PHILADELPHIA: The deadline for meeting the demands of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is 25 May 2018, yet just 15% of B2B marketers believe they are fully compliant, a new survey has revealed.

And according to research firm Forrester, which polled 66 US marketing professionals in January for its report, The GDPR and the B2B Marketer, another 18% are still considering what to do with only two months to go.

In addition, fewer than half of the survey respondents have assessed all points from which they collect data – a key element of the GDPR – reported Adweek, which accessed the full findings of the Forrester study.

“The preparations of many B2B marketers range from nonchalant to indifferent,” observed Lori Wizdo, VP and principal analyst at Forrester, in a company blogpost.

“In our research interviews and inquiries about the GDPR, we find that many B2B marketers don’t think the regulation is a relevant concern because they think the GDPR doesn’t apply to business marketers,” she added. “Others believe the data they collect and process isn’t in scope.”

Part of the problem is that too many marketers have been slow to comply because they didn’t realise the tough new rules also apply to organisations headquartered outside of the EU.

In reality, the GDPR applies to any marketer around the world that collects data from EU citizens and its definition of personal data is also much wider than many marketers realise.

There is much at stake, noted Adweek, because failure to comply carries with it the risk of fines of €20m or 4% of global revenues, whichever is the greater.

“Maybe we’re going to play some catch-up for ignoring some good practices that should have been adopted long ago,” Wizdo said. “These are not unmeetable rules. They’re not unrealised rules. And it’s a challenge that needs to be accomplished, but it’s not impossible.”

Elsewhere, the Forrester survey found that 39% of B2B marketers said they plan to be compliant within 12 months, while around a quarter (23%) are at least partially compliant.

Meanwhile, 7% said they weren’t familiar with GDPR, while another 5% said they weren’t sure of their company’s progress.

As the deadline looms, WARC has prepared a series of reports to help marketers and publishers prepare for the GDPR, including advice on how to address key issues about digital marketing and how to build consumer trust.

Sourced from Forrester, Adweek; additional reporting by WARC staff