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How to make the most out of data protection efforts of your subscription

What is GDPR?

GDPR is the digital privacy legislation agreed upon by the European Parliament and council in April 2016. Accordingly, all companies that engage in digital platforms for providing digital products and services will be obligated to comply with all requirements of the GDPR. It includes how they purchase, protect, use, process, and manage all-important personal data of European citizens at commercial and non-commercial levels. It has been in operation since June 2018.

How is GDPR relevant to all subscription businesses?

Subscription businesses are found to procure and manage critical personal and banking details of every account holder on board. All sorts of digital subscription businesses indulging in product or service rendering across any medium or digital space are bound to comply with the data procurement, management, use, and processing standards. GDPR, general data protection regulation, strictly focuses on an individual’s digital usage privacy and its sensitivity in the digital space.

The narrative of GDPR and its responsibilities that have to be compulsorily discharged by all subscription businesses, completely fit into the story of digital privacy. It is because of their procurement and maintaining a personal and banking details database. There is an unlimited scope for digital subscription businesses to procure continuous streams of several data points about an account holder and his behavior and interaction with the digital service. It may be exploited at commercial, political, or any other unfair level.

Terms you need to know for acing GDPR in the subscription business

1. Personal Data – It includes all data points of a user’s profile procured before and during a customer’s onboarding, including everything from the necessary credentials to banking/payment details.

2. Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs) -The set of rules and regulations about data protection setup by a subscription business in response to the GDPR requirements.

3. Processing – The database management and update process and standard operating procedures followed by data engineers, analytics, and customer support staff.

4. Data Controller – The digital subscription business which decides to process a cluster of data for a specific purpose like general analytics and insights, business intelligence, lead generation, or customer behavior analytics.

5. Data Processor – The analytics and business consultancy companies that process that on behalf of the digital business subscription business. Suppose, Spotify hires PwC for consultancy through data-driven analytics and the later processes it on behalf of Spotify.

6. Consent – The permission pop-ups sent by a digital subscription business for seeking permission to procure, record, and use their data from data subjects.

7. Data Protection Officer – A formal data security officer appointed by a digital subscription business.

8. Data Protection Authority (DPA) – The ministry concerning cyber laws and their enforcement.

9. Biometric Data – Personal data of users generated because of the physical and behavioral features of a person, which allows the identification of the digital subscribers.

10. Data Subject – A digital subscriber whose personal data is documented by the subscription business.

11. Right to be Forgotten – A subscriber holds the right to permanently delete the personal information stored with the company in the form of a profile/account on the native platform in case they wish to disembark from their service use.

12. Pseudonymous Data – Anonymization or masking of personal and banking data of all the individuals on onboard with a digital subscription business.

13. Cross-Border Processing – Using the data of subscribers local to a particular market in a different geographical location.

How to pro-utilize GDPR compliance in your subscription business?

Build USPs around data protection

Pro-utilization of GDPR compliance in a subscription business is best started by establishing USPs around data protection. It includes a broad approach with elemental creativity towards the fundamental brand pitch and product stories that are created for publicizing the subscription services. A subscription business should establish a great deal of customer sensitivity in digital service operations. 

It is building a consistent marketing approach around how a subscription business acknowledges the right to digital privacy. It adds to sensitivity towards critical human use of data that will help a brand stand apart among all contemporaries and will open up unlimited gateways of branding. The caring attitude by all subscription businesses brings a human touch to the overall proposition for digital subscribers. It is best put forward by Apple Music subscription on all Apple devices. It is appreciable how Apple repeatedly sends permission pop-ups for the usage of personal data and also clearly mention how and where this data is going to be recorded and used.

Publicize your GDPR data protection measures for customers

Active initiatives and extensive allocation of time material cost (during general operations) for GDPR compliant extend a formidable launchpad for all subscription businesses. They can indulge in subjective content, video, and experiential marketing campaigns surrounding the sensitivity of digital privacy for all digital subscribers across the globe. That is a chance to help your subscription business establish itself on a global scale. Consequently, the most probable consumers or subscribers perceive an enhanced brand value with the sheer secured user experience all across the board.

