GDPR and Your Business – What You Need to Know Now

What is GDPR?
Did you know that time is running out to ensure your business is GDPR compliant? With the deadline slowly creeping upon us we need to ensure our data protection is completely up to date and all our customers’ data is safe and secure. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) replaces the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC and was designed to harmonise data privacy across Europe: the same law applies to protect all EU citizens data privacy and to change the way organisations in the EU approach data privacy. Although the key principles of data privacy are still the same as the previous directive, there are still many changes that have been proposed to the regulatory policies.
How will GDPR affect my business?
Any business gathering data is required to comply with the new GDPR and must ensure it receives clear permission to use clients’ data for any purpose. Data users must also be informed how their data will be used and what marketing activates it will be used for. All data being held must be with clear permission and must only be used in the way described to the customer at the time the data is collected.
It’s not just the way we gather data that is changing but also the way we store and hold it. Businesses are required to document what personal data they hold, where it came from and who they share it with. In principle this should help reduce the nuisance text and calls that irritate most people.
How data should be held
The GDPR requires you to maintain records of your processing activities. For example, if you have inaccurate personal data and have shared this with another organisation, you will have to tell the other organisation about the inaccuracy, so it can correct its own records. You won’t be able to do this unless you know what personal data you hold, where it came from and who you share it with. You should document this. Doing this will also help you to comply with the GDPR’s accountability principle, which requires organisations to be able to show how they comply with the data protection principles, for example by having effective policies and procedures in place.
Privacy Notice
When currently collecting any data, businesses are required to provide people with certain information, such as who you are and how you intend to use their data. This will usually be done using a privacy notice, under the GDPR there are additional pieces of information that will need to be added such as: you will need to explain how you will be processing the data, how long you hold it for and that all individuals have a right to complain if they think there is a problem with the way you are handling their data.
Any business involved in marketing (and most businesses do some level of marketing) should consider how the new GDPR will change things for them. As well as the changes to collecting data there are also changes on how we market and how we ensure people agree to receive direct marketing inputs. When gathering data, customers need to accept whether they would like to receive any marketing or not. They also need to be made aware of any instance in which they may be contacted and what it may be regarding. Businesses are required to specify any possible reason in which a customer may be contacted such as promoting new products or services and even updates on the business.
Privacy Notice Example
How can you find out more?
If you want to learn more about the changes a great site to visit is:
If you have any questions about your marketing data and the need to comply please contact us and we will provide assistance.

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Importance of Email Marketing in 2017

If you asked the person next to you if they have ever sent or received an email, what do you think their reply would be? It’s very likely to be a yes. When running a business, email marketing still remains the most effective way to reach people on a large scale.

With nearly 2.5 billion people worldwide using email it is clear to see just how important email marketing is for business. It’s a big part of our lives with each of us receiving at least 1 email a day. Above all email marketing is a very personal way of connecting with your audience. The more personalised the email the better the results. Emails can also be tailored depending on your customers’ needs and wants so that every communication is relevant to their interests.

Still not convinced on the importance of email marketing for your company? Read on to discover 6 great tips on why you should be using email marketing for your business.

1. Trumps Competitor, Social Media

Of course we’re not saying forget about social media as it is equally as important for any business’ marketing strategy. Social media is the medium to use when interacting with your audience. Companies use social media to strengthen relationships, it is the first step towards your goal – the conversion.

Email marketing is the perfect medium when it comes to converting your target audience. Emails with specific content and messages that are of value to your target audience see the best conversion rates. Communicate regularly with your audience through email, it won’t be long till they become members, customers or supporters of your company.

2. Money Saver

Email is great when looking for a cost effective marketing solution. It allows you to reach a large number of potential customers while spending nothing but your time.

Compared to more traditional marketing efforts such as print, TV, radio etc. which can take up a lot of time and money, email marketing is the way to go. With emails, you still get that visual appeal but with added benefits. They enable your customers to receive follow-up information instantly upon receiving the email through the inclusion of links to your website for example.

