, you know, came out. And like, it would have been so easy for me just to sign the paper and go for the test, you know, like, whatever. But sometimes I just get to the point where I think like, if I don’t say something, you know, other people are going to have this bad experience and not get the information that they are required to get in the law. So, I kind of do stand up for it a little bit. Have you had any personal experience with the GDPR data protection that you could share with us I want to share with us, or want to share with us? Mike Roberts: Personally, I don’t think so. But, you know, what we do as a company at Frama is we are learning, just like everybody else. And if we ever get anything wrong, then we hope that people will tell us and make sure that we can put it right. And, you know, we’ve had people that have approached us with regards to our privacy statements. Yeah, asking is about asking us about, you know, our products and where we keep people’s data? Yes, yeah. And, you know, again, we’re in a very brilliant situation with our solution because we aren’t a cloud-based tool. Yeah. Yeah. So unlike other email encryption companies that take a copy of your email, put it in the portal of somebody else’s computer, i.e. the cloud. You know, we don’t do that. And so again, it’s nice, it’s a nice weight off people’s shoulders, knowing that we’re not taking copies of people’s emails and putting them in the cloud somewhere. So, I think we’re doing good. And again, I’d ask anybody out there, you know, please, if there is something that we can improve on, we’re always open to learning. Philipa Farley: Yeah, and that’s an amazing statement, right? Because a lot of people kind of just tuck their heads under their desks, and close their ears, and don’t want to know about it. Because, I think and you’ll hear this as a thread through the other episodes, where I say every now and then that I find quite a few Data Protection team or Data Protection Coordinators, the Data Protection Officers in businesses that have not been afforded the training and the backup that they should have been afforded. So, you’ve got people that have just, kind of, been appointed in positions and have said yes, and they’re trying to learn on their own. And you might come across a product or a service or website online that actually technically is not compliant with the GDPR. But to, kind of, shred it, if I can say it like that, on a professional network and publicly name and shame and, you know, say things about it. We’re forgetting that there are real people behind that you may be struggling with resources in their jobs. They may be struggling with the time in the day, you never know until you approach somebody personally. So I think what you’re saying there is an excellent message for people to receive, is that if there is a problem, please pick up the phone or send us an email, and let us know, you know, you will definitely get an answer, and things will be improved. And we all get better that way. Mike Roberts: Absolutely, absolutely. And the other thing is, you know, I would highly recommend people to use online learning platforms. I know a few of my clients who’ve used Serity, have given me absolutely fantastic feedback. So, yeah, I, you know, well done on what you do as well for your clients. Philipa Farley: You know, we, we, we hope to democratise the law a little bit, Mike, and let’s let people, kind of, you know, get that knowledge without too many barriers. Okay, so the third question here is: where you’ve seen that you’ve seen opportunities for your own business in the context of the GDPR. I don’t want you to answer in any GDPR-centric way. And I would like you to please tell us about your LinkedIn services for professionals, because I think, if I may be so bold as to say it, that’s kind of the opportunity that came out of this for you. Mike Roberts: Yeah. And so I’ve used LinkedIn from day one. I’ve never been on a LinkedIn training course. And I’ve never sat in a classroom with somebody, you know, on a PowerPoint presentation telling me how to use it. I spent many, many years using it for no real benefit, I suppose I was getting no interaction. And it was only really, probably in 2016 or 2017, where I actually started to record and look at why things were turning around for me. What was it? I was doing something different? Philipa Farley: Yeah. Mike Roberts: And, you know, within a 12 month period, suddenly I was getting lots of brilliant people in my network. I wasn’t doing anything ridiculously time-centric or it or, you know, throwing loads of money at the platform. But I was just getting to understand a little bit more about personal branding, what people enjoy seeing, and how to make your content different to other people’s. And then I started just kind of delving a little bit deeper into it, you know how Google and the Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) works with LinkedIn. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Mike Roberts: And how to make yourself different from everybody else, in your industry and competitors. And it was literally just just over a coffee one lunchtime with a friend of mine, who I spent half an hour with, and I gave him some tips and tricks for his LinkedIn profile. And he said, you know, you should be doing this as a service that you teach, you know, I’ve never heard it before. So I just decided to call it LinkedIn 101. And it’s, it’s an hour to 90 minutes with somebody on a screen, sharing a session. And all I do is I just absolutely pack in as much as I can in that 90 minutes to look to look at the front page, and help people with their headline, their summary ideas for content. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Mike Roberts: And we just try and squeeze as much as we can into our session so that the person that I’m speaking to, can just walk away after that 90 minutes and think, you know, there’s a couple of things there. There’s 1, 2, maybe 3 things that I can walk away with and put into practice immediately. And so far, I have a 100% success rate in the fact that the people that I’ve provided this service to have actually seen an increase in lead generation, or conversations. So, I, that just absolutely delights me because when I would, I would put all of those years of practice into giving people nice, bite-sized chunks so that they’re not just sat there; there’s no PowerPoint presentations, and there’s no classroom environment. It’s very interactive. And they walk away with a PDF ebook at the end of it with a personalised report on exactly what we’ve discussed. So I love it. I just love what I do. Philipa Farley: Yeah, I know. And that really comes through and it is amazing, Mike, I would have personal knowledge of a couple of the people that you have assisted. And, the difference is remarkable. And I’m going to bring us back to what we were chatting about just before I think we press record there and say that: Basically, the way that you’re teaching people to use LinkedIn to develop those relationships, you know, and to make those sales is kind of what people need to learn in terms of data protection, and e-privacy, specifically, you know. Long gone are the days of using analytics person analytics, mailing lists, and just bombarding inboxes with emails in the hope of a sale. You know, let’s email 10,000 people and we’ll be lucky if we get one sale out of it. And that’s a really bottom line true statistic because, around the time the GDPR came into force, I would have sat with many, many people going through their mailing lists: How do they get the data? How do they compile it? Could they tag origins? Had they obtained the correct consents? You know, could they justify under legitimate interest? And then going through it and saying to business owners, who are very, very concerned about, you know, working through this prospect of losing contact is how effective are these mailing lists anyway? Particularly like in a b2b context, and it turns out, most people were not actually making any sales from them. So I really, really love what you’re doing here. And I have hope that people do take up the opportunity to get in touch with you and, to sort, of revamp the way that they think about sales. Sales are not scary, you know, you’ve got something people need. And I think you’ve said that to me before people need it, they need to hear about it. So take the opportunity to do that, you know, into being kind of proud of what you’re selling and what you’re doing. Mike Roberts: At the end of the day, I am a salesperson, and I have been ever since I left college, well around 15 years ago now. And what I tell people time and time again is, forget your mailing list, forget the spam emails. Basically, start with, and again, I bring it back to LinkedIn, because that’s where I’ve made all of my success is: start with one success. Let’s call it a penny, and then then turn that into another penny. And before you know it, you’re springboarding your way through to this fantastic, successful world of sales where it’s an enjoyable experience. And, and everything that you’re doing is off the back of your last major success, where you’re helping them. They’re helping you. And suddenly, it just becomes a fantastic world to be in. And that’s what I try to help young people with, especially people who have just started off in sales. Yeah, they might not be on that journey that I had 15 years ago. And they’re bombarded with this whole world of digital solutions to this and video this…All you gotta do is take it one step at a time and before you know it, it’s it’s, it’s great. Philipa Farley: Yeah, no, and that’s, that’s a fantastic message. Thank you for sharing that with us, Mike. Okay, the opportunities for your clients. I think we’ve just mentioned that here. So let’s not spend too much time on that. Unless you’ve got a sort of a story or two you’d like to share with us. People’s kind of them being turned around on LinkedIn where it has made a deep impact on their lives? Mike Roberts: Well, I do get a lot of messages from my clients, both Rmail and under LinkedIn training. You know, and I try to put that on my testimonials page. And I just want people to walk away with one thing, which basically helps them gain that extra sale. And, I say to a lot of people, when the extra sale comes in, from what I’ve taught you, use it and piggyback off the back of that and make sure it’s, you just continue that success. And, I think people just enjoy it and enjoy the short, fun, jam packed time that we have together, rather than sitting in a classroom on death by PowerPoint. Philipa Farley: Yeah, exactly that those days are long gone. Yeah, thank god for that as well. Okay, I’m going to ask your personal opinion on a platform like LinkedIn, in our very likely future of work from home remote work-type models, and I sent these questions to you two weeks ago. I think I just, maybe, tweaked the last one maybe more than two weeks ago. So small little inside laugh there. I’ll ask it again, what’s your opinion on a platform like LinkedIn in our very likely future of work from home remote, remote work type models? Mike Roberts. My opinion on a platform like LinkedIn is, I think they’re fantastic. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah. Essential. Mike Roberts: Yeah. I think you can make them fun. The technology that is available to us nowadays, has presented this with an opportunity like never before. And, I’ve been doing online meetings and video meetings now, every day for the last, probably, three years. And I just think that they’re great. It saves time. It’s easy to do, once you start using it. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Mike Roberts: And then I think the opportunities are endless. I really do especially with them. Now that we’ve, the globalisation that we’re faced with, I know that you and some of the contacts that you’ve connected with me, Andrea, you know, connected me with a wonderful company in Mauritius. And without the technology available to us, I would have never had the opportunity. So I thought I think it’s great. Philipa Farley: Yeah, it is. I mean, I kind of grew up in isolation, if you can call it that, like our nearest city was about 100 kilometres away with the nearest sort of rural hospital 25 minutes away from our farm. And when we had that first screaming modem in the house, connected to a small satellite dish that connected us to the telephone services, it revolutionised and changed our world, you know. Just understanding that in 5 or 10 minutes, you could get something from the other side of the earth, that had taken weeks or months previously to organise. And I really do feel that excitement that you’re bringing forward in your statement there. Because you’re right Mike, the opportunities are endless. Technology might be a barrier for some but you know, we all have our challenges in business, whatever area it’s in. We have to recognise that and work towards overcoming those challenges. But yes, video conferencing, video meetings are definitely a part of our future. And I, for one, we’ve, we’ve worked in a home office, I dip in and out of co-working spaces as my clients might require. But, I prefer a home office because of the absolute security. You know, I’m kind of guaranteed for the work that I’m doing but also the work life balance. That’s very important to me. So I really love technology and I love the opportunities that it presents us with You know, and obviously from the data protection and security point of view, and this goes back to your Frama RMail point is, you know, we need to make sure that we’re using the correct tools to help us enable enable us to do our work in a compliant manner. So, yeah. Mike Roberts: And it also sets you apart from your competition as well, because one of the things that I do regularly is video email. And I’m surprised it hasn’t, you know, become more popular. It’s popular in the USA, but not quite so much in the UK and Ireland. And, one of the things that I tell a lot of my clients is, look, if you’re in a competitive situation, you know, why don’t you be that person that sends your prospect or client a video email, instead of blank text on a white background because, you know, things like this, and the technology is so readily available to us and nobody’s really doing it. It’s going to set you far better apart from anyone else. And so it’s just there to be taken, and the opportunities are there right then and to be in sales now is probably the best time ever to be in sales, even during this lockdown. It’s a huge opportunity. Philipa Farley: Yeah. And again, Mike, I really really hope that people connect with you and get in touch and get some of your enthusiasm first hand, because I know that it has made a big difference to me personally, and quite a few people in my professional network and personal network. You’ve been an amazing assistance in great times of need sometimes and thank you for that. Can I end with one last question here, because I know your time is very precious. And thank you for spending the hour with us. We really do appreciate it. One piece of advice to potential clients of yours. Mike Roberts: So my advice would be: Don’t worry about things like email encryption, and, you know, ways of automating your business processes. It doesn’t have to be, you know, long winded IT, technical discussions. Myself and there are others out there. You know, we are humans and we can have a one to one conversation with you and make it easy for you. Just don’t worry about it and just, you know, speak to the right people. Philipa Farley: Yeah, take action, I think it is a good one. And any potential advice to you potential, or any advice to potential clients have those for your LinkedIn101? Mike Roberts: I would say: Don’t be afraid of social media, especially LinkedIn, it’s there for you to have to create content. It’s about you and your personal brand, not necessarily your company. People are on there to learn about you, not your company. Philipa Farley: And that’s a really good piece of advice, Mike, because I think we kind of step into this professional sort of persona. We’re trying to align. I’m speaking personally here, like, my message with what we’re doing with a company. We’re actually like, you have a unique personality that needs to come out. So that’s a fantastic piece of advice. Is there anything else you’d like to say? You know, any, any, any contact places you prefer? Obviously, LinkedIn, you know, you’re there. Do you have a Twitter account? Are you on Facebook? Where can people find you? Mike Roberts: So they can find me on LinkedIn. They can also find me on Twitter, which is where I post more things about social media and ideas for posting that’s @frammamike. And they’re the best places to contact me. And the other little piece of advice, which I’ve just realised I could have said before, is when you are posting on platforms like LinkedIn, always put yourself in the mind of your client or customer. Just think about what it is that they would like to see if you were in their shoes. That’s probably a really strong piece of advice. Philipa Farley: Yeah, that’s fantastic. So thanks so much, Mike for joining us. We’ll obviously share the things that you’ve spoken about in the post that will go along with the link to this podcast. And we’ll put it up on social media so people can contact you easily. Really, really thank you. Your presence in social media is a delight, and it’s fresh and I love connecting and chatting. Thank you. Mike Roberts: No, thank you as well. I really, really appreciate the opportunity. Philipa Farley: We hope you enjoyed that episode of the GDPR series. If you do, please subscribe. Find us on social media. We’d love to have a chat. The post Connecting, the Power of Networks and Professional Sales with Mike Roberts appeared first on ProPrivacy Data Compliance Solutions.
