Category: In the News

What is GDPR Compliance (And What is Dream Factory Doing About It)?

Your Quick Guide to Complying with General Data Protection Regulation


GDPR Compliance Blog Image

The EU’s latest update to General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance goes live May 25th, and for those who do international business, this can lead to a lot of questions: “Do I need to worry about GDPR? What does GDPR entail? What steps do I need to take to be in compliance?”

The good news is there are plenty of resources available to answer these questions, such as the ICO’s GDPR comprehensive and in-depth online checklist.


Who is expected to meet GDPR compliance?


GDPR compliance is required of all businesses who wish to operate in EU member states and serve individuals in the EU, either directly or as a third party. This affects solopreneurs and large corporations alike.

If you think your company shouldn’t be affected by the EU’s laws, consider this: if your company website is available to EU-based visitors and collects information regarding them, then GDPR compliance is relevant to you.

Additionally, if you hire EU-applicants for your company or non-profit organization, GDPR compliance is relevant to how you process their information. You can read more about that here.


What is GDPR compliance?


The update to GDPR compliance focuses on how the personal data of EU members is processed by organizations. The goal is to ensure consent is “freely given, informed, specific and explicit.” In other words, GDPR compliance affects the way your company collects, stores and processes consumer and EU employee information to encourage transparency.

When it comes to consent, there are six key points to consider for GDPR requirements:

  1. Unbundled: Your consent requests must be separate from other terms and conditions. Consent should not be a precondition of signing up to a service unless necessary for that service.
  2. Active Opt-In: Pre-ticked opt-in boxes are now invalid – you’ll want to use unticked opt-in boxes or similar active opt-in methods (e.g. a binary choice given equal prominence).
  3. Granular: This means you must provide consent separately for different types of processing, as is appropriate (ex. separate communication channels such as email or phone calls).
  4. Named: Name your organization and any third parties who will be relying on consent – even precisely defined categories of third-party organizations will not be acceptable under the GDPR.
  5. Documented: You must keep records demonstrating what each individual has consented to, including what they were told as well as when and how they consented.
  6. Easy to Withdraw: Tell people they have the right to withdraw their consent at any time, and how to do this. It must be as easy to withdraw as it was to give consent. This means you will need to have simple and effective withdrawal mechanisms in place.

GDPR also requires that companies issue notifications of data breaches within 72 hours of becoming aware of them.


What’s the penalty of not meeting these rules?


They’re pretty strict: “Fines could be as high as €20 million (currently £17.7 million) or four percent of total worldwide annual turnover, whichever is higher, so being ready to comply is extremely important.”


My company doesn’t currently meet compliance. What should I do?


At Dream Factory, we’re updating all our client forms to meet GDPR guidelines and reviewing our automation settings to ensure they are compliant. To those who want to do the same, we give the following advice:

First, document the personal data that your company holds, where it came from and who it is shared with.

Next, review your privacy guidelines and how you currently process customer data and information. Determine the points where your process is lacking in GDPR compliance and determine ways to improve. This self-assessment guide is a good place to start.

For your existing customers, you can apply a “soft opt-in”. If an individual bought a product or service from you recently and gave you details regarding it, then you should be fine emailing or texting them. In this situation, two things are required:

  • The individual must have had a clear opportunity to opt out on messaging when you first received their information.
  • All marketing messages sent to this individual must also include a clear chance to opt out.

It’s important to add that soft opt-ins don’t apply to prospective customers or new contacts (such as those from bought-in lists). For more in-depth details on direct marketing, read here.


At Dream Factory, we take GDPR compliance seriously.


If you have any questions or concerns about how GDPR regulations affect your business, please contact us.


Our Top 3 Trends of MarTech 2018

The Dream Team Recaps our Trip to San Jose!

The Dream Team is back from the MarTech 2018 Conference, where the latest innovations in marketing, technology and management are shared with thousands of senior-level marketers. Our CEO and COO, Paulo Cigagna and Jim Londeree, flew off to San Francisco and took a leisurely drive down to San Jose to learn about the upcoming trends in B2B marketing technology.

If you’ve ever seen the MarTech 5000 graphic, you know how large the marketing technology landscape has grown. In fact, the MarTech 5,000 now shows there are over 6,800 types of marketing software out there! That number just gets higher and higher every year, while showing no sign of slowing down.

That’s a lot of marketing technology to dig into. So, what trends stood out to us this year?