The cost benefits to using email marketing far outweigh most other forms of marketing. With the correct maintenance of an email list, the cost benefits increase as does the ROI through the closer relationship established with the recipients. Together with the higher response rates email attracts, you receive more positive responses from your audience. Responses that are received more quickly at a lower unit cost.

3. Targeted and Tailored

Email marketing allows you to tailor messages sent to your audience through the segmentation of your lists. Messages that resonate with that particular audience and can provide something of interest, something of value.

This is something that is difficult to achieve through other marketing mediums. Take social media for example. When posting to your target market the message posted isn’t tailored to a specific audience but instead is generalised. By using your email marketing software correctly, you will be able to address your audience by name, separate by certain topics and deliver these to particular members on your list.

It is essential that you don’t spam your audience. Use email marketing to build loyalty and trust between yourself, your brand and your customers. Email marketing is important for building relationships with prospects. Email them at appropriate times ensuring your tone is polite and friendly. Don’t bombard them with emails, you’ll very quickly loose them as a potential customer.

4. Demands Attention

Ignoring an email isn’t easy to do. Emails captivate us and without realising you’ve probably replied, forward, clicked-through or signed up. Emails are the perfect medium for directing traffic to your website through the simple use of a click-through and ultimately drives sales. Emails demand attention and without doubt produces results.

5. Measure Results

When using email marketing softwares such as MailChimp (probably the most popular) the software makes it easy for you to track the results of your recent emailing campaign. Who opened your email for example, which links were clicked, how many people unsubscribed. Remember to keep track of your emailing campaigns performances, this will help you improve on your emailing tactics for your next campaign.

6. Thank you Mobile Phones

Look around, I bet you see most people either on their phones or at least looking at them. They could be checking their emails. In this technological age most people now own a mobile phone, this makes emails more accessible at all hours of the day.

Not using email as part of your internet marketing strategy will have a detrimental effect. Your missing out on a channel that most of the world uses. Get emailing!

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Happy New Year

We would like to take this opportunity to provide a short update on what has been happening at Azzurro-Blu as the New Year approaches. It has been some time since we wrote a Blog and we know we should write more often. Although our commitment to Social Media keeps people informed in a general sense, our Blog gives us the opportunity for more in depth comment.

It has been a challenging year. This has been true for most businesses in the North East economy. However, we intensified our own marketing efforts from Q2 onwards and this translated into a strong second half of the year.

We set some specific targets and have achieved some 80% of them. Examples of these include: We now host over 100 websites. We now have a broad web site portfolio with significant depth of experience in complex e-commerce projects. We improved the technical capability of the team by adding more programmers to match our level of marketing capability. We started working on our own SEO profile (We had focused on direct marketing at start up because of the SEO competition in our space. But – a bit like the tradesman whose wife complains nothing gets done at home we had worked SEO successfully for others but not for ourselves. And so since starting in September we have made good progress). We have incorporated some interesting consultative projects into our portfolio. So all in all it has been an exceptionally busy year with good progress made on many fronts. None of this would have been possible without the skills, imagination and diligence of the team.

The bulk of the team has been together for about four years now. Some of the team worked for an affiliate company and spent time successfully building other businesses before a range of circumstances saw the need for Azzurro-Blu to be born. Added to our new team members, we struck an alliance with Aberdeen marketing agency Fresh Ideas that we believe was useful for the clients of both parties. Whilst Fresh Ideas focused more on small and medium sized businesses and start ups this allowed us to collaborate on some good projects.

Perhaps the most interesting growth area has been our consultative marketing projects. It isn’t easy persuading a business that nothing major is going to change from a marketing or sales perspective without a budget. But that truth has enabled several clients to seek the external support required or to substitute internal effort for external support. Usually marketing transformation starts with a new plan, or the review of an old plan. But as they say in most walks of life it is good to have a plan. And that is certainly true in marketing. Our particular USP of having the experience and ability to devise AND implement an effective marketing plan has meant that any marketing materials we produce are created and reviewed with a marketing objective in mind. We believe it is this focus that has driven our growth in 2016.