17 Apr 2020
We’re on a GDPR mission with Andrea Manning
3 Apr 2020
The (Undiscovered) LinkedIn Data Protection and Privacy Champion with Louise Bunyan of SmartFox
20 Mar 2020
GDPR Management Strategies with Claude Saulnier (in his lovely French accent) of Bizoneo
We all have days where we feel truly overwhelmed with our GDPR compliance obligations. We’ve said before, eat the elephant one bite at a time, but how do you decide where to start? Today on The GDPR Series podcast, our focus is an application (and the creator) that guides you through a logical way to manage your GDPR compliance obligations, and yes, it’s mostly about you, smaller businesses. Listen up for some nuggets that will save you a lot of time and effort, especially when dealing with pressurised and complex data access requests! Our guest today is Claude Saulnier, the man behind Bizoneo. Claude shares his journey into data protection and the creation of Bizoneo, which highlights his unique approach to inventory as the start of risk and data management. In the context of a client facing malicious emails sent out of their system, we discuss the absolute necessity of ensuring the applications you use provide you with the information you need in the form of logs and audit trails when you’re dealing with such incidences and data breaches, especially when you need to report back to your supervisory authorities. If you have the pleasure of getting to know Claude, you’ll become well-acquainted with his unquestionable logic, quick wit, incessant appetite for new information and learning, and his interrogation of typical ‘GAFA’ practices, which, of course we fully support. We can only admire Claude’s deep ethical and personal sense of responsibility toward data protection (and privacy) issues that we’re faced with today in business and personally. Claude’s wisdom includes: prevention is better than cure, input the data once and use it many times in different contexts, and consider the actual cost in time, money and efficiency when you’re using your collection of ‘free’ applications. If your interest is piqued after listening, please contact us at ProPrivacy for a demo of Bizoneo as you can only benefit from the input of Claude’s complex and layered understanding of integrated systems and data management in the context of data protection. Learn more about Bizoneo Data Protection & Compliance: https://www.bizoneo.eu/ Find Claude on LinkedIn at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/claudesaulnier/ The GDPR Series: Claude Saulnier of Bizoneo Philipa Farley: Hi, and welcome to our podcast called the GDPR Series, where we discuss data protection, privacy and cyber security matters that ordinary people in everyday businesses face. We have a series of really interesting and lovely guests, and we hope you enjoy listening. Hi Claude, thank you for joining us. It’s fantastic to have you on video instead of just the usual voice chats. I’m looking forward to chatting a bit more about GDPR and your experience with the GDPR, data protection, and your business, that services clients who need – how can I say? risk management in their business. And, you know, data management. I’ve got a screen open I’m going to share here. And while I share it, would you like to say Hi, and tell us a bit about yourself? Claude Saulnier: Hi, so my name is Claude Saulnier. And I am French, and I live in Ireland. And, I am the founder of Bizoneo. Bizoneo is a platform to assist SMEs and, you know, businesses, organisations in general, to document their processing activity. And that’s something that’s required under the GDPR. But, even if you put the GDPR aside, the tool is there to assist the governance of any business. In order – you mentioned risk in your opening line – and the only way to manage risk is to know what you actually process. If you don’t know the environment in which you’re operating, you can’t actually assess any risk and therefore, you can’t mitigate it. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah, no, I absolutely agree with that. I’m going to click through here into the features of the Bizoneo data protection and compliance application that you offer. I’ll just leave it open while we’re chatting, Claude, there is a blog there that we can click into. And, on other chats, we’ve opened up people’s social media. I, I sent you a couple of questions over before we started talking. And, we can kind of use them as a guide, but like, feel free to digress, if you want to. The aim of these chats is to really have an open discussion between professionals in the field of data protection, cyber compliance work, but also with regular business owners. So, you know, you kind of wear both hats here as a business owner, who’s aware of their compliance requirements, as well as a service provider in the industry, whom we all respect greatly. And I mean that because, I’ll say it again, I say it over and over again to people, you know, when we are talking about what applications – what management applications – to use in this space that I have yet to see. And I mean absolutely 100%; I’m not paid to say this at all. But, I have yet to see an application that has been designed from the stance of being risk aware in such a comprehensive, but easy to understand and logical way. It’s the logic of your thought that really captured me into, you know, wanting to learn more about how you did this, and wanting to get to know the application more, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know it. So, yeah, we appreciate that. Thank you. Claude Saulnier: Thank you, Philipa. I’m honoured. On behalf of the team, that’s great. Philipa Farley: Okay, so my first question to you, Claude, is: Where did you first come to grips with data protection and the GDPR? Claude Saulnier: Well, it goes back to a long time ago. So um, I set up the conference on my background, I ran before I suppose, started, once starting Bizoneo, and Wandsoft, and the other parent company, if you want. I worked, I, actually in fact spent my whole career in using integrated systems. And for, I suppose, the uninitiated, the integrated system is great because you enter the information once and you reuse the information. And I was very fortunate, like, you know, back in ‘91, when I started working, that it’s all I’ve ever known. And, but there was a certain level of frustration in that a lot of those systems, like sometimes you hear about SAP and all that; they’re extremely complex and to implement, and I still not sure why the cost of implementation, I mean, if any management system takes three years to implement, I think there’s something wrong, because after three years, your business is going to be different and it just this is not right. And this is basically the foundation of the initial business, like Wandsoft as well. So, prior to doing that, I also have to mention that I had a career in internal auditing as well; a part of my career also in internal auditing. So, governance has always been at the heart of everything I’ve done really. So when the company started, so initially, we started the software company, to provide integrated systems to the SME market. And I could see at the time, the cloud or I suppose, yeah, the cloud, if you can call it like that, although back in 2001, we weren’t talking too much about the cloud. Then, what I realized very quickly, I thought, well, we have a lot of responsibility in terms of, we’re actually hosting data that doesn’t belong to us. Our clients are paying us for that. And it’s very important to have a very strong, very strong security and really, we’re responsible for that. And, if something goes wrong, you know, you can have all the insurance in the world, but if something goes wrong, we could actually go out of business and some clients that actually trusted us could actually go out of business, and that can actually happen very easily. And we’ve actually seen that. So really, we really focused, a lot of work we did was always trying to protect our clients’ data. And, in many cases, prior to the GDPR, there was already some data protection law that existed. And we always tried as much as possible to be aligned with that, you know. And so, when came GDPR, we read the text -the initial part was a moment of panic and thinking, okay, that’s the end of it. We’re a small organisation and there’s a lot of responsibility. You obviously, people talk about the fines, you only look at the fines. You look at data processing agreements and all that, and think, “My God, that’s the end of it.” And then you actually start stepping back and say: “Okay, well in the length of time we’ve been in business, how many breaches have we suffered?” And you start counting… zero. And then you say: “Well how many data breaches did we actually stop?” And, it’s a lot! And we basically had put in infrastructure, and you have to revisit everything every time somebody strikes. You, basically, have to be vigilant and monitor that. And that’s what any software company and any hosting company should be doing. So, at that stage, we thought, okay, actually, maybe we shouldn’t actually worry too much about that, because we’ve got a very solid infrastructure. And let’s focus more now on the rights and the transparency, and different elements and all that. And I thought, well, actually, we have nothing to hide really in this because our clients trust us. And we kind of really like this transparency. And then we then added a number of tools into what was our CRM and ERP system. We added tools so that our clients would have, would be able to fulfill data subject access requests and elements like that. And one thing leading to the rest, Bizoneo, we added a number of modules again to help the clients on the CRM side. And then, we kind of decided, well, there’s probably a market for a tool like that. We looked at the various tools that were available on the market. And they were either very expensive, or we realised very quickly that they were not really addressing, they didn’t actually understand the problem to solve. And going back to the fact, I think, people are actually overcomplicating, GDPR. Philipa Farley: Yes. Absolutely. Claude Saulnier: And I suppose the order in which you will read the GDPR I think will matter. And people are underestimating Article 30. And, Article 30 being the key I suppose, and what you have on the screen here; to be proactive in terms of, again, your records of processing. If you don’t know what you’re processing, there’s no way you know, you’re going to know whether it’s lawful, if it’s minimised, if it’s secure, etc, etc, etc. So you start by the inventory, and I think that was the true meaning; the rationale behind Article 30 was really to help organisations focus on this, you know, inventory. And then once this is actually sorted, there’s so many things you can actually deal with. Again, we’re talking about data subject access requests. If you don’t know where your data is held, you know, you’ve got 30 days to do that. If you have a data breach, you have got 72 hours. You better actually know where the data is. Philipa Farley: On the data breach side of things, if a data subject is involved, it’s immediately. You know, forget the 72 hours if there’s if, sorry, if there’s risk to the data subject involved, you know, you have to inform them immediately. So you have to know what data was taken. You have to know what data was, say a server, an asset is attacked. Data is taken, what was on there, so you’re talking about an inventory, so bring it back to that. If you assess that, there is a real risk to a data subject, you have to inform them immediately. You know, if it’s data that can result in identity theft, or some kind of financial fraud, they should be told immediately, not in 72 hours. And, a lot of people are not getting that message. So, to back your point up of the inventory. Immediately, you can see, and you can make that risk assessment as to whether or not the data subject needs to be told. Claude Saulnier And the benefit as well is this, because I would tend to work more on the prevention than the cure. Because I think sometimes, I mean, I’m not saying like, you know, breaches don’t occur, they do occur and sometimes they are, it’s not exactly the way you would expect certain you know, breaches, you know, would actually occur. There’s probably more risk of an accidental, yeah, human error that could actually lead to that. But again then, if you don’t have anything to back up and know, okay, what measures did we take ahead of that, to secure the data, then that’s where you’re in trouble. And again, your inventory allows you to mitigate all of this. And, yeah, and then the policy, I suppose elements. Yeah, the risk assessment is obviously, you know, the next stage as well. And with that as well, so people, I mean, risk management, people, again, tend to think, well, this is this, this is complicated, like, you know, what are the risks? And one of the things I’ve actually done, you know, in the platform is, as you actually start entering assets, there’s different types of risk in GDPR. And ultimately, you’ve got the risks on, I suppose, you know, the rights and freedom of the individual, but different things in terms of assets can actually have an impact. Even a supplier can actually have an impact because if your supplier doesn’t do what they have to do to protect the data, there are risks. So you have to actually look at those three pillars there. So, what we did, we actually built in a number of preset risks, and a very, very exhaustive list, you know, following like some what some, you know, security standards would recommend. And businesses, organisations using the system have the ability to add their own risk as well, and maybe remove some that may not be relevant. But the key thing is to get your organisation to think of what they have. And, if you start putting that sometimes you start bringing a few pieces of the jigsaw and the organisation concerned says, “Oh, actually, we hadn’t thought of this”. And then they find something else that – and that’s all you want. Ultimately, you know, you want organisations to think: “What are we processing? What are the risks?” Philipa Farley: Ask the questions and be a bit curious about it. You know, I was talking to the