Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is right around the corner, going into effect on May 25. And still, the biggest question I get from marketers is, “Does it apply to me?” The simple answer is: If you offer your product or services to European subjects, the GDPR applies to you. And while many firms are bullish about their compliance-readiness, a significant number of those have taken a piecemeal approach to the GDPR, focusing mainly on the requirements that are easily managed by IT, versus those that require culture change.

While compliance with the letter of the law is important, we think brands should really be following its spirit in order to rebuild the consumer trust that has suffered so much over the past few years. Even companies that don’t do business in Europe will benefit from taking a GDPR-centric approach to their data collection and use practices. The same lack of trust that led European lawmakers to pass the GDPR exists around the globe, so all marketing leaders can use GDPR’s principles to be more transparent with how they collect and use their data.

I invite you to watch this short video in which I discuss how marketers can use the GDPR to their advantage.

And I hope you’ll join us at Forrester’s Consumer Marketing Forum on April 5 and 6 where I will be talking about the GDPR and privacy in two sessions.

First, I’ll be joined on the mainstage by Sheila Colclasure, Acxiom’s global data ethics officer, to discuss why global privacy laws — and perceptions — are so disparate, and whether they’ll ever align. Then, my fellow analyst Joanna O’Connell and I will lead a Quick Take session on how the GDPR will affect global digital advertising practices and the adtech landscape. Hope to see you there!