Many marketers work in industries where their marketing materials need to comply with standards laid down by regulatory bodies. Marketing compliance is a topic considered relevant primarily for marketers in the finance or pharmaceutical sectors – but to varying degrees, marketing activities in industries such as retail, Telco, FMCG, and utilities are also subject to regulation.
For those marketers who work in regulated industries, you’ve probably had your fair share of headaches around maintaining compliance.
What makes being compliant hard for marketers?
Knowledge: Compliance can be tedious. Regulations change over time and individual marketers may not always be aware what the policy is, and that it needs to apply to ALL marketing outputs.
Process: A lack of a defined marketing process that is consistent, repeatable, predictable and provable can make compliance a nightmare for marketers. Due to the speed and pressure to deliver materials and campaigns, marketers tend to focus at the activity level and adjust their processes for each activity rather than have a consistent compliance process across activities and campaigns.
Printing/Storage/Retrieval: The physical printing and storage of collateral is time and cost prohibitive, not to mention environmentally unsound. Lots of time is wasted on “version control” issues and ensuring that the right version is being used and you have the most up-to-date collateral available for download and consumption.
Give it To Me Straight – What Do I Really Get Out of It?
Benefit # 1: Risk Reduction:
Guarantee compliance by ensuring the right people reviewed the right version at the right time.
Benefit # 2: Improved Time to Market:
Reduce review cycle time through online reviews. Use automated workflows to document and assign tasks, dates, and deliverables to specific individuals.
Benefit # 3: Reduced Cost:
Reduce costs, by getting it right the first time and reducing the man hours needed to maintain compliance. Think about yourself for a moment and how much content you have and how hard it is sometimes to find the right version or approval. This process should be centralized and automated in order to reduce the number of hours that employees need to focus on maintaining compliance. This can be accomplished through digital review and storage of collateral by centralizing assets in an easily accessible, searchable library and centralizing the reviews and approvals for marketing materials.
If you want to take your marketing on a journey towards efficiency and the ease of meeting standards, then it is easier when everyone is walking down the same street together. Just make sure your team (internal & external) knows what being complaint means, and have an easy way to stick to the rules.
Want to learn more about how to make compliance less painful? Check out our blog post 10 Steps to Make Marketing Compliance Less Painful.