students this morning and just chatting about natural curiosity. Ask questions. Why, you know, the thing; ask why five times, and you’ll find out why. Why are we doing this? What do we need this for? What is this for? Ask questions and ask the hard questions. We have to do that. So basically, we can sew it up, Claude, and say that you’ve got a very rich history in this space, and an incredible understanding of systems, you know. And, it’s very valuable for people to have access to that knowledge. I was saying to one of the guys I was chatting with, you know, if you go and get a job, or if I go and take a job, or if you go and take a job, Claude, access to your amazing bank of knowledge is lost to businesses. So, you know, we really appreciate independent consultants, vendors like you, staying in the market. So that SMEs and smaller businesses, you know, sole traders, individuals have access to that expertise. And I would like to get that message out to people. Okay, the second question I had here was, and this is really personal. I’ve been asking everybody this question: the impact on you personally. Has the GDPR impacted on you personally? I get asked the question when I’m interviewed sometimes: do I think the GDPR is good or bad? And my response is always I come from, you know, a jurisdiction in law where privacy and dignity are paramount, like in our constitutional foundational principles, and everything else comes out of that. So absolutely, yes, I do believe the GDPR is very important. Coming from the history of privacy, through to data protection being recognised as a right, and the GDPR kind of really landing down, boom, on people. You can’t ignore it. You know, we had data protection law before here, and I’ve lived in other spaces where there’s been some form of privacy law or cyber law, electronic law that protects people’s rights, but not In the way that the GDPR does. So, personally for you, has it had an impact on you? You know, have you enjoyed your rights? Claude Saulnier: It certainly has a huge impact. And in many, in many ways, I suppose where, prior to that, prior to the GDPR, where we focused solely on security, certainly trying to minimise data, you know, as much and being very conscious of this, maybe we didn’t actually, you know, minimise data, you know, as much as maybe we should have added maybe some of our clients there. And maybe, certain elements of privacy is not something we had fully considered. And I have to, I have to admit, see, I have to admit to that. And when, again, because we didn’t actually have to worry about the security elements. And then, I certainly focused far more on the, I suppose, the privacy, the fundamental rights of people, and to actually understand and I think we’re very fortunate in Europe in terms of its data protection, regulation. Not just privacy, it goes beyond that, It goes beyond just privacy. And I think, yeah, we’re fortunate from that point of view. And, I’ve done a lot of research as a result of that. In terms of: What is the true meaning of personal data? How far does it go, and the consequences it can actually have? And going back, I suppose to, going back to, you know, post World War Two, and that’s the history of that. So, from that point of view, I think, yeah, it certainly has made me think very differently. And then, when you actually start seeing how some organisations that have been, are currently harvesting data, with no legal basis on people’s back, it’s just it’s not very ethical. And so, if nothing else, I think that’s what I appreciate, what certainly well, the GDPR has brought. And, I’ve also met, I suppose, on a separate note as well, some incredible people, like yourself, Phillipa, that certainly have a very strong interest in protecting data, and make sure that suppose that processing is fair and transparent. And there’s some amazing, amazing people, out there in many countries and if nothing else, I suppose the GDPR introduced me to a number of amazing professionals that I would never probably have met otherwise, you know, prior to that, so. Philipa Farley: Yeah, absolutely. And going to your point on the amazing people around the world who work in this space. There are some incredible personalities out there who are activists that we, well, I personally would definitely admire. I’m not going to name names here. But I think, just a short little piece on that. We were talking this morning about Cambridge Analytica, and the influence that they exerted on people politically with the Brexit referendum. And, I’m going to say this without any emotion, because it’s fact, it’s out there, it’s known. It’s my personal opinion that that entire referendum should have been canceled on the basis that psychological warfare was waged on the people who voted. It’s that simple. So, you know, if somebody says to me, do you care about GDPR? Yes, absolutely, I do. Because, without it, without these kinds of laws, without these kinds of regulations, it’s open gates, you know. And people don’t understand that that information is going straight into the most private space of all and that is your mind, you know, directly into your mind, without a filter. So, without being mindful, and without being present in your life in this moment, now, you’re absorbing so much and you’re being influenced in ways that you don’t even realise. So yes. Yeah, it’s absolutely vital. Claude Saulnier: And when you’ve got, certainly, like, you know, people like, like, Mark Zuckerberg and his vision of the world. I think it’s very, it should be very worrying. I mean, I find that I find him scary, really? And it’s, like, like his little toy. Philipa Farley: Yeah. I think like, what, what is the next generation. This is the start of their war, you know? It’s frightening. But yeah, so that’s the personal effect. And that’s, I think it gives us a reason to kind of wake up in the morning and carry on doing what we do. Because, you know, like any type of business, I suppose, there’s days where you kind of ask yourself: Why, why am I doing this? You know, you could revert back to your tech background, I could easily revert back to my tech background, and kind of go, “Okay, well, you know, if nobody else cares about it, why should I?” But yeah, we really do. I really do. Claude Saulnier: Well, you see, I think one thing that’s important to me. and certainly in terms of the processing we do, is that I sleep at night. When I see what certain providers of services would be doing and sometimes, through clients, we come across, you know, different types of enterprises, that I wonder how some people can actually sleep at night, given how careless they are. And so, I think from that point of view, it might be, you know, giving trouble sometimes in terms of, yeah, we might be, people might just say, we will be too strict about certain things and data protection, but I don’t think we are ever too strict. I think again, I sleep at night and I think that’s important. So yeah. Philipa Farley: I think…I think…I win the prize for being reported to the Data Protection Commission for being over the top about telling people how to conduct their marketing activities in a compliant manner. One marketing company, in a town that shall remain unnamed, because this country’s very small, actually picked up the telephone and reported me to the Data Protection Commission. So, yeah, I do sleep at night. You know, I, if people want to say it’s over the top, that’s that’s grand, you know, it’s, it’s not. Okay so, you touched on this a little bit where have you seen opportunities for your own business in the context of GDPR? I think you explained it a little bit there, you kind of, your business evolved and grew in a really lovely way, you know, alongside the understanding that you found. Claude Saulnier: Yeah, so I suppose, now we’ve got that, kind of, for us, it’s like we started a new product range, I suppose, from what the traditional, you know, CRM. Initially, again, we didn’t actually intend to do this. We actually spoke to, even some people in the markets and some organisations that are now our competitors, and said: “Well, you know, with your CRM, you said, you were too small for us.” You know, we just want to deal with all organisations and all that so yeah, which we haven’t enjoyed access to, you know, massive US corporations. So, you have a, you know, a system that could respect, you know, data protection, all that, and they said “No, no.” You know, so, as a result of that, I suppose we created our own product line. And it’s interesting again, as well, you know, I suppose in the market, we’re a software company. We’ve got a lot of experience in that. And there were many well, competitors, if you can call them like that, that actually, don’t actually have the experience of software development. And, you know, there are a number of things, I suppose, we are very glad that we have many, many years… Philipa Farley: I think I’m going to speak specifically now, Claude, and we can cut anything out that you don’t want on here. I’ll try not to be too specific. But, I’m going to say it, because your background in development and understanding of systems and internal auditing has given you a fantastic appreciation of the need for audit trails within the software and logging of actions within the software. Because, when we come from the other side, and we get a phone call: “I think I’ve got a data breach going on”. You know, the first thing that we say is: “Okay, what vendors, etc, etc.” Let’s get the vendors on, you’ve got to your personal contact there, we’ve got to contain this as fast as possible. The next step is looking at the logs, you know, and the amount of applications that people are using that cannot provide them with that vital information is actually frightening. Claude Saulnier: It’s interesting, back in 2005 or 2006, on our application, one of our one clients that at the time rang, or emailed us, I can’t really remember, and said: “Claude, Hi. Somebody hacked into your system and sent a nasty email to all our members, all our clients or whatever they are, and all that. And I said “Well, this is a very grave accusation….” And they said, well, now let’s, let’s go and investigate. So the first thing we did was getting our logs and saying, well, first of all, this is the list of everyone who logged in your back office. Us, I can guarantee for my system, it’s not us, as only looking at the data and all that, they could see that any way. I said: “Look, we have certainly extremely strict procedures and internal policies. And, you know, we could find out straight away if something wasn’t if it wasn’t, you know, meant to be. And then, it turned out that, and then we looked at the file with the information that was actually sent, we did a bit of forensic of their own thing, of their own their own data and then said: “Well, actually, that email, in fact, wasn’t actually sent from our system. And now you need to conduct a different line of investigation.” So again, the fact we had those logs, we had that and again, way, way before the GDPR; we’ve always been a data processor. If you can’t, you know, get the, I suppose, the basics, you know, things right, I think, you know, there’s a problem. And it turned out that they had, in the organisation in question, I can’t say too much there, but they had…there was a room with computers with no security whatsoever and they were Excel spreadsheets with all the clients and members and all that…it was actually a sports organisation. And everybody could actually go there, retrieve the files and do whatever they wanted. And that that was the issue they had, it was an internal problem, nothing to do with us. And I’m so glad again, that having all these audit trails and and, and I’ve seen, actually some of our competitors, you know, and on the fields that can’t even manage access rights properly. And it’s good for us, I suppose, because we’ve actually managed rights, the right access rights, I suppose for forever. And having logs when certain things are happening, different user levels may change and all that. It’s just so important to be able to actually trace what could have gone wrong, you know, in all of this so, yeah. Philipa Farley: It’s vitally important when you’re doing your reports into whatever supervisory authority you need to report into, when you’ve uncovered a data breach or an incident, you know, your internal reporting, too. So, from that perspective, I just say, again, you know, it’s an amazing application and your knowledge there is only of huge benefit to people. So, I do hope that people get in touch and ask you for a demo, and have a look through. I am going to ask you the question here. And again, don’t name clients. None of us do, or we don’t expect you to. So where, where have you seen opportunities with the GDPR? And again, I say, Claude, like, I get asked often, why should we bother? It’s too much. It’s over the top. I’m a small business, I don’t need to do this. You know, and you can sit me down in the chair and throw all of this at me. I can very quickly tell you where the opportunities lie in your context, whatever business you are, but where have you seen the opportunities for your clients that do their compliance? Claude Saulnier: Well, what’s interesting in this is so I think if you’re, if the organisation has less than 10 staff in just generally speaking, I think you can probably work, you probably don’t have too many systems. And you could probably work with a consultant, work with somebody like yourself, and get a picture of how you will be processing, whether you need tools like ours, how much governance do you need, like as a small business? How much do you need? That’ll depend, again, on the type of business, the type of business you’re in. But, past that stage there, and when you actually start looking at, I suppose, doing these inventories, looking at policies, I mean, the human factor is very, very, very important. And what you would actually see is that, by actually looking at the policies and looking and training people there, and that your business, you might you should actually question well, why are we doing this? Is this a bit of a mess? And let’s try to put things in a more structured way, right? And some people say: “Yeah, but