We have some exciting plans for next year. To all of our clients in particular we would like to thank you for working with us this year and we take this opportunity to wish you a Happy and Prosperous New Year.

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3 Perfect Ways Game of Thrones Uses Content Marketing

We’ve all heard of the popular TV series Game of Thrones. Whether you love it/hate it or couldn’t care less there’s no escaping the phenomenon which has spread around the world. With an average of 1.6 million UK viewers hooked with every episode its ratings never fail to disappoint. So what drives this popularity? Gripping storylines, epic sets and eye watering budgets aside there is another contributing factor to this success, their content marketing strategy. The team behind Game of Thrones are the experts in showing exactly how it’s done.

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A Client to Remember

The Azzurro-Blu phones ring nonstop throughout the day but on January 26th there was one phone call that got the whole team at Azzurro-Blu excited.

We have to admit that it doesn’t take much for the Azzurro-Blu team to get excited, especially when it comes to clients and creative work, but when Robert G. Phillips called requesting a meeting we were intrigued. He didn’t give much away over the phone and he didn’t have to. All the team needed to know was that he was an author. No time was wasted, the next day Commercial Director Cameron Sim visited him at his home. Definitely a cosier meeting place than the usual café or meeting/board room. It was there we found out a lot more about the mysterious Robert G. Phillips.

Over a hot cup of tea on a very cold and wet January day all was revealed. A local author, Robert Phillips, 84 has written 3 inspiring books. Born in India, he moved to Scotland where he worked as a Marine Engineer for many years. Later in his life he started working as an industrial engineer and later still as an applications engineer at Robert Gordon University until he retired in 1997. Upon retirement his passion for writing evolved. Each book was written for a reason, whether to educate, entertain or to simply inspire. All he wanted to do was to get his books and their messages out there. That’s where the team at Azzurro-Blu come in.

Some of the Azzurro-Blu team had never embarked on a marketing campaign for an author before so were delighted when the opportunity came along. He’s an author with a difference though, a difference that was an inspiration to the team. What makes him so unique is his disregard for profit. What Robert values is the opportunity to share his thoughts, experiences and imagination with others. All he wants is for people to read his books, his stories and learn from his personal experiences across his many years of life. With his aim in mind the team got to work developing a marketing campaign which pinpointed the best way to help share his three books. Social media proved key, as always successfully promoting the three books, “The Circlip”, a gripping true story about Robert’s experience at sea, “Smile and Deliver”, a journey on the finer points of effective speaking and “Tammy the Seagull”, an imaginative, action packed children’s book.

Robert visits the office for an update meeting a few times a month and there isn’t a meeting that we don’t look forward to. He is a truly inspirational man and not to mention a great author who brightens up the Azzurro-Blu office every time he walks through the door. The team at Azzurro-Blu are always more than happy to have him in the office and listen to his many, fascinating stories he brings with him keeping us smiling every month. He’s a client to remember.

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The Need To Adapt

“In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Those words were written by Eric Hoffer in 1951. But they are just as relevant now. Our local economy is in crisis. The market has changed. Two types of company will definitely make it to the other side. Businesses with vast cash reserves, and businesses that find a way to make sales.

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Its Never Impossible to Make that Sale!

I read recently that George Forman the former World Heavyweight Champion said that if he could give his children one gift it would be the ability to sell! With the ability to sell he felt they would be well equipped to succeed in life. If your future is affected by the down turn in the oil industry, then I’d suggest that there’s no better time to think about the customer, selling and what they mean to your business or your future as an individual.

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To find out more about the range of services on offer please get in touch and one of our team will be happy to help.


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