1) Marketing Attribution


Day one’s “5 Disruptions to Marketing” presentation by Scott Brinker gave us this insightful statistic: 58.2% of marketing leaders are restructuring their departments to better leverage marketing technology.

With so many new options out there, it’s important to re-assess our marketing stack to ensure it’s best equipped to:

  • Automate for more efficient, streamlined marketing processes.
  • Track campaigns for more accurate marketing attribution and ROI.
  • Understand a lead’s behavior and their stage in the buyer’s journey.
  • Document this data so that it gets to salespeople immediately.

As marketing technology gets smarter with more advanced analytics and data, so should our processes. That’s why this trend ranks as number one on our top three countdown.


2) Intelligent Content


Content is still king! One of our biggest takeaways from MarTech was how many options are out there for highly targeted content distribution and syndication. With so much content out there, you want to cut through the white noise to reach the right people with the right message.

Intelligent content—whether it’s an informative blog, a guest article, a video, white paper, case study, etc—can establish you as a thought leader while enticing the reader with information that’s valuable to them. In fact, as much as 49% of B2B buyers said they rely more on content to research and make purchasing decisions than they did the previous year!

With intelligent content, your goal is to make sure it’s highly targeted and optimized to reach your buyer with the information they need, the exact moment they need it. Google appreciates informative content, too, so keep SEO optimization as a vital part of your content strategy.

Marketing attribution matters here, too: you should track how long buyers spend on your content so that you know who’s seriously interested. This helps you focus on the buyers that matter.

Predictive lead generation software can make this happen, and that combined with targeted content syndication platforms creates an opportunity for reaching incredible, high-quality leads. Technology has come a long way for content marketing, and we’re excited to explore these new opportunities for our clients!


3) Visual Marketing


Not all intelligent content is text-based! Visual types of marketing such as infographics and video are also a must for 2018.

Video has been around for ages, but 2017 was one year where video marketing really took off. The statistics on this (found here and here) are pretty massive:

  • Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined.
  • 400% as many customers prefer watching a video about a product over reading about it.
  • Videos can increase landing page conversions by 80%.
  • Viewers retain 95% of a message in video in contrast to retaining only 10% of text.
  • Video drives a 157% increase in organic traffic from Search Engine result pages.
  • Embedded videos in websites can increase traffic up to 55%.
  • By 2019, internet video traffic is expected to account for 80% of all consumer traffic online!

With this boom in video marketing, a bunch of new advancements and video creation platforms have come along with it. At Dream Factory, we’re always examining new ways to leverage and produce video for our clients. We’re looking forward to seeing what else 2018 has in store for visual media.

And that’s our top three round-up for MarTech 2018! Stay tuned to hear more from the Dream Factory blog about the latest in B2B marketing or follow us online to keep up with our thoughts on the industry.


Want to know more about Dream Factory’s analytical, results-driven marketing solutions?  We’re here to provide the strategies you need. Contact us and learn what options are right for you.


Super Bowl Ads of 2018 – Dream Factory’s Top 5

Ads of Super Bowl 2018

And Why We Can’t Stop Talking About Them

It’s that time of year again—the Super Bowl! While some people were cheering for the Patriots or the Eagles last night, the marketing world was watching the Oscars of advertising. Think we’re exaggerating? According to a report by Sports Illustrated media writer Richard Deitsch, NBC received about $5 million per 30-second commercial!

It’s been said that the average American encounters 4,000 ads a day, so one of the most difficult things for any advertiser is to catch a viewer’s attention with something new and fresh.

Which commercials did just that? Read on to see Dream Factory’s five top Super Bowl ads of 2018!

5) Tourism Australia’s “Dundee” Fakeout

Tourism Australia decides to switch things up by giving you a fake trailer for Australian action film “Dundee,” starring Danny McBride and Chris Hemsworth. By the time you’re lulled into the plot, expecting yet another predictable box office hit, you realize the “pristine beaches,” “amazing wines,” and stunning views of the Sydney Opera House from a “world-class restaurant” have nothing to do with a film at all.

“This isn’t a movie,” Danny McBride himself exclaims, looking around a restaurant in surprise. “It’s a tourism ad for Australia!”

How can any of us feel duped when Hemsworth flashes that charming, apologetic smile?

What we love about this ad:

Tourism Australia puts its product—the beautiful country of Australia—front and center in nearly every frame. Unlike several other commercials of the night, the ad’s gimmick doesn’t detract from its overall goal, and the casting of Hemsworth and McBride (complete with a well-timed cameo from Paul Hogan) makes for enjoyable viewing that keeps you from flipping the channel.

