The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been all over the headlines recently, and we all feel like there’s no end to the emails with “Our Privacy Policy is updated” for a subject. Every business leader is worried that they may fail to protect their customers’ personal information and end up paying a fine, which can be up to $4 million. However, this isn’t where you should be focusing your attention. Although it is obvious that the online world has been drastically changed thanks to this regulation, and everyone is affected, you should take the best of it and use it to improve your business.

If this seems like something you’ve never thought about, and you have no idea what we’re getting at… just keep reading. Get ready to find out the five benefits of GDPR for your online business.

1. Manage your data and use it for smart marketing

To be compliant with GDPR, you’ll have to audit all of your data to know exactly what kind of sensitive information on your customers you possess. Now here’s the good part: when you do that, you’ll go through all the data your company has been saving up, and you’ll be able to get rid of the ones that don’t have any business value (ROT – redundant, obsolete and trivial). You’ll also have to organize and index the data you stick with, which will be very useful for your staff, helping them become more efficient and productive.

Just having money isn’t enough to make successful business, you need to know how to manage business finances effectively. The same with information – you need to use it wisely. Now that you’ve done all that, you can use the information you have stored, which is now organized and meaningful, to enforce intelligent data-driven marketing of your business.

2. Implement personalized marketing with higher ROI

It’s no news that personalizing a marketing message is the key to success in digital marketing. Now, GDPR is offering new possibilities when it comes to actually getting to know your customers and tailoring your to their specific habits and needs.

Not only that – now that everything’s out in the open, having a customer’s permission to use their data in line with GDPR, also brings in higher possibilities of those customers getting truly engaged with your content. That’s going to result in higher click-through and conversion rates, as well as your ROI – which means your money spent on marketing will be well spent.

3. Work towards having loyal and trusting client base

Once you are compliant with GDPR, you’re automatically becoming more transparent towards your clients. By telling them exactly what data you’re collecting, and what you’ll do with it, you’ll put yourself in a friendly position and promote trust.

Though it may seem like your client base is getting smaller, what you’re actually getting will be: those customers who actually wants to hear from you. That means that every connection you make will be a sales lead that carries a certain “weight”. This is a person who opted in to receive information from your side – it’s someone who genuinely cares about your brand and who wants to keep getting news about it. That gives you the opportunity to target your ads in a much more specific way.

4. Put more focus on social marketing

All of the above points will probably lead to this one. Social marketing means that you’ll no longer be sending mass newsletters or automated email campaigns. You’ll now be communicating with a much more specific group of people, allowing you to make your communication with them, specific as well.

Moving from direct marketing to social marketing is going to be a major step for every business aiming to stay on top of the game in the post-GDPR phase. That’s why you should be greatly focused on making sure your marketing team knows what they’re doing. It may be the time to consider hiring a professional  team to help you out with this transition. Though it may seem difficult at this point, remember that it will lead to much more successful marketing campaigns in the future.

5. Improve your company’s cybersecurity

In order to comply with the new legislation, you’ll also have to work on better protection of the data you hold. Although that may seem like just another unwanted expense, you should think of it as way to improve the overall cybersecurity in your company.

GDPR encourages businesses to reassess and improve the security strategy and workflow in general, to make it as hard as possible to get their valuable data stolen. Take this as a welcomed push in the right direction and do everything in your power to reduce the attack surface to minimum, increase your and your staff’s knowledge of what exactly is happening across your network, and of course, keep the risks of breaches (and paying high prices for them) at the lowest possible level.

To sum up…

Although it may seem like GDPR is just another legislation making it more difficult for you to run your business, you now know how to make the most of it and use it to improve your overall image and marketing strategy. Take our advice into consideration and make the best of them, so you can show your customers that you care about their sensitive data, deserve their trust, and value their responses leads. You may find that they appreciate it much more than you may have imagined…

Laura Buckler is a contributor and a social media marketer. She is loyal both to her company and to her passion: communication, in any shape or size. You can follow her on Twitter.