This is not another blog about GDPR, there is enough of that out there to make Y2K look like child's play. Maybe GDPR is the same, who knows.

Irrespective of your "expert" view, it is here and business has to adhere to the new rules, whichever way you choose to interpret them. 

What makes for interesting reading in this piece by Raconteur and the wider CA & Facebook saga, is that our data has been used like this for years.  Tick the box, don't Tick the box. Use your loyalty card, don't use your loyalty card. If you want free wifi, give your email address. Even if you are not on FB, it seems they can build your persona out anyway.  In a B2C world, do you really care - I have thought about it, and I don't really. I was almost disappointed that my data hadn't been harvested. But then I don't ever fill in these "quizzes" as I know they are click bait. 

Separate debate here on how gullible humanity is maybe and the lack of education around how social media actually works in the 21st Century "How do you make money Mr Zuckerberg if your platform is free? We sell Adverts sir" Give me strength.

So yes, if you are in B2C, this will give you a headache, but it will also give the consumer a different experience, possibly a worse one, so we all lose out. And a headache.

B2B is in a different space - we have never sold in the B2C way, yes you may buy email or phone lists to market to, but that is as sophisticated as it gets (got).  There is no sophisticated lead generation, persona mapping, or buyer journey mapping. Yes there is SEO optimisation and ad word buying, but, again not that sophisticated, really. Lets be honest. 

People buy from people they trust. They will take referrals from people they trust. They will see through the #filter of your so called perfect product, or life for that matter. As you move up the value chain in terms of level of sophistication of solution or service, this becomes more and more about trust and value it will bring. 

So, if you opt out of all marketing, being cold called, cold texted - or your client base does; you are going to have  build your trust online; it doesn't matter what platform that is. Fish where the fish are. Your trusted online network is going to become critical. Your content, your story you tell online, across all mediums, voice, video, blogs, need to be #authentic. 

This then needs to be validated by your trusted network, into their network until Kevin Bacon is deluged with it. 

As a business you still need to understand your buyer journey, but guide them with your digital bread crumbs of content that they will follow themselves, validated by their network of influencers along the way. Supported by your sales team or Fee Earners, who will understand where they are in the journey. Ensuring that buying experience is continued both offline and online. Trust.

Executed well, this will eliminate the worry for GDPR because you will have a pipeline of conversations happening which have been created organically, through social. It is then up to the ability of your business to be able to close this.

Let's not fool ourselves here - be it social selling, digital selling, referral selling, modern selling (replace selling with marketing) it is just the next iteration of sales & marketing.

So lets not smash the digital printing presses, but accept that this is the way the world of sales & marketing is evolving; you are either all in or you will be all out, eventually.

Understand your buyer. Earn their trust. Have a conversation. Help them solve the business problem they are faced with. Guide them to their own conclusion that you are the only person or team they should doing business with. Do this online & offline. 

Simple really.