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May 25: GDPR will bite as big as it barks

May 08, 2018

By Duncan Hendy

We are on the brink of a mega shake-up of data privacy rules – one that has caused a tsunami of stress and panic among businesses and organisations, all struggling to become compliant with the new General Data Protection Regulation in time for its May 25th deadline. GDPR will bite – very soon and very hard, but although there are plenty of negatives to be aware of, there are also many positives, says Duncan Hendy, citing an enhanced customer relationship as the ultimate reason for ensuring your database is squeaky-GDPR-clean.

GPDR will hit the scene this month and, if you’re not ready, your company could be getting into hot water — very, very hot water! Companies of all sizes worldwide have been preparing themselves for the biggest shake-up of personal data privacy rules since the internet was born. If you’ve got an extra €20m to spend on GDPR noncompliance, then there’s no reason to panic. If not . . . it’s about time you did.

The Breach Level Index recently released by Gemalto revealed that the number of records stolen, lost or exposed worldwide in 2017 soared 88% in one year to 2.6 billion. The year saw 1,765 data breaches, of which 69% were identity theft.

Telecommunications company TalkTalk’s €460,000 fine in 2016 for security flaws that allowed hackers access to customer data, would potentially be an eye-watering £59m post-GDPR.

According to the GDPR powers-that-be, we’ve had two years to get ready, and the deadline of May 25, 2018 is absolute.

If this doesn’t scare you, it should.

The death of data-driven marketing?

Regardless of location, companies must become proactive in developing provably compliant procedures for handling EU customer personal data and be able to respond agilely to customer rights.

In case you’ve been sleeping for the past two years, here’s what you’ve missed: You must obtain verified consent (by way of double opt-in) for each specific use of an individual’s data and have done so for your current database should you wish to hold onto its data. When an individual asks to see what information you hold, to have it updated, to restrict your usage of it, to have it sent to a third party or themselves, or even to have it completely erased (from all parts of the organisation), you must be able to comply in a timely fashion (around 30 days, shortening to 72 hours if it’s in response to a data breach).

In short: not quite the death of marketing as we know it, but another series of hoops that marketers must jump through.

GDPR compliance: the new business swear word

Compliance will likely mean a complete overhaul of your current systems and processes to ensure the individual is back in charge of their own data. And, as the responsibility of protecting it is shared with third parties who process the data on your behalf, like hosting providers, cloud service providers and data processing firms, you can be held accountable for theirnoncompliance.

A survey conducted by Alert Logic found that 32% of EU-based companies expect significant changes to their security practices and technologies, the biggest challenges to compliance being lack of budget (50%), lack of in-house IT expertise (48%) and limited understanding of the regulations (37%).

A Pulse Survey into the GDPR preparedness of companies (July 2017) found that despite 93% of companies having started preparations, 36% of them only started mid-2017, and only 11% were actually ready. Of those compliant, 88% spent more than $1 million, of which 40% spent in excess of $10 million.

Those ready ahead of time are already using the fact as a differentiator, highlighting early compliance to help drive a competitive advantage. The 89% still not ready risk regulator fines, litigation costs and lost opportunities in Europe.

Flybe (airline) was fined £70,000 in August 2016 for (presumably accidentally) sending an email to their opted-out 3.3 million-strong database about whether their details were correct.

JD Wetherspoon (pub company) took the unprecedented step of deleting their entire email marketing database of more than 650,000 email addresses. Scary, but safe.

Despite the Symantec’s State of European Privacy Report finding that only 14% of businesses believe everyone in the organisation is responsible for ensuring the protection of data, GDPR is a companywide issue and it’s got to be all heads in gear and all hands on deck.

Is your CMS GDPR ready? You’re going to need all the help you can get

Your content management system (CMS) is an essential component of your GDPR success, so it’s important that it itself is GDPR ready and actively assists you in all compliance-related matters.

It should be able to handle multiple purpose-specific consents for each user and bind them to related features and modules, automatically recognising whether consent for a current activity has been obtained.

It should also simplify life with easy double opt-in validation models that automatically send verification emails and validate consent. As the GDPR requirements of each company will be unique, your CMS should be completely customisable to your specific consent and management needs.

It should store all personal data in one place (preferably its own CRM) and enable quick access to those in your company who need to respond to individuals’ update requests. A complete history of consent should also be easily available for proof when required. When a user wishes to see the information you hold about them or share it with a third party, your CMS should enable you to export and send it to them in a machine-readable format, as required by the regulation.

When a user invokes their ‘right to be forgotten’, your software should not only make this simple, but also be able to recognise which information (if any) is exempt. It should send and log notifications to all relevant third parties to inform them of the deletion request. According to Symantec, 60% of businesses do not have the systems in place to respond to such requests.