you know, we’re, you know, we’re a small organisation and we don’t need this, whatever.” And then, the accident actually happened, just because people haven’t been following policies and all that. So, even if you’re small and want to grow, I think, having embedded a number of policies, and things and things don’t have to be very, very complicated, you know, initially there are certain elements you can bring to that and, certainly in Bizoneo, we’ve also brought in a number of like, you know, template policies, so that for smaller businesses you can just go click its preset, and you could just adjust for your own needs, I suppose. You know, I’m not necessarily a big fan of templates, but you need a bit of a guideline. Just a starting point. What again, do we need this? Do we not need this? And trying to think of that. And then, you realise then that by putting this governance looking at, okay, who’s doing what, are we? When you are looking at procurement, for instance, which is actually key in GDPR, and I’m a bit…I don’t understand why organisations are not necessarily looking at that in enough detail there. Your supply chain is very important. So, by putting certain things in your, at the procurement stage, you will by spending a little bit more time trying to find a supplier that certainly will comply with the GDPR. And, it’s not just “Oh yeah, I will comply”… you kind of need to do a bit of due diligence, you know, on this, you will actually eliminate a problem down the line, because you’ve actually done that piece of work. So, again, for small businesses, I think, you know, there’s a lot to gain in terms of the general organisation. So, you may forget a little bit about the personal data element and the GDPR if you want, but by looking at that, the organisation normally should become you know, better. And we; that’s something we’ve actually experienced ourselves, because although again, with the, I suppose, prior to GDPR we had a number of new policies and a number of procedures in place, even we had that prior to this. But, in the context of GDPR, we actually reviewed some of that. And then we decided then to even like, you know, improve certain elements. And we said, we get beyond that, to the extent now that, when we engage with a new client, we’re usually the ones to say what, like, we’re actually going to send, you know, a nondisclosure agreement before we actually start talking. And many organisations are actually surprised to say, “Well, what’s this?” And that’s us saying: “Well, look, we basically care about, I suppose you, even if you’re not yet a client”. But it’s important and goes to show that, I suppose, from an early stage, we well, we don’t just take things seriously. We actually do things seriously. And it’d be so easy, I think, for smaller organisations to benefit from that. Philipa Farley Yeah. The housekeeping alone, Claude, because, you touched on that, and said, you know, things are a mess and to tidy them up. Like, people say to me, sometimes what do you think happened? My first response is the app, the app era. You know, apps on phones, little apps that do things did nobody any favours, you know, it’s just these sort of disintegrated systems all over the place. But besides that, in business, we’ve lost – and I think I’ve said this to you before – we’ve lost the office manager. You know, the person who was in charge of filing, you know, and sorting and just making sure that systems are in place and systems were adhered to. So, I would personally love to see that position come back into smaller businesses, because I think it would benefit everybody but a real impact that cleaning up the mess has for smaller businesses, and assessing suppliers and vendors is that you actually may very well save yourself a lot of money on unnecessary software subscriptions, that you’ve just sort of let that happen, that you don’t really need so you’ll land up kind of consolidating, like debt review, you know, everything gets well filed. Claude Saulnier: Yeah, and another thing is well, part of this, and you mentioned about the apps and all that. And one thing that also fascinates me is the number of organisations that will take one, two or three or four pieces of software because they’re free. And they’re creating different problems. And okay, if it’s free, sometimes you again, you have to think, okay, what are the impacts in terms of, you know, how do they leave, and you can’t run a business for free. So, the ads have to be brought into play at some, at some stage. And so you have to think, okay, well, if it’s not essential, is that right? That we actually give this information that could be sometimes sensitive, we actually give all our you know, business life to you know, this third party, what are they going to do about that? This is just not really fair, but on top of that, then the cost of it. So you may have like, no three or four applications that are free, but by again, I’m a big fan of integrated systems, the information enters once, you enter the information once, and then you can actually reuse that, it has loads of benefits. And yes, there’s a cost to that, but you’re actually saving a lot of time, in as far as management and because staff are going to be more efficient. They don’t, you don’t need to hire extra staff to do this because somebody, it’s already in the application. You could reuse that, and you’ll notice that on, I suppose, on the CRM side is the type of things that we do and encourage, you know, organisations to do this. And once again, once it’s integrated, from a data protection point of view, if you’ve got one system and okay, you need to make sure that system is very secure. But, there’s a lot less things that can go wrong that you would have if you’ve got, you know, application one talks to application two, with standard data, their application to then send it to application three, there’s two or three, you know, people there in the middle, and suddenly, oops, I sent, you know, the Excel sheet from one export to the other one, I sent that to the wrong person. Suddenly, we’ve got a data breach. So, at least when things actually stay in the system and only export when you really genuinely need it, which is sometimes actually not that often. Then you actually reduce a lot of the risks out of the equation. And certainly, I think integrated systems, I wish smaller organisations looked into that. There may be, I suppose, a slightly higher cost, but in the long run, that actually helps in your governance. It helps in so many ways. Philipa Farley: I think what we’re seeing also, Claude, is like the larger players in the marketplace are offering a lower tier for a very reduced subscription rate, because they can. You know, they’ve got enough Bitcoins to sort of support the business model, where SMEs can access applications online. You know, I’m specifically thinking of things like SharePoint, you know, it’s accessible now online, on the cloud. Whereas before, it wasn’t, because it was very expensive to have the server that could handle the install, have the expertise to do the install, the management, the admin, etc. So, yeah, there’s a big, big case to be made for that. Yeah, and going back to what you said, with the tidying up, you know, you keep your, your records correct, you suffer a breach, you suffer an incident, you know, immediately what’s gone. But if you have an access request, you’re saving an immense amount of time, by knowing exactly, you know, Claude Saulnier: Exactly, if the information is structured that makes things a lot easier as well, and I suppose, having an inventory, even knowing where to go and retrieve it. Now, not every subject I said, I mean, we’re dealing with clients where frankly, the subject access request is far more complex than retrieving the information from a system. There could be, you know, a lot of redaction that is needed, trying to assess what does the person want, etc, etc. Like, you know, so Philipa Farley: Yeah, but at least you’re not wasting your time, your focus on finding it. Claude Saulnier: Exactly, yeah. Philipa Farley: Yeah. You’re using the time as it should be used. Yeah, yeah, you know, yeah. Okay, share a positive story, Claude. A positive story about the GDPR. A happy one. Claude Saulnier: Mmmm, a positive story about the GDPR. Again, I think if something is, even the fact we’re talking today, I think it’s this for your positive story. Again, I think I have not necessarily I haven’t actually met all the people I have been engaging with, I suppose, through you know, since GDPR. But this certainly has been certainly through, you know, conference calls and Skype, or Teams calls and all that. I have met a lot of people who are also very passionate, I suppose, who actually care and who’ve got a sense of ethics. And so, I think that would be a very positive, you know, I’m grateful I suppose to I’ve met those those people that I suppose I have brought me again, I can maybe I’ve contributed like, you know, to it like a different way of thinking and, I suppose, it’s very reassuring, so that would be one positive story. Other positive stories? I don’t know, maybe you have to actually cut that and I have to think of something else. Philipa Farley: No, I’m not going to cut it. It’s in the evening. And I think we both had a very long day. Yeah, I think just generally, the message that we’re trying to get out is that it’s not all bad. Like, it’s not a huge mountain that has to be climbed. You know, I’ve had people saying to me afterwards, oh, I’m really sad you’re going, because that was a lot of fun. And I don’t know if it’s my wicked and twisted sense of humour as we go along. You know, that that makes people laugh. And actually, quite honestly, that was training at law school. I did a year of Legal Aid. And we had an attorney that spent sessions with us, probably once every two weeks. And he taught us to, you know, to laugh about things that were very difficult, not laugh at them or diminish the value of what is going on, but to just lighten, or share the load. Claude Saulnier: Yeah, again if you look at the GDPR, though, what is actually difficult? Because, first of all again you need to kind of read the GDPR and there will be a podcast soon, I will be giving some tips on that. But again, the GDPR isn’t really bad. The Article 5.1, right in terms of you know, it actually gives you you’ve got like, you know, six principles right? And then, you’ve got your, I suppose, one of the six principles is going to Article 6, and which is how lawful is your processing? And, for most businesses, you would probably find either you know, legal or contractual obligations, and that actually should be fairly straightforward in most cases there. And then you’ve got this Article 30 which says, well, why don’t, you know, well yet before you even do all of that, before you process your Article 5.1 and the lawfulness of processing. For now, let’s do an inventory. What do you actually process there? And, once you’ve actually done that, just you know bounce that against the, you know, the six principles. It’s actually not that complicated, because when you’re going to then start looking at the principles. Some of them very quickly you will realise, you don’t actually have to do too much work, you know, about them. And from that angle, it’s not very complicated and then once this is done, and you kind of know what you’re doing then you can actually write your privacy notice to put on the website and go on. Now, the other thing that should come out of that which is also frustrating is the whole thing about cookies and all that, which is the bit that really annoys me. It’s not just the cookies but, I suppose you know, placing electronic things on an electronic device. And there’s a lot of confusion around this. I suppose, initially, many people in marketing panicked and you know, I suppose mixed things and all of that. There’s an awful lot of processing that shouldn’t be taking place at the moment. Philipa Farley: Let’s just call it what it is like, Claude, pure surveillance. You know? Yeah. Claude Saulnier: And, marketeers are worried that it’s the end of the world. There’s been an awful lot of unlawful processing for years, that has resulted in monopolies like Google or Facebook. And I think it’s about time that some of that actually stops. So… Philipa Farley: Yeah, no, I would hundred percent support that. And say, definitely, yeah. And and it’s interesting, Claude, because you kind of come back to like, classic principles of business. Well, how do we measure the success of this campaign? We’re running you know, not I’m not talking about like a paid whatever advertising campaign, in general, within the business marketing campaign. How do we measure the success of that? Well, you know what, like I can tell you, my phone calls have gone up 10 times in volume than what they were 3 months ago. Yes. It’s not hard. You know, for smaller businesses, I’ve yet to measure like that, well, let’s look at the figures. Let’s let’s look at the profitability. Let’s look at our management accounts and see, okay, we put the effort in for the 6 months, look at the return for the next year or 18 months, you know. We need to actually understand that there are other ways of doing things, rather than just relying on statistics by organisations that are actually horribly…what’s the diplomatic way of saying this, Claude? You know, look at your Google Analytics, you’re not getting the actual picture. Claude Saulnier: No, I think, we conducted because we were actually working on the one part of the, on the CRM side, we’re actually looking at analytics and we’ve done an advanced prototype. Actually, we’re actually in beta testing, early testing, I suppose with some clients there and we actually compare, so we can actually process statistics, without cookies, in a very lawful manner, with high respect with respect to people’s rights. And that. And all we figure out from this is that Google Analytics, in fact, doesn’t report all the traffic, one of the reasons obviously being that they’re in the business of selling ads, so why should they report the thing? But also technically, the way things are actually embedded cannot work every time. And we’ve actually found some traffic, some sources of