In fact, this ad was so successful, there’s currently a petition to make “Dundee” a real movie. Crikey!


4) Doritos & Mountain Dew Spit a Song of Fire & Ice

Who knew that Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman lip syncing to Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliott was marketing brilliance? Answer: Doritos and Mountain Dew did. The sheer originality of this premise alone gets people talking, while the popularity of all four performers keeps plenty of eyes glued to the screen. Both Dinklage and Freeman put their all into their performances, and the “Fire” and “Ice” focus of the ad was a clever nod to Dinklage’s role on Game of Thrones while being a fun play on the words “spit fire” and “ice cold.”

What we love about this ad:

Both Mountain Dew and Doritos share a similar market demographic, so this collaboration was a smart one. Just like in the “Dundee” ad, the product is clear from the get-go here: Peter Dinklage and Morgan Freeman both take a moment to enjoy their Doritos and Mountain Dew before showing off their rap skills. The shared hashtags #SpitFire and #IceCold show that both companies planned for this to be a home-run on social media, and the “only one can win” tagline suggests that this is the start of a new (and we think successful!) marketing campaign. Could Freeman get a direwolf and Dinklage ride in on a dragon next time?!


3) “Dirty Dancing” with the NFL

No one understands a Super Bowl commercial like the NFL, and that shows in their latest light-hearted commercial. The New York Giants might not have made it to the Super Bowl, but Odell Beckham Jr and Eli Manning win the night with their dance moves in this perfect homage to Dirty Dancing. Viewers definitely had “The Time of Their Life” watching Beckham leaps into Manning’s arms in the iconic lift from the 1987 film.

What we love about this ad:

This is the perfect audience for the NFL—if you aren’t watching the Super Bowl, it’s safe to say you’re not a football fan. The casting is spot-on, with Beckham being known for his touchdown dances and Manning being one of the most playfully joked about players in the NFL. Beckham and Manning have a good sense of humor about their roles, and you can tell they’re having as great a time twirling on the field as we are watching them. It reminds everyone that in the end, football isn’t just a competitive sport, but just plain fun—and by focusing on entertaining the audience, this ad does just that.


2) David Harbour in an “Upside-Down” Tide Ad

Okay, Harbour doesn’t literally go into the Upside-Down like in his show “Stranger Things,” but it’s safe to say this Tide ad turns the typical notion of the “Super Bowl ad” on its head. How? By making fun of all of them. Harbour talks directly to the viewer through a series of cliché, well-worn commercial tropes that we’ve all seen a million times before, interrupting to remind us that, nope, “This is a Tide ad.” Each of these jokes lands perfectly, and boy there a lot of them, making for an impressive full minute of laughs.

What we love about this ad:

Tide knows what you expect from your basic detergent commercial: reliable, slightly dull but comfortable family shenanigans where dirty clothes are saved by the power of Tide. That doesn’t make much of a splash in the flashy world of Super Bowl ads. By saying “every ad is a Tide ad” thanks to how clean everyone’s clothes are, Tide gets to play with a lot more material than they would in their normal sandbox. Harbour’s likeable sense of humor is the cherry on top of a clever, well-thought out campaign that finishes with a hashtag worth trending: #ItsATideAd.


1) Alexa Loses Her Voice & Celebrities Save the Day

Flu season is the worst—and this time, it’s claimed even Amazon’s clever device, Alexa! Having lost her voice, celebrities fill in to help Alexa answer people’s burning questions—and the results, well, are pure comedy. Gordon Ramsey yelling at someone who wants to make a grilled cheese sandwich is genius, as is Cardi B refusing to play country music, and Rebel Wilson “setting the mood.” Anthony Hopkins’s cameo is the most surprising (and the most unexpectedly hilarious), complete with feeding skittles to a peacock. After him, we’re a little relieved that Alexa will be “taking it from here”!

What we love about this ad:

This ad shows all the different ways people use Alexa in their everyday lives, and makes them funny with celebrity reactions. Even if you’re not familiar with Amazon’s voice-activated device, this commercial shows you just what makes her so useful, and does so with a likeable cast of well-known performers. Even better, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos stars as he is reassured by his staff that the replacements are ready and able to step in for Alexa. Ultimately, this ad shows us just why there’s no replacement for the real Alexa—while hinting that Amazon might have some new voice-related tricks up their sleeve.


All in all? This list gets a touchdown from all of us at Dream Factory. Way to play!