Data flow mapping will be important in getting a clear view of your privacy risks and workflow capabilities will be indispensable in managing the extensive related documentation. Reporting features that outline what data is where will also prove invaluable as your opted-in database grows. As well as who can access it — your CMS should offer user permission management with granular permission levels that has sophisticated user authentication and tracking.

And if you really haven’t started yet . . . consider cloud-based solutions which get you moving faster.

GDPR will bite – but is it all doom and gloom?

Though May 25 feels like an impending marketing apocalypse, GPDR compliance can bring some surprising benefits to your company, its processes and your users.

Companies are likely to have to change how they operate, which can drastically improve data management, company systems and internal processes. Communication between departments is likely to improve. Better co-operation between Marketing and Sales can mean a better customer experience and deals closed sooner.

Getting people on your database to re-consent won’t be fun or easy, but spring-cleaning never is. However, the result is a breath of fresh air. Although you’ll have less data to work with, the data you do hold will be more reliable and relevant. You can reap greater value from your smaller audience as they are already listening and can be turned more easily into quality leads, with higher click-through rates and increased sales.

And, of course, the most important part of GDPR compliance: respect for your customer’s personal information and responsible handling of their data breeds trust. You can’t buy trust — even if you have that extra €20m to spend!

If you’re scared half to death about the scale of changes that have to happen in your organisation and the size of the penalty for noncompliance, it’s not misplaced. But focus on why this whole thing came about in the first place; the customer wishes it. And you know that a happy customer is a happy business. Put their interests at the heart of your efforts, get your systems in order and you’ve nothing to fear – a bit of hard work now will avoid a nasty GDPR bite later.

DISCLAIMER: All data and information provided in this article are for informational purposes only. Kentico makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information contained herein. We recommend consulting with a lawyer for any legal advice pertaining to GDPR compliance.

Have an opinion on this article? Please join in the discussion: the GMA is a community of data driven marketers and YOUR opinion counts.

Author: Duncan Hendy
Content strategy manager at Kentico Software | www.kentico.com

Originally from the UK, Duncan Hendy is content strategy manager at Kentico Software in Brno, the Czech Republic. When not working, he composes classical music, including for the Brno Filharmonie for Mendel: The Legacy, broadcast in 19 countries. He is also the author of several books

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Ad Blocking: Threats and Opportunities for SMBs

May 07, 2018

In 2017 alone it was estimated that publishers lost $15.8 billion in advertising revenue due to ad blocking technology.* As the popularity of solutions that actively reduce the visibility of advertising people see online grows, what does the future hold for SMBs across New Zealand wishing to grow awareness and reach new customers?

It’s no secret that advertising brings money. Unfortunately, over the last decade a large number of websites started overloading their pages with advertising. This meant that the online ad world became intrusive and irritating, which helped develop a market hungry for ad blocker products. 
Instead of being part of the unwelcome noise online and to better reach customers, SMB’s should focus on more relevant, personalised promotional strategies. People are far less likely to object to seeing adverts if they are relevant to them or their lifestyle. 

Navigating a fragmented environment 
In order to reach potential customers in an increasingly fragmented digital environment, SMB’s need to be thinking about how they make their content meaningful, personalised and relevant from the outset. That means gaining in-depth insights into their customers including the brands they love, the places they go, even to the sports team they support. It’s all relevant. SMB’s need to begin their approach by asking “where do I get information about customers that I can use to personalise their experience and use as an input to my digital strategy?”
The advent of ad blocking technology should not be feared by local businesses, it actually presents real opportunities for savvy owners and managers that know how to leverage customer data and insights to stand out from the crowd. Because, if everything else is blocked and only they are getting through, their business or brand is going to get more visibility.

Understand your audience
For a SMB to make their promotional campaigns more relevant and personalised, they need to properly understand their customer base through segmentation. Unfortunately, many businesses still segment by age, gender, income, etc. — demographic data that isn’t relevant anymore. It doesn’t matter if people are 16 or 65, they may still like the same Facebook pages. SMB’s need to think again about how they segment their audience. They need to think about what data they are using to identify if a certain person falls into that segment or not. They cannot rely on a single source for data anymore.

Ad blockers are businesses too
It is important to remember that many ad blockers are commercially driven and have their own business model as well. Not all of the solutions on the market are on some moral crusade to protect the consumer from unwelcome content. Many ad blockers offer a whitelisting service that means if a retailer pays enough money, they permit their ad to get through. 

