Digital Compliance | GDPR | Online Marketing | Search Engine Advertising | SEO

Data Privacy and Compliance in Digital Marketing: What You Should Know

The importance of the topics data privacy and compliance is currently increasing due to the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that will come into force on the 25th of May 2018.

As a result, it is now more important than ever to ask yourself if your online marketing is compliant with these new regulations.

In principle, the compliance of your digital marketing strategy depends on two types of regulations:

  1. Legal regulations, for example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation
  2. Industry-sector specific requirements and regulations

1. Legal Regulations – Data Privacy

Regarding legal regulations, the coming into effect of the EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is particularly important. This law affects all online marketing channels that are addressing people in the EU. Thus, if users from the EU visit your website or your campaigns are targeting the DACH market (Germany, Austria and Switzerland), your company falls under this regulation.

Furthermore, Switzerland is also about to tighten up its data privacy guidelines based on the European law. The Swiss data privacy law was defined in the year 1993 and is currently being revised to address technological and social developments. The current draft of the new data privacy law in Switzerland is, however, business-friendlier and less strict than the EU’s GDPR.

By the time the EU’s GDPR comes into force on May 25th, 2018, you should make sure that you comply with the relevant legal requirements in all your online marketing channels. Since GDPR focuses very much on the collection of personal data, you should assess the following areas of your digital marketing:

  • Digital marketing campaigns and topics
  • Service offerings on the website that collect data (such as contact forms, logins, newsletter signups, live comments or forwarding information to third parties)
  • Usage of tools and software to collect data, for example, web analytics software and marketing automation tools
  • Implementation and content of terms of use, privacy notice and cookie notice

2. Industry-Sector Specific Requirement and Regulations

In regulated industries like finance or pharma, there are specific requirements and regulations that influence online marketing strategies. In the financial sector, for example, the Swiss Financial Services Act (FIDLEG or in English FFSA) and, starting on 1st of January 2018, the EU’s new MiFID II requirements (Markets in Financial Instruments Directive) need to be applied.

In the pharmaceutical industry, the Therapeutic Products Act (Heilmittelgesetz) stipulates which remedies can be advertised to consumers. The Pharma Code (Pharmakodex), on the other hand, is authoritative for advertising to healthcare professionals.

Furthermore, each digital marketing channel has its own advertising guidelines. Google AdWords, for example, does not allow retargeting for specific products such as prescription drugs, offers that refer to financial problems (e.g. immediate loans) or alcoholic beverages.

As you can see, being an online marketing manager in a regulated industry, you are confronted with a variety of restrictions. Nonetheless, if you add a little bit of creativity, you can implement very effective and compliant digital marketing strategies. You can, for example, work with the following options:

  • Brand Campaign: Strengthen your brand with a digital branding campaign.
  • Content Marketing: Create content that is relevant for your target group and openly accessible (without disclaimer or legal constraints). You can position yourself as an expert by publishing content like guides, whitepapers, expert opinions or news articles about current events or market developments.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO): You should make sure that your openly accessible content is optimised for search engines to get the most out of it.
  • Lead Generation Campaigns: Generate leads through prize draws or events (such as roundtables or presentations).
  • Search Engine Advertising (SEA): All the above-mentioned measures can be marketed with paid search engine advertising, such as Google AdWords or Bing Ads, in order to reach a wide audience.
  • Social Media: You can also organically market your content as well as your branding and lead campaigns on social media and, when required, increase your reach with paid ads such as Facebook Advertising.


Would you like to know if your online marketing strategy fulfills all legal and industry-specific guidelines?

At Amazee Metrics, we work together with experienced compliance specialists and know how you can best implement these guidelines in your digital marketing channels. Check out our compliance and GDPR audits.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Don't miss our GDPR Articles.

Subscribe to our newsletter.