Indulge in strategic marketing partnerships with GDPR compliance partners

One of the potential ways of making the most out of the data protection initiatives (of your subscription business) is to comprehensively acknowledge the promptness of your compliance partners over GDPR compliance performance. They are helping you run your business on a larger scale. That can have infinite value for both subscription business and the GDPR partner in the co-branding arrangement on dual banners of both the partners. 

It will require a formal collaboration for the creation and execution of marketing campaigns by both the companies. It will have an added benefit of both business partners to aggressively publicize their brand in share market space, which might be exploitable by anyone/both of them. Hypergrowth-driven Indian digital subscription businesses can full share of market reach with the help of the GDPR compliant partners. They should acknowledge the vulnerabilities without data protection in the US and Europe that is increasingly seen in the Indian subcontinent

Alongside this, it has been openly witnessed that Netflix often indulges in the accreditation of AWS (Amazon Web Services) for helping them securely stream up to 70 hours of video content every minute worldwide. That is an excellent co-branding idea that gives a particular subject for marketing and publicity of your subscription business.

Strategically pick user privacy effects and need in your branding campaigns

Digital subscription businesses in continually evolving markets like India can bring out awareness campaigns and target their subject to disseminate powerful light on sensitive matters. It includes the likes of the importance of digital user privacy and its effects if not handled properly. That is an excellent subject for internal branding campaigns that you may rollout, presenting a globalized image of the digital subscription business concerning the privacy concerns. Such activities help you create a greater understanding of the GDPR compliance, and its initiatives. It also attracts digitally “forward” or more sensitive users who correctly pick their digital subscriptions and are conscious about the granted permissions through the phone pop-ups for any subscription service (on all devices).

Focus on leveraging data ethically

The real problem with data

One of the significant issues with information is strategically leveraging it as per the required business scenarios. The next step includes translating the descriptive and prescriptive analytics and insights into actionable operations. Indeed, about 85% of decision-makers in global organizations, including a lot of subscription businesses have understood how important data is. Still, they are yet to figure out how to benefit from it maximally in the long run. 

The broad-level approach

Interpreting descriptive analytics and setting up business scenarios with well-defined objectives and interconnecting those dots with well-planned efforts is the way forward. For the same setup, intermediary data management and analytics leaders like Elastic are helpful. They help you build dynamic data frames and also allows pre-programmed machine learning algorithms for artificial intelligence. It paves the way for making the most out of the personal customer behavioral analytics data procured with the general logs in primary data procurement regimens. 

Other than this, customer behavior analytics formulation and development of several data points can fuel business intelligence (BI) initiatives for small-to-large business subscriptions all across the globe. According to Gartner, about 99% of the business scenarios in today’s world are waste. They are not in alignment with the strategies and the objectives of organizational effectiveness as translated through sales, marketing, growth, and personalization of digital subscription service.

Analytics tools and frameworks for a subscription business

Elastic with Logstash and Kibana (ELK stack) helps the right visualization of various data in a dynamic user base. Algolia can be used for internal site search algorithms. These are Lucene/Solr based searching infrastructures that it can help you document and manage database effectively. It certainly adds the additional benefit of substantial improvements in the user experience.


A subscription business needs to be ”future-proof.” It is essential to accept the fact that data protection laws (and the likes of GDPR in the European region) are compulsions that need to be followed and will never be a choice ever in the future. Organizations are bound to successfully figure out the commercial and organizational viability of these data management and protection suites. The situation can be best worked out with highly effective benefits that can help you gain maximum potential out of the infrastructural and financial commitments that a subscription business is most likely to make for seamless scalability at a global scale. 

A leading subscription lifecycle management solution can help in planning and strategy for data protection. As competition increases in the upcoming years, all successful subscription businesses can find a cliff to rest in the steep uphill chase. The chase involves competition, growth, and seamless scalability with the compliance of the relevant data protection laws.

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