The lion, the witch and the wardrobe: keeping it corporate

The lion, the witch and the wardrobe. A classic fantasy novel which you may have thought you had outgrown. I’m afraid not, for the book has many symbolic meanings in the corporate world. 

The wardrobe, your CRM system. Full of untold adventure and possibilities, a link to the beyond. Governed by the lion, or data quality as we adults would call it. A well respected being who rules the land, ensuring all who live in the CRM are in line and follow the laws and regulations of the realm. One of which, is the witch – also known as GDPR. A scary entity, however if the lion manages the wardrobe correctly and in line with her requirements, she doesn’t get in the way.

Unlike in Narnia, the requirements of the GDPR witch depend mainly upon data quality.  Two things that help to meet the requirements are to ensure that your database is of a high standard and that your CRM system is working to the new regulations.

So let’s delve deeper into consent as it seems to cause the most confusion in the business world.

How do consent statements and data quality relate?

Well data quality refers to how accurate, recent and legitimate data is so consent fits in nicely. Under GDPR, consent needs to be specific to the method and content of communication and (accuracy) and it needs to have been gained in a lawful way – no bundling or confusion (legitimate). So consent statements which already follow GDPR will contribute to high data quality – however those which bundle consent or are unclear will potentially result in companies being fined and gaining a negative reputation.

A really common problem that businesses experience are duplicate records in their CRM system. Not only is this inefficient for communications (not to mention it’s bumping up costs) but it also means that for one person, a company can have multiple consent statements. The consent statements could also contradict each other which creates confusion as to whether a company can contact someone or not. Confusion which companies would rather not have at a time where the fines from GDPR are looming. Duplicate records need to be identified and merged to create one master record which provides clarity on what that person has consented to receiving.

In order to ensure a high standard of data quality, keep your consent statements uniform across channels. This enables understanding as to whether you have the ability to contact people and ensures that if you have different consent across multiple versions of the same record, that you re-gain consent and create one view of that record.

Also, using normalisation you can correctly place the consent statements in the right field and not have the consent to be telephoned stored in the consent to be direct mailed and so on. Not only does this result in a tidy CRM but it will prevent mix-ups with consent if someone has said yes to one form of communication and no to another.

This is especially important for managing individual email subscriptions that demonstrate which individuals have opted in, when this consent was granted, and what type of content they want to receive.


Businesses that have already integrated their email marketing with CRM technology will find GDPR compliance is a far easier path compared to companies with disconnected systems.

When CRM is a centralised hub which brings in email marketing data, companies have a single, unified view of each contact. With the clarity to understand who has opted in to their messages and their content preferences, marketers can make sure their campaigns are GDPR compliant and use data quality as a strategic asset.

To collect high quality data, and drive increased engagement, a double email opt-in process is proven best practice.

Not only does this verify email addresses and subscription intent, but with a fully integrated CRM and email marketing solution, companies can easily check when a contact opted in, and what consent terms they approved.

With this transparency of consent in CRM, companies need have no fear of the GDPR witch and can focus efforts on sharing personalised content that resonates with their audience.


We co-authored this blog with Preact, a leading specialist in CRM solutions who have 20 years of CRM implementation experience. Check out their website to learn more about their CRM management solutions!

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