Content Marketing is now being heavily fuelled by data. Gone are the days when you can just throw content out there and hoping some of it will work. Whatever your product and industry might be, from fashion to insurance, you need to put together a content strategy fuelled by data to effectively market your product to maximise sales. Content Marketing is the gap between what brands produce and what consumers actually want.

What exactly is GDPR? (The legal bit)

If you ever hear anyone mention GDPR, it stands for the General Data Protection Regulation and is a regulation that’s been passed by EU Parliament and is being put in place to protect the public’s fundamental privacy rights. This was announced on 14th April 2016, and after a 2 year transition period, it’ll come into place on 25th May 2018. GDPR is replacing the Directive 95/45/EC, which was formed in 1995, but due to it being a Directive and not a law, this left room for interpretation. The main reason for the change though is that when the Directive 95/45/EC was put into place, 1{a990e605127f06bac58d8f530ec8d3ddc1721ced564bd12be3752b381e1e9f7f} of the EU was using the internet, but nowadays with social media, the cloud and all the other technologies at our disposal, GDPR had to be put in place to protect our fundamental privacy rights.

How does it affect the content?

According to IAB UK and PwC, UK spending on content and native formats grew 28{a990e605127f06bac58d8f530ec8d3ddc1721ced564bd12be3752b381e1e9f7f} last year, but expect this figure to grow faster from 2018.

As glum as this may sound to all marketeers, I think it’s actually good news for all involved with content marketing and especially good news for publishers. With the limitations in place about what data we can gather, targeted digital advertising is surely going to be affected. With GDPR coming into place, is ad tech going to be relevant anymore? Will we be forced to put people in charge of buying and selling ads, rather than programmatic machines? With revenue and profits decreasing for publishers year on year this has got to be a good thing for them right?

How and why do we gather data?

In this day and age, there are so many ways that we can gather data to market out products. This data is so important because it helps us bridge the gap between the content we produce and what consumers actually want. There are so many ways to gather this data, but I’m only going to focus on a couple as quite frankly, I could be writing this post for months.


I’ve decided to focus on this because it’s something I’ve actually noticed appearing on more and more websites over the last few years, and over the last year or so there appears to be a box on every single website I go to, taking up a large part of the screen until I click to understand that the powers that be are gathering data from me. Cookies, in a nutshell are a small bit of data sent from the user’s web browser and stored to help said user for future use on their desktop or laptop. Cookies are the original 90s ways of storing and using data for marketing. Cookie based marketing is very quickly going out of fashion nowadays, as so much of our content consumption is done through mobile apps, and guess what? Mobile Apps don’t support cookies. Which leads me to my next point…

Mobile Technology

After Verizon’s purchase of AOL in 2015 and Yahoo, most recently, it shows that mobile phone operators are now well underway to understanding that the data they can gather from their service can be put to so much use elsewhere. Verizon will have access to every phone call made, every web page browsed, every location visited, every message sent and every application opened for exactly how long. This can all be pulled together in one place to enable them to target audiences with personalised content. Over the last few years, content personalised to my needs has been an absolute juggernaut, where I get content thrown at me all hours of the day. This is something that I like and I don’t want this taken away. Will GDPR put a stop to something which is really useful to me? What procedures will be put in place in mobile technology to get around this issue for the many people who enjoy having interesting content right at their fingertips 24/7?

Now that we have our data in place, how to we go about working with that to sell our product?

Something that I learnt a few weeks ago from Jamie Toward at Karmarama, who presented a talk along with others, is that it can be as simple as what Netflix did. They identified that fans of Kevin Spacey were viewing lots of programs about Politics and subsequently they produced House of Cards, one of the most popular shows worldwide at the moment. It can literally be as simple as that!

To some up, this is my opinion and not written in stone by any stretch of the imagination, but I wanted to share my thoughts on an industry which I’m very passionate about. I recruit solely for content and editorial positions and I enjoy spending my week speaking with professionals, day in day out, whether it be about this subject or if I can offer anyone general recruitment advice, I’m here to help and I enjoy it.

You can get in touch with me in 0207 265 7800 or drop me an email to


Twitter:  @Tom_RedCat @RedCat_Digital


Google+: RedCat Digital

Newsletter sign up

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.