Be part of the conversation
New Zealand SMB’s should not automatically be afraid of ad blocking. If they provide content that the audience wants to consume, then the audience is far less likely to block them. It’s important to remember that online advertising is not the only way to get content to a relevant audience. 
A huge trend, especially with Generation Z, is for using messenger apps, such as WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. Consumer facing SMB’s can reach out to their audiences through these apps. Normally the messenger app asks when someone is creating their account what their hobbies are, etc. Based on that, the user agrees to receive third-party ads as long as they are relevant to them. Those ads do not have to be in the form of a banner. 
As an example, when a user is chatting with their friend about a shirt they saw in a shopping mall, using artificial intelligence, the bot can then deliver a message to them in that chat telling them that it can see what they are talking about and ask them whether they have heard that they have a sale on a similar item in a certain online store. The bot is adding something that is relevant to both the user and the chat. The bot recommends a product not only from what it knows about that person from their social profile but also based on the context of the discussion they are having at that precise moment in time.

Build a community, not just a brand
In order to engage with customers, it is no longer enough to simply promote or build a brand; rather SMB’s should be focusing on how they can build their own online community. People respond positively when they feel there is a sense of community around a brand online — reviews of products and services, social media share buttons, forums, a blog with the possibility to add comments are especially important. 
The ultimate goal for all SMB’s today should be to create a personalised online (and offline) experience for consumers. The result of these efforts can lead to happy and engaged customers, who can act as brand advocates in their own right. After all, there is no ad blocker in the world that can filter that out.

Article by Wayne Jasek, director of APAC Operations for Kentico. He specialises in helping SMB’s deliver executional online experiences that turn visitors into customers.  

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A Fair Review of the Top Web CMS Platforms – Kentico

May 03, 2018

By Gary Eisenstein

May 3, 2018

Kentico SoftwareFounded: 2004

Head Office: Brno, Czech RepublicURL: www.kentico.com

CEO & Tenure: Petr Palas, since June 2004Platform Type: ASP .NET

License Model: On-premise or in the Cloud. You can choose from Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS, such as Amazon Web Services, or AWS, and Microsoft Azure) and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS, such as Microsoft Azure), or you can create hybrid deployments of the three.

Starting Price: $4,499.00Current Version: 11

Online Demo: YesTrial Version: Yes

Customer Training: YesCertification Training: Yes

Integration Partners: USA – 308, Canada – 42Professional Services: Yes

License Renewals: All Kentico licenses include one year of technical support and product updates, including all major upgrades released during your maintenance period. Renewal and upgrade rates.

Support: 24/7 live person or email support, 7-Day Bug Fixing Policy, Documentation, Knowledgebase. Kentico also offers Premium Support for clients running mission-critical websites needing guaranteed response and resolution times. A Premium Support contract is valid for one year.

Introduction

Kentico is an all-in-one CMS, E-commerce, and Online Marketing platform that drives business results for companies of all sizes both on-premise or in the cloud. It gives customers and partners powerful, comprehensive tools and customer-centric solutions to create stunning websites and manage customer experiences easily in a dynamic business environment. The Kentico Web Content Management Solution‘s rich selection of out-of-the-box web parts, easy customizations, and open API, quickly gets websites up and running. When combined with the full set of integrated solutions, including Online Marketing, E-commerce, and Intranet and Collaboration, Kentico fully optimizes the digital customer experience across multiple channels.

Kentico Software, with offices in the United States, United Kingdom and Czech Republic and more than 1,000 partners in 80 countries, helps clients create successful websites, online stores, community sites and intranets using Kentico integrated marketing solution.

Executive Interview

Top 10 Features

Quick & Easy Page Management

Multilingual Content

Media Libraries

Content Personalization

Marketing Automation

Advanced Security Management

Multi-site Management

GDPR & Data Protection

Web Analytics

Azure and Amazon Cloud Support

Complete List of Features

Key Modules & Connectors

Built-in e-commerce

Ucommerce for Kentico

Intranet & Collaboration

SharePoint Connector

Salesforce Integration

Microsoft Dynamics 365

Online Communities

Online Marketing

Strengths

Kentico has one of the strongest out-of-box feature-sets in the market. All of the components, widgets, modules and web-parts work with little to no configuration, and have a great reputation of being stable. What is even more impressive is that customers can take advantage of the Enterprise Marketing Suite, and the Commerce Suite to do quite a bit to move further down the customer journey without having to invest in other platforms.

Kentico has a very strong API that makes it easy to integrate into other technologies. Whether you are looking at creating a web service that can provide hooks into existing platforms, or you are looking to create a two way integration, the task for developers to deliver on time is easier based on the well-defined architecture schema and the documentation that Kentico provides.

Kentico’s partner channel is constantly evolving, and they are doing a great job in onboarding new partners successfully. They have a very mature process in ensuring partners have access to internal resources to help solve problems, and they understand how to help customers select the right partner for their project.