traffic that there’s absolutely no way I mean, we were actually surprised initially, but there’s no way Google will ever track them, and yet they could be converting now. Because we have part of the suite,where we’ve got an e-commerce suite. So, we can actually provide very comprehensive information about sales without even naming people and looking at okay, well, are the sales up and down? What products do work well etc, etc? And then also, then bringing statistics where you would have the number of visitors on a particular product, and the actual turnover for that particular product. And that’s, that’s all you need, really, in a small business. Philipa Farley: Absolutely, I mean, when where, why target. You’re looking at it from your perspective as a business owner going, “oh, everybody went to look at that, so they’re interested but there’s something wrong with it because they’re not buying they’re, not converting to an actual customer. So how do we change the messaging? How do we change that, even the product photography, what’s going on here?” It’s not hard to to work through that one positive thing that I’ve found… Claude Saulnier: So even some of the metrics that for instance, Google Analytics would give you are a bit flawed as well because, depending on the type of business you’re in, something like the bounce rate people say, “oh yeah, you know, people come to websites and they leave the website…” Well, if your website is actually like you find, I suppose, the product or whatever you’ve got open, like through a Search Engine, you actually find this page and then use the Contact Us page. Well, it doesn’t really matter if people have actually seen 20 pages or one page, you know, they’ve actually taken an action. And that’s it. And, and again, if you’re shopping, like we’ve got clients that use our shopping facility there, and their brief is, well, we want the minimal amount of clicks between the time they choose a product, buy the tickets and pay. So, from that point of view, then you really want to actually minimise that and make sure that people stay as little as possible on the website. You want them to buy one product and go, and that’s it. So again, so that could be very misleading. In terms of obviously, anybody in marketing will tell you a different story. So Philipa Farley: Yeah, the one thing that I’ve seen and I’ve said it to Graeme, time and time again, is this is the first space that I’ve worked in – and I’ve worked across many different spaces – where one subject matter forces everybody in the business to talk to each other. It breaks down silos and people have to start understanding what other people in the business do, which I think is fantastic. You know, it’s great for everybody. Yeah. Okay, last one, because I have now nearly taken up an hour of your time. Thank you so much for that. Please, Claude, can you give us one piece of advice to potential clients of yours? Claude Saulnier: Blank, haha! Philipa Farley: So if somebody is coming along to you, Claude, and they were sort of half convinced that they needed to do something about compliance and the GDPR. And they, they knew that you saw the solution, and they knew a little bit about you, what would be one thing you would like them to take away to think about? Claude Saulnier: Maybe that they should consider how they care about their own clients. And what, I think a large element about GDPR is about reputation. Right. So, yeah, I think reputation matters. And that’s, I think, is probably what will happen and not so much necessary because they use our software to do this, but that the action of, I suppose, taking the software to help them in – software itself doesn’t solve every problem, let’s just be clear, right? It actually provides a certain economic guidance and, and the tool to actually support that demonstration to the GDPR but not just demonstrate the GDPR to actually make their business better, right? It makes their business better and then gives a positive, and again, reduces the risk towards their, you know, their reputation. So Philipa Farley: And build trust. Yeah, exactly. It helps build the trust. Yeah. Okay, cool. Thank you so much. I have got your contact details up here. But your website is bizoneo.eu. Where can people best find you online? Where do you prefer? Claude Saulnier: Well, I’m usually a LinkedIn person ideally. With tweeting about it, it’s nice to think you know, people can find me. Feel free to put the link to the LinkedIn page and people can follow me. I try to put a certain angle of, of wit as well, because I have to admit that for the majority of people data protection could be a bit dull. And it could be dull. So I think we have to put a bit of fun into data protection and that’s what I would try to do, I suppose. When I’m posting on LinkedIn, I hope sometimes I try not to take it like, you know, too seriously. I try to give serious advice, but try to joke about certain things. And, and try to, I suppose, educate people; just trying to actually get people interested in it. I think if we can actually get this, I think there will be an awful lot achieved on that, you know, so yes. Philipa Farley: Yeah, Claude, It’s a part of our life now. And it’s not going anywhere. It’s not going anywhere. So, you know, whether we like it or not, we need to absorb it and live it. Claude Saulnier: You know, I think we’re very lucky in Europe to actually have such a law and regulation to do this. Philipa Farley: Yeah, absolutely. We are. You know, I’ll say time and time again, like, every single person that I’ve worked with, we walk away from the job. And I’m sure that you have the same experience, where they say “thank you.” We actually feel better, so much better when it’s done. You know, I’ve had phone calls from people saying, just a quick phone call, thank you. You’ve changed our life, because now we know what to say. When our customers ask questions. We know how to do our own negotiations, and we can absolutely 100% stand on the information that we’re giving out, you know, the confidence is back there again. So, you know, I know that Bizoneo can help people with that too, and give them that, that confidence and that deep knowledge of what they’re doing is the right thing. Yeah. So, Claude Saulnier: Yes, yeah. And again, you see this in terms of: be proactive, to be organised, and be ready, and I think that this helps us sleep better at night. Philipa Farley: Okay, thank you, Claude, I’m going to end the recording here. Claude Saulnier: Yeah. It’s been great chatting. Philipa Farley: Okay, thanks. Bye. Claude Saulnier: Bye Philipa Farley: Hope you enjoyed that episode of The GDPR series. If you do, please subscribe. Find us on social media. We’d love to have a chat! The post GDPR Management Strategies with Claude Saulnier (in his lovely French accent) of Bizoneo appeared first on ProPrivacy Data Compliance Solutions.
6 Mar 2020
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GDPR Data Protection and Privacy Compliant Marketing with Finola Howard
Today on The GDPR Series podcast, our focus is data protection and privacy compliant marketing. I chat with an expert marketing strategist about positive, permission-based marketing and how the personal data of your customer is a gift from them to you. Besides some great discussion on the principles underpinning data protection – the GDPR – (and privacy), we have a bit of a chat about some marketing history and how strategies have evolved a little. One certain book has been a bit of a revelation to me – completely missed that one! Listen to find out more. Our guest today is Finola Howard who is an exceptional, inspirational and gifted (yes, my opinion and many others!) brand builder, marketing strategist and thinking partner. Finola can be found at https://www.finolahoward.com/. She is also the creator and founder of How Great Marketing Works (https://howgreatmarketingworks.com/) which is an accessible and affordable online course that teaches businesses of all sizes how to build a marketing process that works for their business. Current Offer from Finola: Finola is running her ’30 Day Campaign Builder Program’ starting in March. The cost of joining is $97 and $47 for members of the How Great Marketing Works course. Sign Up Here for the 30 Day Campaign – https://courses.howgreatmarketingworks.com/offers/CupjDL85 Finola’s Links: The Whole Get Strategic System for Growth – https://courses.howgreatmarketingworks.com/ Get Strategic Course – http://bit.ly/GetStrategic15 Get Strategic Add an Expert – http://bit.ly/AddAnExpert Philipa Farley: Hi, and welcome to our podcast called the GDPR Series, where we discuss data protection, privacy and cyber security matters that ordinary people in everyday businesses face. We have a series of really interesting and lovely guests, and we hope you enjoy listening. Good morning, Finola! It’s so lovely to finally have you on the other side of the camera. Finola Howard: I know! Thank you so much. I’m honoured to have another chat with you. Philipa Farley: Yeah, no, and this one should be a good one. I think people will really enjoy listening to it. I am going to share a screen with your website open. I just want to double check. Yeah, I’ve got Finola Howard and have How Great Marketing Works, so we can flip between the two, while I share the screen. Would you like to introduce yourself? Finola Howard: Oh, I’m so not used to introducing myself. Well My name is Finola Howard and I am a brand builder, strategic marketer, lover of all entrepreneurial things. I have a consultancy practice here in Ireland. And, I also have an online offering for small to medium-sized businesses to help them build better marketing processes, so that they can create the business they always dreamed of having. So I have two sides to my business: one to one work with my clients and for larger companies, and I also have an online offering for small to medium sized companies. So there you go, that’s me. Philipa Farley: And you are an amazing person to know. It’s really an honour to know you, and to be your friend and to have your input into business and access to your course. I’m just trying to change tabs here, it’s not changing so we’ll see what’s going on there later. I have been on your course, just so that everybody kind of knows. I have been on your course for two years now, yeah, I think about two years. And you know what, Finola? I’m still learning. Like, I dip in and out all the time, you might not realise it, but I go back on often. And I have my file of material, you know, your sheets and print out. And then obviously, I’m in the group, every now and then I don’t have too much time to be on social media these days, but really the way and, I’ve said this to so many people, the way that you think about marketing, and the way that you present it to us, who are not experts in it at all, is absolutely fantastic. And it just gives us such a fresh perspective on it, where in our space, privacy and data protection, marketing is kind of a bit of a dirty word. And I think people who are focusing on sales, specifically, really battle with it, because they don’t know, a lot of time where the boundaries are – there’s a lot of grey areas. Even though some people might say they’re black and white and well, they’re not really. And people are just lost at sea. Like, that’s the only way I can describe it. They’re lost at sea. So, I appreciate the provocation of thought that you bring to the space. And yeah, the thread of ethics that flows through it, because at the end of the day, when we’re trying to marry up different jurisdictions, like we look at marketing in, in the EU, South Africa, and Africa is this following quickly, where they have actually specifically written in direct marketing regulation into their Protection of Personal Information Act. Where the GDPR doesn’t have that it’s a separate directive at the moment and will be a regulation. So South Africa’s built direct marketing rules into their Protection of Personal Information Act. Canada has always been very strict. However, we have like the sort of the confusion there, that some people battle with when they get onto Canadian product that it’s a soft opt in, where we have to have that explicit consent given a lot of time. And then, we have the States, which is in a massive state of change at the moment. Yeah. So, when you’re building an online business, how, you know, how do you even begin to pull these threads together and do it the right way? And, we come back to the point of ethical marketing, you know, and I know that you can’t wait to share something with us. I sent you the questions and the first one is where you first came to grips with data protection and the GDPR. So I’d really love to hear Finola Howard: Well, you know, I’m a lover of all things marketing, even though it’s so frowned upon, but yes… Philipa Farley: It shouldn’t be frowned upon, because it’s an amazing message that all of us need to get out. So I’m going to tell you now not to be negative for now. Finola Howard: Well, I’m going to say my perspective on it is, this is the way or the engine that allows you to give the gift of your knowledge, your expertise, your services, your products to the world. This is the engine that brings it to your customer. That’s how I think of it. Philipa Farley: And, it’s amazing. Like, it just makes me feel it actually. And people who know me are going to laugh when they hear me say this, it makes me feel so good. When you say it like that, you know, because it’s… Finola Howard: Yeah, well, I’m very passionate about it. But what I want to share with you is when you sent me that question, right? I just went, when I first started thinking about it in this way, right? And I just want to put this on screen, for people a little bit. And it’s a book called Permission Based Marketing by Seth Godin. And, I said to myself, I’ve had this a really long time, and I knew I got it fairly new at the time. And it’s dated 1999. Philipa Farley: Wow. Wow. Finola Howard: Yeah. Wow. Yeah. And that’s the year I started in business. Philipa Farley: Wow. Finola Howard: So it’s from the very beginning. And also, previous to this, I want to share with you, I know about data permission and because I worked, one of my first jobs, and I