5 ways to solve your marketing compliance issues
Jodie Byass — Tuesday the 17th of September, 2019Tweet
Marketing compliance never gets old if you’re talking in terms of its importance. It can get old very fast, though, if you don’t keep pace with regulatory changes that affect your industry. And with so many channels to manage, marketing teams really need to know their legal requirements especially in tightly regulated industries such as legal, finance and healthcare (to name a few). Be sure to read our blog on the risks of letting your marketing compliance slip.
In this article we illustrate some common challenges marketers face when managing their marketing compliance. We also offer some advice on how to tackle some of these tricky issues.
You’ve planned a social media competition which goes live in two days. The competition rules and copy have been finalised. During the approval process, Legal alerts you to the fact that you’ll need to apply for trade promotional permits in specific states. The competition has now been postponed while you sort out this issue.
At the early stages of planning your marketing calendar, always bring Legal or Compliance in to review your campaign ideas and initiatives. This way, you can get advice on any legal requirements needed for certain projects and build these into the project’s scope. It can also separate the campaigns that are going to bring in returns and those that are relegated to the ‘too hard’ basket.
Your marketing approval process is causing you more headaches than not. Important stakeholders such as Legal or Compliance are being missed in the approval process so that last minutes changes need to be made when errors are found. On occasion, old terms and conditions have slipped through and gone live to market. This puts you at risk of non-compliance.
If your marketing compliance is at risk because of your approval workflow, it might be time to review and refine your marketing approval process. By doing so, you’ll have a documented approval framework that ensures artwork is reviewed by the right stakeholders at the right time. Not only will this reduce errors and help you to avoid non-compliance issues, you’ll also eliminate bottlenecks and excessive artwork changes.
You have a new marketing team member join the team. While the current team attended a compliance training course last month, you haven’t got around to documenting any updated protocols. This leaves any new staff member at risk of non-compliance as well as current staff who have no information to refer to if in doubt.
Marketing compliance should remain a top priority for marketing teams across all industries. It’s a good habit to document (or have documentation of) any marketing compliance protocols as well as any updates as regulations change. It’s also worth organising a weekly or fortnightly marketing compliance meeting to discuss any issues your team might be encountering. Is Legal reviewing content earlier rather than later in the approval workflow? Have there been any close calls with breaches of late? If so, why? As a rule of thumb, make sure that marketing compliance is part of the induction process for any new marketing team members.
Suggested Reading: Discover our best practices for staying on top of your marketing compliance
You currently have ten marketing projects on the go, but you have no visibility over who’s working on what at any given time. You also don’t have an audit trail of work because the creative team often forget to save email feedback and approvals. So what’s approved? What isn’t? Does that final artwork version which needs to go to the executive team have all the changes in situ?
It’s difficult enough to manage ten projects at once. It’s near impossible to manage them all effectively when you don’t have any transparency over your projects and approvals. And where there is chaos, there are always compliance risks. Approval workflow software can offer many benefits to busy marketers. One in particular is that the software creates an automatic audit trail of work so you can always track and monitor tasks and resources. In addition to its approval workflow feature with dedicated approval pathways and templates, it also provides digital asset management (DAM) to ensure that your creative team is always using the most current assets and messaging.
It’s been months since you’ve thought about marketing compliance, but you’re pretty sure you’ve got it covered. Except that Legal has found a number of mistakes – old assets and legal terms – being used on a range of artwork up for review. There has been no breach so far, but it’s only a matter of time when something might slip through.
You’ve got a million things to do. We get it. But in the scheme of things, marketing compliance is right up there with creating incredible campaigns. Because no matter how great your campaigns are, if they breach compliance protocols you’re at risk of being fined or, worse, your reputation could be at stake. That said, it’s critical that you and your team stay up to date with current compliance regulations. Your Legal or Compliance team are a great resource for what’s going on in the industry. Organise a monthly meeting to go over any changes that might affect your brand. You can also sign up for updates from specific consumer regulatory bodies. Global marketers also need to have knowledge about regional regulations outside of their local sphere.