Differentiators

Kentico’s price point is one of the largest differentiators, and will be hard to beat for what you get out-of-the-box.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Kentico is that it has not been acquired by a larger organization to this point. The architecture team is still intact, and they continue to produce a great and stable product, as well as new products such as Kentico Cloud. While this might seem trivial, they have not had any disruption in their governance or roadmap strategy since their inception, which is why they are constantly able to move the product in a forward direction.

GDPR Initiatives

Kentico’s Data Protection app is highly customizable to help you comply with even the strictest data protection regulations, such as GDPR and PII. It can handle right to access, data portability, and right to be forgotten, and even track the consents on your website, helping you avoid unpleasant fines.

Kentico enables its users to respond to demands for personal data deletion from visitors with ease and through Kentico 11’s Data Protection app, you can selectively delete relevant data and comply within the strict deadlines imposed by GDPR and other international data protection regulations. Using the highly customizable Data Protection app, you can provide, upon request, data in machine-readable format. This allows personal data to be exported from one system and imported to another for easy movement of data.

Roadmap

Kentico 12 is currently scheduled for release at the end of November 2018 with a focus of better authoring experience to empower marketers. In the past, content management systems have often been known for providing an interface that only engineers can love. As more marketers adopt these platforms, there is now expectations that systems need to be more intuitive, straightforward, and easy to use. To truly empower marketers to be successful and achieve their goals, Content Management Systems need to provide an authoring experience similar to those in other enterprise platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

In Kentico 12, they are planning to focus on delivering an incredible authoring experience that will enable marketers to transform the way they work with the content. Through an intuitive, clean, and consistent authoring interface, the next version of Kentico will allow quick actions to be completed, without going through too many steps before performing a task. By reducing training and on-boarding time, Kentico 12 will lead to increased productivity and efficiency.

As digital projects continue to live on for years, organizations need to adapt to new programming techniques and skills to keep up with the changes in technology. ASP.NET Core and MVC has become the go-to solution for web applications, offering companies an efficient and scalable architecture for their projects. MVC enables a truly agile development experience. This widely used methodology provides a pattern-based architecture to build dynamic websites that enable a clean separation of concerns, while giving developers full control over the final markup.

Kentico has always been strong in providing extensibility and a customization model. This pattern has enabled developers to adapt their applications to changing needs. With Kentico 12, we are going down the path to natively support ASP.NET Core MVC application development. Having a pipeline and event-driven architecture provides a lot of options for overriding the platform. In Kentico 12, this is only going to be extended with a new ASP.NET MVC component-based development model that will allow a new wave of MVC project development on the platform.

Customer Comments

In what ways are you utilizing the platform?
We have been using Kentico for the last 8 years to run 2-consumer sites and a dealer portal. All three sites have multiple integrations with our ERP system and 3rd party systems for leads management. We went through a major redesign 2 years ago to make the consumer sites responsive and multilingual and well as implemented more streamlined document management.

What would you say are your biggest business goals using this platform and in what ways are you seeing results?
Kentico allows us to be able to update our sites in a timely manner by having different users manage different parts of the site as well as increased efficiencies by having all the documents shared from one source. We used to have a problem with manuals being updated on the dealer portal more often than the consumer websites, this is now synced for a single source. The consumer sites are geared towards generating leads, after the site redesign leads were up 28% YOY, even though web traffic was down 18% YOY. We attribute this to several factors, improved user experience, cleaner navigation and better overall content.
— Corina Ursu, Regency Fireplace

Integration Partner Comments

Kentico is one of top four CMS platforms that we implement. More often than not, it is my go to recommendation for clients trying to decide on a new CMS platform that is very easy to use.  No CMS is perfect but Kentico offers a great balance between being developer-friendly and user-friendly. Our developers enjoy working with it because the API is reliable and the architecture is flexible. Our clients enjoy working with it because it is easy to use, intuitive and the learning curve is not as steep as with other CMS platforms.

One of the biggest business challenges I hear from our new customers is that they are frustrated with their CMS and are coming to us for help. Either the platform they’re using is overly-complicated or it is too restrictive. Kentico allows us to design solutions that are easy to manage without compromising on capabilities. With Kentico, everything seems possible.

As a product vendor, Kentico's support channels are responsive and the developer community is very active. Kentico continually works to improve the system and their published roadmap means we know where Kentico’s future focus is, allowing us to be proactive in supporting our customer’s needs. We have implemented Kentico for a wide range of B2B, B2C and non-profit industries and a variety of applications such as e-commerce, Intranet portals, globalization that supports numerous languages and digital marketing applications.
— Heather MacFayden, Falcon-Software Company, Inc.

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