mean at the lower level, and I did move through the business, and all the rest of it, but my starting job as a temp was sheets of paper with company names, and I had to find, I had to ring every number to find the phone numbers, those sheets of paper. So this is direct marketing. So it’s pre-Internet, pre-orders. Yeah, I was on the phone. It was just riveting work. But, I was like so I was you know, I was very young. It was one of my first jobs. Oh, yeah, fantastic sharing this. But anyway, my first job was, I had sheets and sheets of paper, and each on there was maybe 10 or 20 lines on it. And I had to ring these landlines and find out the job title and the person who had that job title in the business. Yeah. So it was, that’s how you build a list then. We didn’t have what we have now. Now the way of building relationships, offering value in exchange for the permission to speak to them. And what I wanted to share with you in this book when I opened it was this, and this is fabulous. Now I have to say, right, and it’s in this groundbreaking book and it’s in 1999. To me, it’s still groundbreaking, right? Four tests for permission based marketing, right? The first one is: Does every single marketing effort you create, encourage a learning relationship with your customers? Does it invite your customers to raise their hands and start communicating? Number 1, first test. Your second test. You’ll love this one. Do you have a permission database? Do you track the number of people who have given you permission to communicate with them? This is 1999. Number 3. I love this one. If consumers gave you permission to talk to them, would you have anything to say? Have you developed a marketing curriculum to teach people about your products? That’s my most favourite one, because we live and – I’ll talk about this more in a second – we live in a very fragmented approach to marketing. Yeah. Whereas if you think in terms of, I build a curriculum, and I build it through all my social media and my email, and at all my touch points, if I think of it as a curriculum, not a one shot deal, not an isolated event, then it’s much better. Last one. Four. Once people become customers, do you work to deepen your permission to communicate with those people? Philipa Farley: Yeah. Finola Howard: Yeah, so that’s where I learnt about it. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah. Finola Howard: It’s always my great example, in this book, is when you start communicating with the customer. It’s this idea of this whole marriage analogy. It’s used everywhere. I’ve probably used it with you before and it comes from this book. And because this is the one thing I really remembered so strongly from, which was: if you were going on a blind date, would you ask the person to marry you on that blind date? And, you would get permission to tell them a little bit more, then they would share something with you. It’s the back and forth. And each you it’s about having a relationship with a human being, not a computer. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah, exactly. Exactly. And, adding on to that, for me, has been, and I’m not sure because we’ve not really discussed ourselves out of, you know, work, the whole concept of vulnerability, Finola. You know, and and the message that Brene Brown puts out and I’m not like a Brene Brown evangelist or whatever, you know, I like to watch her to take the points that I need, but she has such salient points and she’s just herself, and adding that vulnerability into what you’re saying here, that permission to speak, please may I have permission to speak? And may I have permission to share my knowledge with you? Because I have presumed, maybe wrongly, that I kind of know from experience as well that I do have something to offer you that you will find useful. And I would like the opportunity, please, to just share that with you. You know, that vulnerability comes into it for a lot of people, because you’re not sure if what you have is worth enough for that person to give their time and attention to it. So, we revert back into this place of kind of anonymity. You know, and throwing out this vague, general message in our marketing. And, it’s kind of like a bit of a shotgun approach. We hope that somebody will respond, you know that it will stick somewhere. And somebody will come along saying: “Oh, you seem amazing and wonderful, and you’re the answer to all of my problems.” But we’ve basically said: “Do you want to come on my course?” And I’m speaking about myself here really, you know. So it’s like really getting deep down to their place and having that communication. And, I think, possibly what holds people back, is that absolute sort of panic when they realise they have to connect with other human beings in this way. You know, Finola Howard: Yes. Because I even remember, a few years ago, a good few years ago, talking to someone about giving them feedback on their website, and they had disabled comments on their site. I always find this really interesting and, and a lot of web developers, their default position is to disable comments on a site on a blog. And I’m like, why don’t you want your customer to talk back to you? Yeah. And the answer is I’m afraid of what they’re going to say. Yeah. Well, it was nothing bad, even if they hate what you do then nobody – well, I can’t say nobody – but even if they hate what you do, even if it’s something you don’t want to hear, even if your product is wrong, isn’t it better to know that? Isn’t it better to allow the market to tell you what it wants, so that you can do it better? Like, that’s so much more useful to you. I mean, this is about the sustainability of your business. That’s what yeah, like getting, allowing your customers to talk to you so that you can hear them. I know we’re very focused on like, I mean, my course says: marketing is your truth told. Great marketing is truth shared. And the first obstacle is for you to have the ability to tell your truth about what you do. And to tell it in a way that resonates with the customer. And that magic happens, is when they say: Yes! And now I want to tell others about it, yes!” And that’s where sharing comes in. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Finola Howard: But it is to trust, to trust, the dynamic of this journey. That part of the journey is to learn what you get right, in what you’re offering and what you’re saying and what you need to adjust, in what you’re offering and what you’re saying. If you allow both viewpoints in, you are better able to communicate more effectively, and more coherently with the right customer for you. Your customers want you to find them. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah, because this is the great divide now. Finola Howard: They want you to find them because they have a problem, that they want you to help them with. So, be found! Philipa Farley: Yeah, and you see now we get back to privacy and data protection. And I’ll use the term interchangeably here, because of the different jurisdictions that you work across and I work across, but also, the fact that some people listening might be B2C, where privacy is a concern, you know, as opposed to Data Protection more. I’m going to really confuse people with this, so don’t please don’t be confused with this, but the B2B space. You’re more than welcome to phone me and have a chat if you need to know what I’m talking about here. I’m sure Finola would be happy to take any people on board there. Okay, so like, this is now the Great Divide where okay, let’s go back to your moment where you first understood intrinsically, about what the GDPR was trying to put into law and their paralysis, the state of paralysis that some people are in in business, knowing that they they need to make sales, for their business to survive. And they just don’t know how to get to the point where a sale is made, because they think the law is stopping them from reaching out to customers. You know, there’s so many different ways that you can reach out and be found and I would strongly encourage people, you know, even if you’re not ready to engage with Finola, or somebody like Finola, if you don’t want to use Finola, your loss really. I’m just saying that, you know, go go on the courses that are offered. This course is amazing, and it takes you through how to take your customers through that journey. Finola Howard: Well, let me tell you something very interesting with you, right? Yeah, I’m in a Master Class, because I believe also in and, I want you to scroll back on this landing page here, which is my site courses on howgreatmarketingworks.com and I want to share this with you, which is I want you to go to the top of the screen, if you don’t mind. So I’m in a master class with other entrepreneurs from around the world fantastic Master Class which is called A Significant Year by a lady called Robin Rice, but in one of the sessions and we meet weekly, and it’s to obviously we want to create a significant year for ourselves, but, and one of the sessions I was doing I had a live webinar going on, so I missed my class. Right. So, and it is so interesting, right? It was in the end, one of the so we take turns in the Master Class, everybody talks about what work struggle or challenge they’re facing at the time. And one of the things that came up was the idea of marketing. Right. And I wasn’t in the room, so that was great giggles, and you know, phew, Finola’s not here, haha. So, it was very interesting, right? And it was a question of, do I have to, you know, this idea of marketing has become so negative right. And do I have to follow the formula that everyone follows for marketing, right? What happened for me was because we need to have the, we need to find ways to hear the voice of our customers, and truly listen to us without our egos in the way. That’s the important thing. So yes, we might not like to hear things we don’t want to hear. But, we need to hear the voice of our customers so we can do what we do better. As a result, of course, these calls are recorded. So I got to listen to an entire conversation, but the traditional view of marketing. By the way, marketing is often done, not always done, often done. And, as a direct result of that, of hearing the voice of my customer, customer without me in the room, I changed my landing page. Philipa Farley: Oh, yeah. Finola Howard: I changed my landing page from about how to build a marketing process to actually because I started to realise what I was listening, listening in, to the calls, because it’s part of my own learning, and writing and then yeah, this hurts, but oh my god, it’s gold. Yeah, this hurts, but oh my god, it’s gold. And it’s gold, because it allowed me to go take the extra moment that I needed to go deeper into my own message to the marketplace, because I heard my customer. What often happens when we hear our customer is that we actually hear ourselves. That’s really important because entrepreneurs are passionate, they come to the market with a solution, because it was something that bothers them and troubled them. And, in the course of the journey, we often forget our own truth. Or it gets distilled in some way because we adjust it, because we think we do things we should do. And everyone falls prey to that, including me. So, in this part, while I would be very clear on what I do, sometimes there’s adjustments because I can hear the voice of my customer, because I allowed my customer to speak to me because I listened in on that call. And because I remembered the feedback and the testimonials from so many people about this programme, I went, I need this tweak this tweak needs to happen, so that my story and my message is not only more resonant with my customer, but it’s actually more resonant with me. And, that has great power: to hear your customer. And I do think GDPR, data privacy, all of that stuff makes us pause before we interact. That is the value. That is the value to say, today I want to give value and I don’t want to do, what’s the danger that’s happening is this hesitancy, if the scared part is if I give the wrong if I contact them in the wrong way. I will damage the relationship, but it’s not. Philipa Farley: Or they’ll cut me off and I’ll never be able to speak to them again. It’s like an instant unsubscribe, No, leave me alone, you know. Finola Howard: But if you take your brain, take yourself into the space of the intention of building greater trust and actually building anticipation for what you communicate, that you build this relationship that, you know, and I found this with my own marketing, as well and with clients. That now, as I communicate as I more consciously communicate, the desire is to open the email that I sent. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Yeah. Finola Howard: Because they won’t get a formula. They will get my voice, my truth, my intent to help them. My honest, authentic intent to provide value and to provide an answer to their problem. And if we go to that headspace, yeah, the legislation takes care of itself. Yeah, Philipa Farley: Yeah, no. You’re absolutely right Finola, but can I add one more thing on to that? It’s like, I think people get to a place of desperation as well, as I’ve said before, where they need to make a sale and they’re desperate to make that sale. So, there’s an underlying tone of buy, buy, buy, buy, buy, not like Cork people are on the telephone, you know, but “Buy, buy, buy, buy what I have!” And, sometimes people aren’t ready to buy, they need to be warmed up, you know, however you want to say it. You know, it’s that journey towards the marriage, but it really requires it requires a lot of self control to take those 10 steps back and to start giving people what they need, you know, instead of taking what you need, Finola Howard: Yeah, what I’ve found is there is more than one story and more than one message, that spins out from your core message, right? Yeah. Yeah. And I was working with a client on Friday, quite a large client and the approach that we were taking was you have time – this is the first thing I always say this ever, remember this: you have time. Philipa Farley: I read that in my diary, every single week, the last 18 months. Finola Howard: Yeah, but here’s the idea of how you are, we get happier with the time. And the time is because we are, we have death. Not only do we have depth as human beings, we also have depth as organisations, as companies, as businesses, I don’t care what size you are, you still, there is a depth and an identity around your business. Regardless of whether you’re a solopreneur, or a multinational, there is a depth and, if there is depth, then there are layers to your story. So, my approach and, even doing this last Friday with a client, was this idea of let us take those layers and just start to leak them out, share out one layer at a time. So that, we were talking about even that idea of the curriculum of sharing the story of your product. That’s one later, crack that single layer first. And where your intention is to create a sandwich of all the layers of your story. Yes, the layer one might be that you, if you are using Serity, which is your wonderful product, the layer one is to actually, you know, all the different parts of that puzzle that you can tell. So you might have, how to sign up, it might be out how much it costs, it might be, what you can expect to happen. It might be the preparation for getting yourself GDPR already. It might be all these small little stories, just one layer, that make a lovely sandwich, all these stories. And the wonderful thing about social media, and about email and anything else, is that we have space to share the layer. So you could, if you are doing your scheduling for your social media and all the rest, right? Is to batch produce all of the different parts of these layers, create them, because if it is a product that is clearly, I mean, they are moved, but there’s some core things that stay the same. This is a layer of evergreen content that you put across all your social media. You figure what is in my curriculum, remember, you may also want to put that layer out four times a year; I’m going to do a webinar on how to do it right. And I would do that in that layer. That’s my education layer. I may have another layer which is about so for example, I know I did in my education layer at the start of this year, I did a webinar that was how to plan for success when you just hate planning. Arising from that, I know because it was appropriate. Arising from that, because that was the idea now, was consumer generated content. Right. Members in the program have said that, I mean, it came up in the programme. I said: “Oh, yeah, look, you know, would it be great if we could just, if I could do a walk along, a ride along cars campaign with you? Build a campaign along with you?” And everyone said: “Yes!” Like so, one of my things around here is: how do you create a space for your customer to share with you what they want, not just you do your layer of what you want to reach out and tell them, but maybe there’s a layer where you say, come tell me what you want? And so, as a result of having this ability to have a two way communication with my customers, I’m now rolling out a new programme, which is a 30 day campaign ride along, that we’re going to do from March because that’s not what I thought of, that’s what Customer told me they wanted. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah yeah. And, Finola, like going, I am going to bank one point there, and just going, building on what you’re saying here because I think last year, beginning of last year was kind of where I started more concentrating on the strategic thinking that’s needed in a business and the strategic planning that’s needed in a business, as opposed to just servicing clients’ needs. People that don’t know me, my business started in a very kind of reactive way. Can you help me with this? Yes, I can. Okay, and it just started this ongoing rolling ball of: “Can you help me do this? Can you help me? Can you help me with this?” So yes, while we were doing very well, I was very tired, rundown, no time, not giving the best of myself to people. And I very quickly pulled myself away at that point, because I’m a slight bit of a perfectionist and I don’t like to think that I, you know, I’m not being of service to somebody that I work with. So I had to take a big step back and go, wow, okay, this has to change. And now I’ve actually got to do a company, and do all these things like I mean, I’ve got this book, The 10 day MBA, it’s also a pretty old one on my shelf. I don’t know if I got it in South Africa, it might have been published here. But books like that, you know, with the good solid business principles in, that was my go to. And then going on a couple of courses where, like your Mastermind, you are forced to stick to a schedule, and you have to put that time aside for that strategic thinking that goes into the business. So, if you go back to GDPR, and marketing, if you’re going and you’re just reacting to the marketplace, and what your customers are saying, not reacting to what your customers are saying, but reacting to what everybody else, your competition is doing, because I think competition analysis does trigger this in some people. Oh, God, that one’s done a course and, oh god that one’s written a book, I’d better go and do all of these things. You know, you’re not putting the value that your customers need into the information and the perspective. Finola Howard: I look at it as a way to shine the light on your difference. Philipa Farley: Okay, yeah, that’s beautiful. Finola Howard: Yeah, absolutely. Because and I do this, you know me, I’m very methodical, and I like my, you know, see it really clearly. And it’s that and, I actually have a blog post about this, but it’s also part of the programme anyway, which is, you look at consistent components of your, of your competitor and you tabulate it in such a way, that this white space where they aren’t is where you are. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I can’t find that one quickly, but back to the point, back to the point of what you’re saying about, right at the beginning, about trust building and the GDPR. There would have been a couple of people who, I think one person started it, obviously, but the acronym GDPR. They would say: Give Data Proper Respect, you know? Yeah. And it ties into exactly what you’re saying. Well, some people might have thought it was quite silly to say that. That’s, it’s not silly at all, because and I say this again, I’m gonna roll back a little bit. But when I talk to people about data protection and privacy in their business, I feel that it should be one of the core values of the business. How are we approaching this? Because it’s such a strong and huge component of trust building now that you can’t ignore it. So everything you’re saying feeds into, like the message we try and put out of: please give this the proper attention it requires because it is the foundation of so much more in your business, not just a compliance exercise. You know, it really builds a very, very strong foundation for you to lift everything up off of. Finola Howard: Yes. It is the care, it is customer care. You know the care of your customer, sometimes, when we say customer care, we just forget it, you know, these terms have become so yeah, everywhere that you just, it loses meaning but it is about care for your customer. But if you care for your customer, you care for your business. Philipa Farley: Exactly. Exactly, exactly. I mean, yeah, we’ll take that into GDPR straight away there and go with rights requests and the panic and trauma and about a business that data subject rights requests. You know, sometimes people just want to have like, they just want to have their information. There’s nothing sinister about it. There’s nothing sometimes they might just want the photo on their name, you know, deal with it. Like that’s just fix it. Don’t take it personally like they are your customer. You should be honouring what they say, Finola Howard: You know, their data is a gift to you. Philipa Farley: Exactly. Finola Howard: So, you must unwrap it carefully, place it somewhere carefully, and respect it. It’s a gift – you have to consider it as a gift. Philipa Farley: Oh, that’s, that’s really beautiful, Finola. And this is exactly why I asked you to please come and chat with us because so many people need to hear that. Thank you, you know, you say it so beautifully. And when you see it like that you do stop with the bad practices, and you become very mindful over it. And I think I’ve used the word ‘mindful’ so much in the last few months, especially because the only way to describe how to sort of stop, take that deep breath, be in the here and now and think about exactly what you’re doing, you know. Finola Howard: Well, I liked that kind of hesitance, before you act is the thing that. Like, one of the questions you asked was about “How am I different?” And, I suppose, that even though I always had this perspective, I do now hesitate. And I ask myself: “Am I bringing value here? Do I? Am I helping with a clear heart?” And I would not be afraid to use the word heart here… Yeah, clear heart that this is offering value. This is not me being on some automated cycle that’s just pushing, which is the danger of the marketing, which is here to automate everything to the extent that we lose the humanity in it. It is about communicating, but it is to help to bring this hesitance, to hesitate, to pause to look and say: “What? Am I deepening my relationship here? Do I bring value? Will they treat this email with the same anticipation of the other ones because and because I always bring value?” When you do that, your open rates soar. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely. Finola Howard: Be open. It’s not just about it’s the right thing to do, or it’s a good thing, it’s nice to be nice. It is, it has that component, which is important for me anyway, in business and in all of my clients. I know. And, but it’s the other practical pragmatic side of it is the open rate score. Philipa Farley: Yeah. And I’ll even add to that, because people yeah, people are quite surprised when they start learning about domain reputation. You know, like, if your emails are not being opened, if they’re being marked as spam, if they’re just being deleted, your domain reputation is going to go down the tubes. And your emails are going to start being marked as spam immediately, no matter what you send out. Finola Howard: And I think that this other key message that I would be saying to people is: this idea of the curriculum; is this idea of, to move away from this fragmented style of marketing, and to think about this idea of these layers in here that are all connected. But it’s not that your email does one thing and your social media does something else, and your trade show does something else, and your networking does something else. It’s that: how are we building a process that actually brings these all into play? And, when you bring them all into play, oh my god, the open rates and the conversions climb through the roof, because it’s not fragmented. And it’s so powerful. Even, because I ran a campaign even recently, and I’m about to launch another one, but the one for the planning webinar, because I could integrate and learn what my ads told me about the audience on my Facebook page. What happened when I sent an email, to what happened in social media. And the shareability of things across that and because, and I remember I didn’t do everything the way I would have loved to do it, but I definitely connected. Connection between all of these things meant that I, within a very short space of time, like in a five day window, I was full. Philipa Farley: Yeah. And that’s the impact. Finola Howard: The thing that is really important for me to share also with people is that don’t stop communicating just because you’re scared. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Yeah, please can we get that message out, please? Because I just, I hear it on a daily basis for now. And I’m not even joking like people, they just don’t know what to do. They just don’t know what to do so, like, well, I can help them. I think this message that we’re discussing here of principles, respect, and trust building, is essentially what this law is about. So, if you sit down and examine what you’re about to do, without going to checklists and tick boxes against the law… If you look at it and you go, benching against what you said here: Am I offering value? Am I giving the customer messages that they need to hear? Am I doing… Finola Howard: Also, what would they like to know, not what would I like to say. Philipa Farley: Exactly Exactly. If you’re coming up with No, no, no, no, no” Finola Howard: Like, review it and change your offering exactly. It’s not that hard. Because, sometimes it’s a tweak here. There are so many stories of someone changing direction, actually moving, changing customers, or the product or the adaptation of a product, and much greater sales as a result. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah, yeah, and they’re happier because it’s actually where they should be. Finola Howard: And they become more profitable. Their customers are happy because they’ve got the right customers. Their product is better because they heard their customers’ voice and applied that to the product. Philipa Farley: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, back to my questions. Very, very quickly, Finola, the impact on you personally, of the GDPR. Has it personally affected you in some way? Finola Howard: Well, as I say, one, it makes me hesitate, before I communicate. And it makes me make sure that I understand that I’m bringing value and, am I actually connecting the dots here? Am I doing two things? One, am I helping them and two, does this contribute to my business? Does it help my business? And, is it taking me on the right track? As I said, those stories of, you know, listening to my customer, over hearing what they were saying and then actually adding those two things together, makes me a better communication for what I do. And yes, and the same with, even when you talk about direct impact for clients, I think about the client who I was with last Friday, and how we created a sandwich. I think if I wanted someone to walk away from this conversation with one thing, I would say walk away with a sandwich. And you are not overwhelmed by this desire to sell and to communicate but actually thinking strategically about it and creating this; these layers of things that must be communicated. And take a breath, just a breath. Because, people fall down when they’re in this mad panic, because they’re desperate. And desperation will never solve the problem. There’s a few things. One, if you’re in that state of desperation, first breathe, because and also to say to you, everyone hits this note because it’s the test of you in the marketplace. Philipa Farley: Yeah. Finola Howard: Take the breath. And listen. Your customer has given you a gift, they’re gifting you data, they’re gifting you knowledge. Philipa Farley: Yeah, thank you. Finola Howard: Yes, I want this, or this is not quite right, or nothing? And, nothing is something. If there is silence, then you’ve not hit the right customer with the right offer. If you need to find another customer? Maybe your product is not viable, but maybe it is? Maybe it is gold, but to somebody else. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And in the end you need time, time is what it is. And in an instant age of instant solutions and loads of people on the Internet shouting about, you know, make whatever 678 900 figures in the next week. No. Finola Howard: No, it takes time. It takes and it takes that accessing this truth, that is not just yours, but your customers. That, somewhere, there is this magic in between both, where both needs are served. Philipa Farley: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Okay, so the next question, have you seen any opportunities for your own business in the context of the GDPR? And I’ll tell you why I asked that question. You probably already know. But I asked that question because, people I get asked it repeatedly: do you think that the GDPR is a good or bad thing? I get asked it in interviews, even: do you think it’s a good or a bad thing? And then I get my soapbox out and preach about why it’s a good thing, you know. Because, absolutely, it’s put the control in the hands of the individual, not even the customer, consumer kind of the individual, you now have power over your own data. And there’s many reasons why I think that’s a good thing. So, when we look at opportunities in business, people have this perception that the GDPR is a block, as we’ve been talking about. It’s a block: “I can’t do that.” Or, they use it as an excuse: “I can’t do that because of the GDPR.” So, have you seen any positive opportunities for your own business? Finola Howard: Well, what I talk to my clients about a lot, because the overriding message that I get from my clients is they don’t want to add to the spam that’s already out there. They don’t want to add to that, the quantity of data or the quantity of contacts that are unsolicited, it’s just so strong, right? And my answer is always the opportunity is here. So you speak your truth in your voice and you will reach them. It comes back to, I know I’m repeating myself, and I hope this is okay. But it’s important to me. Yeah. Be brave enough to tell your story and and this is not doing a I want to uplift everybody, blah, blah blah. It’s not. It’s a very pragmatic thing. You created this business with purpose. You created this business by identifying a need in the market. Then trust that trust that you created, that you identified a need in the market and that your passion is… I worked with somebody before Christmas, and it makes this the most interesting thing…it makes you fulfill your own mission for your company, your own vision.. Because you know, and I say this a lot, you must you now have to have the balls to follow through. Your starting point of why you went into business in the first place previously, in old methods of marketing, pre-GDPR you never had to put your vulnerability as we go back to Brene Brown, you never had to put your vulnerability on the line because you could just play the game. Yeah, it’s no longer playing the game. It’s about and this is you know the overused term authenticity. It’s about putting your balls on the line, your mission of why you started it and not that you’re in this garden shed going ,or whatever it’s because I think this is such an interesting part. But, most of my clients, most of them have some passion, they have a part of the world that they want to change, they want to change something in the world. And, imagine if we all had the balls to change the piece we knew that needed changing. Philipa Farley: Wow. Yeah, Exactly. Finola Howard: And, I believe that the GDPR makes us back our own mission. Philipa Farley: Oh, it does. It does. And that’s that’s an amazing statement. It’s an amazing statement, but it does. It does. Remember that show that was on the TV? I don’t know if you got it here. And it might have been a BBC show, about looking good naked? Oh my god. Like I just you know, I watch those shows like this, but you have to watch it, you know? And it’s kind of like a similar feeling like, oh my god, Finola, you want me to do? You want me to do what now? You know? Like, like, live video. What now? When? When? Finola Howard: When we speak about our passions, our customers believe us. And really, we’ve had to have the GDPR to make us do that. Really? Philipa Farley: Yeah. It’s quite, it’s quite funny, isn’t it? Yeah. But it is a huge opportunity. Finola Howard: It is about authenticity. It is about…don’t, don’t send me stuff that you send to everyone. Send me stuff I’ve looked for. Send me stuff that helps me. Philipa Farley: Yeah, exactly. Okay, so we’ve discussed already where you see the opportunities for your clients, because they are there. And would you like to share a positive story, Finola, related to the GDPR. Finola Howard: I have lots of them and they all revolve around better open rates., better products, better products, better services. And better insight, because of this desire to communicate better it means we listen better. That’s the untold story of the communication arts, remember communications receiver phenomenon, it’s there’s a possibility of the person who sends that the message comes through intact to the other side. Yes, and because of that, because of this now this approach is permission-based marketing approach, we have to lend an ear. Yes. Because we need feedback to know what we’re doing right. Know what we’re doing wrong to know where to adjust. Yeah. And I think that’s also another big win for GDPR is it makes us listen. In fact, it’s possibly the biggest win for GDPR is that it makes us listen. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah. And it’s what we take away, we can throw it away. And we can ruin ourselves ourselves. Or we can take it and actually process it and apply our learnings. You know, I think that’s, that’s what people need to do. Yeah. Okay. Your time is very valuable. And I’m very aware of that. And I’m so deeply grateful to you, Finola, seriously for being with us today. Do you have one piece of advice to potential clients of yours, because I would really hope and encourage everybody listening to this, to engage with you in some way. You know, I really hope people do. Finola Howard: Well, my piece of advice is number test three of permission-based marketing. Because this, if consumers gave me permission to talk to them, would you have anything to say? Have you developed a marketing curriculum to teach people about your products? And it’s this idea of the layers, you will have a layer to teach, you will have a layer to show them who they are, you will have a layer to show benefits, you will have a layer, and I think take it piece by piece, layer by layer, in a connected way. And if you think of it as a curriculum, you will automatically think in a connected way. And, I’m a believer in connected thinking in terms of the impact that it has on marketing, because the numbers speak for themselves. You will have a greater route to success because you connect how you think and how you act in the marketing context. So if that’s, I mean, look at that book, that book is amazing, those four even if just reading the jacket like. Back in 1999, it was asked the question of a permission database. Philipa Farley: Yeah, yeah. I mean, wow, that man is like, I will admit, I have not read that book. And I’m going to get it today in hardcopy, and have it on my shelf, because actually it should be there on all of our shelves. And he was so way ahead of his time. And I just, I love that about you too Finola, because you don’t just sort of take one thing and then disregard the rest. You hold on to these absolutely beautiful nuggets of information and it benefits the rest of us. So, thank you for bringing 1999 back to us and reminding us that, you know, I think and I say this to people so often now. I think the world went crazy there for a while, you know, the app era and just these masses of useless lists that were made ever, just data harvesting and sucking. So, it would be nice to go back to that time when the Internet was just – I know the Internet’s not always been sort of fairy tales, sunshine, and roses, and whatever. But, back to that calm space where it was such an amazing phenomenon to be connected to somebody on the other side of the world. I mean, do you remember that first time? You got into a chat room or a forum and you were like: “Oh my god, so he’s somebody in America, I’m sitting here on the bottom end of the world!” Like maybe it wasn’t like that in Europe, but it was us, you know? And the learning that you could get from other people, you know, and then the information that started being put up in the courses that became accessible, like, I think there’s just so much good out there. And I’d really like people listening to this, to understand that they can be part of putting in more good out there, more information. Finola Howard: You know, like them to leave with this idea to which is that: the software and the technology has moved on in a very productive sense, as well. That we don’t have to, we can personalise what we do and how we communicate. In a way, we can watch behaviours, we can be more, be more capable of giving people what they want because the technology allows us. Even if you look at it from an email marketing context, you have ways of tagging what people are interested in based on their behaviour. And then as a result, you just send them what they want, because they tell you what they want. We have MailChimp, everything, all of these wonderful pieces of software that make it easy for our customers to self select what they want. Philipa Farley: Yeah, and and on that point, Finola, because I know there will be a couple of people listening to this, who are part of the data protection and privacy circles, and they would, a few of them would immediately go, “Oh my god, that’s not GDPR compliant software! That’s not GPR compliant software!” And, my answer to that it actually depends on how you use it, how you configure it, how you set it up. It’s not the software. It’s your use of it. Finola Howard: It’s just, you know, it’s letting people know you. You tell people, say, when you sign up for this, would you like to have? And they? And if they don’t take it, they’re not on the list. Yeah. Yeah. And yes, as a human being having to go through those lists, like when I started off in mind, yeah, yeah. And pages and pages it’s not they said select by ticking a box to say yes, I would like that. Philipa Farley: Yeah. And, and, and the opting out of the tracking and that is there if you if you want to do it. So yeah, let’s not spend too much time on the technicalities, because that’s not the point. The point is the positive message of, you know, please, please don’t feel paralysed. You can speak to your customer, you should speak to your customers, you should really want to let your light shine. You know, Finola Howard: I would follow up this conversation also, when I said to you about having this wonderful opportunity to listen to, and people in my Master Class, talk about marketing and I tweaked my messaging and changed some and how it was positioned. And I actually contacted those people. And I said: “What do you think of this, then? Does this resonate more? Does this entice you? Does this reflect? What? Does this fit now?” And I got, straight back, “Yes! This is what I wanted to see!” Because I heard them, and I got that email in this morning. Philipa Farley: yeah, yeah. Finola Howard: Your customers will help you, and will help you be a better you. Philipa Farley: And I really hope people received that message, Finola, and just started changing the mindset, and let that flow of business happen again, because that’s what should be happening. You know, it really should. But thank you so much for being with us. I really, I love talking to you. I could sit here the whole day and talk to you. For 12 hours of it for people, but thank you, Finola. If people want to reach you, where’s the best place to get you? Finola Howard: Well, I have an online programme, and you can find that on www.howgreatmarketingworks.com. But, I have a very interesting thing to offer at the moment, which is if you go to www.courses.howgreatmarketingworks.com , anyone who registered for this affordable accessible programme, which is just $15 a month, you will also be invited to take part in a Let’s Do It Together 30 day campaign builder. So, if you register now, you will get 30 days of me breaking down how to build a successful GDPR compliant campaign, to start rolling out on the second of March. And I think that would be really, really fun. I like to have fun, and yes, correct and build a campaign together. That was the whole idea so that people wouldn’t be alone on this. So, if you sign up today for just $15 a month, you have the option of self selecting to go in there. Philipa Farley: And that’ll be amazing. I hope people sign up for that. Thank you so much, Finola. I’m going to stop recording now. Finola Howard: It’s always my pleasure. Thank you. Philipa Farley: Hope you enjoyed that episode of The GDPR series. If you do, please subscribe. Find us on social media. We’d love to have a chat! The post GDPR Data Protection and Privacy Compliant Marketing with Finola Howard appeared first on ProPrivacy Data Compliance Solutions.
10 Feb 2020