Want to know more about Dream Factory’s analytical, results-driven marketing solutions?  We’re here to provide the strategies you need. Contact us and learn what options are right for you.


How Net Neutrality Impacts Your Business

Net Neutrality and Internet Marketing

And Why Losing It Matters

Once again, Chairman Pai of the FCC has moved to abolish net neutrality rules. This has sparked a strong reaction online, leaving some bystanders to wonder: what exactly is net neutrality? Why should it matter to me and my business? And if we lose net neutrality, what should I expect?


What is Net Neutrality?

Net Neutrality means that ISPs are legally required to provide us with open networks. Using an open network means that your ISP can’t discriminate against any content that shows on those networks—even if, say, you’re looking up their competitor’s webpage. The internet is a neutral environment. Your ISP can’t interfere with the content you want to view any more than your phone company can block you from calling your mother. You have equal access to everything online.


What does Net Neutrality offer businesses?

To some degree, Net Neutrality offers protections that make the internet an “even playing field,” giving every business an equal digital reach. Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T can’t require website owners to pay for “faster” online connection speeds to their webpages, or “throttle” some sites with slower connectivity than others. In other words, all webpages are treated the same. This creates healthy competition for small businesses and startups that are working to establish themselves among bigger brands, but don’t have the budget of those brands.


What might ISPs do if Net Neutrality is repealed?

Without net neutrality, ISPs like Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon will legally be able to give preferential treatment to services they profit from, and to block or slow access to those they don’t. This could result in a tiered internet, where access to data online could be split into “fast” and “slow” lanes.

If an ISP wanted to, they could create monthly fees that require websites to pay for quality online connectivity and data prioritization. Large businesses would determine that cost to a degree, because ISPs would charge what those companies are able to pay for it. These increased costs would then trickle down to their consumers, making their online services and products more expensive.

Meanwhile smaller businesses, such as a local restaurant, would be unlikely to pay costly fees for “faster” connection for their websites, leaving them with sluggish internet speeds. When it takes too long for a website to load, most viewers click away. This could have an especially large negative impact on businesses that rely on online revenue and can’t match the budget of big brands.

We could even see a situation like the one in Portugal, where ISPs charge for data packages based on the kind of data and apps users would like to use. This would make using the internet similar to ordering TV channels, limiting you to whatever apps and content are included in your data package—and again, prioritizing larger brands over smaller competitors.

This is all hypothetical, but repealing net neutrality would make the above situation legal and remove protections that keep the internet a free and open market for its users.


How do most large tech firms feel about Net Neutrality?

Many tech firms have spoken out loudly in defense of Net Neutrality, among their numbers such giants as Facebook, Google and Netflix. Several CEOS—including those of Reddit, Airbnb, Etsy, Foursquare, GitHub, Pinterest, Shutterstock, Sonos, Square, and Tumblr—have signed a letter to Chairman Pai of the FCC urging him to defend net neutrality, as doing otherwise “would put small and medium-sized businesses at a disadvantage and prevent innovative new ones from getting off the ground.”


How have ISPs responded to the FCC’s proposal to end Net Neutrality?

Many ISPs have said they have no intention of using their power to block, throttle, or prioritize website access should Net Neutrality end, though it should be added that they are in full support of the FCC losing the ability to enforce those protections. Comcast notably deleted their Net Neutrality pledge the day that the FCC announced their repeal, raising many eyebrows as to whether or not those promises of net neutrality from ISPs will hold up.

Several ISPs have said they wish for Net Neutrality to be regulated by legislation instead of by the FCC, but currently, no such regulation will be in effect if the FCC votes to repeal. This would put the power to uphold Net Neutrality solely in the hands of ISPs, and self-regulating ISPs have a history of acting in their own interest.


I’m a business owner who would be affected by losing Net Neutrality. What should I do?

While everything said here is worrisome for many businesses, it’s important to realize that if the FCC votes against Net Neutrality on December 14th, the ultimate battle will be far from over. That battle will simply move from the FCC to the US Courts of Appeals. The outcome could take well over a year, and should the Supreme Court challenge it, we could expect an even longer road to a final decision.

In the meantime, the best thing you can do is stay informed and aware of any changes that take place. If you wish to act in the interests of protecting Net Neutrality, you can contact your senators and representatives to let them know your concerns, or email the members of the FCC directly.

The FCC will vote on the order regarding the fate of Net Neutrality on December 14th, 2017.


Regardless of the internet’s future, Dream Factory will be here to help clients maneuver through the marketing hoops of the future. With or without Net Neutrality, great marketing will still happen!