LDJ Case

Campagne DDMA


On May 25, 2018, the long-awaited General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR or AVG) officially went into effect. This European privacy law required a lot of preparation from companies, but no one seemed aware of that at the beginning of 2017. A great task for DDMA, as the trade association for data and marketing, to change that. For DDMA, moreover, this was the ideal opportunity to position itself as an expert in the field of data and privacy.


Following the internal AVG campaign that DDMA had already launched for its own members, we jointly set up a PR and content strategy to put the AVG on the map externally as well.

The objective of the AVG campaign was initially twofold. On the one hand, it was about agenda setting, since the AVG was not yet on the radar of both journalists and companies. On the other hand, creating thought leadership was important: by sharing knowledge, DDMA could position itself as an expert on data and privacy. From 2018, when it was clear that the business community had woken up and the legal department was bombarded with questions, a third objective was added: recruiting new members.


Our approach consisted of a mix of press releases, pitches to journalists and expert articles. DDMA also conducted surveys among its own members and was responsible for the social media strategy. Content and knowledge sharing were at the forefront of the campaign. A year and a half before the effective date of the AVG, DDMA’s AVG campaign was launched.

We started with a broad scope, to publicize the theme. After a press release in February focusing mainly on the high fines associated with not complying with the AVG, an interview in the FD with DDMA director Diana Janssen followed in May 2017. In it, in addition to the fines, Janssen went into content about the main challenges for organizations.

In September, awareness among companies already seemed to have increased considerably, also thanks to campaigns by other organizations and the Dutch data protection authority. A good opportunity to appeal to governments and companies to also make consumers themselves more aware of this new law via a letter Janssen sent to the FD.

Starting in September, we specified the campaign and content production also started in full swing. In collaboration with Matthias de Bruyne, DDMA legal counsel, we created a blog series for Marketingfacts. In 11 expert articles, we delved deeper into various aspects of the AVG – an ideal way to strengthen DDMA’s expert position and to be found in Google on AVG-related keywords. To benefit directly from this reach – the best-read piece has already been viewed 123,000 times – all articles linked to DDMA’s AVG Status Check. This provided DDMA with many relevant contacts with potential members.

The AVG campaign continued in 2018 with the production of articles targeting specific sectors. We produced articles for the travel, culture and retail sectors, among others, answering the most frequently asked questions from those sectors. In addition, DDMA sent several interesting figures about the AVG out into the world,based on member research and the AVG Status Check.


Whereas at the beginning of 2017 it was anxiously silent around the AVG, a year later no one could ignore the new privacy law. Moreover, the substantive approach of the campaign paid off. Due to the many expert articles and studies, many a journalist managed to find DDMA in the first months of 2018. The FD, AD, NRC, Trouw, NU.nl, RTL and BNR, among others, asked director Diana Janssen and/or legal counsel Matthias de Bruyne for their expertise regarding the AVG. In terms of agenda setting and thought leadership, the campaign was absolutely successful.

Membership recruitment also went more than prosperous. The combination of articles, media attention and the AVG Status Check led to a huge number of substantive questions about the AVG and subsequently applications to become a member of the industry organization. From the summer of 2017, the membership grew by 25 percent from 268 to 335, with DDMA’s AVG expertise being the direct cause in almost all cases.


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