The migration of many business processes, including marketing, to the internet has made it easier than ever to conduct certain types of business online. Marketing campaigns, for instance, can now be launched with the click of a button. They can also rapidly propagate through a variety of mediums via so-called “viral” transmission, as people share content with their social and business contacts.
While online marketing can provide a boost to your outreach efforts without necessitating sizable expenditures, it can also present compliance challenges. Given the rapidity with which information can spread online, compliance issues can arise unless you plan ahead. This article covers why marketing compliance is necessary, as well as what makes it so challenging in this day and age and what you can do to improve your marketing compliance efforts.
Why is Marketing Compliance Necessary?
Companies that don’t pay adequate attention to marketing compliance may find that their ability to conduct marketing campaigns have been restricted due to violations of laws that govern marketing practices. Rules apply to marketing over all channels, including over the web, by phone, on television, etc. Whatever medium is used to transit your marketing, your company must make sure that it adheres to the proper rules.
The rules governing marketing compliance were designed to protect consumers from misleading advertising, spam, and other shady practices. The rules apply to your content wherever it appears, so your marketing compliance must take into consideration the regulations for all the various mediums that may ultimately be used to distribute your content.
Marketing compliance also serves the purpose of helping your company present a consistent brand message. The material your company puts on the web often provides the first look potential customers have of your company. If marketing protocols aren’t followed, your company’s image may be compromised by material which isn’t in keeping with the image your company wants to present.
From a financial standpoint marketing compliance is also important. Significant fines can be levied on companies which disregard marketing regulations, not to mention marketing costs can rise if your firm gets a reputation as an abuser of these laws. One of the ways this can happen is if your company is labeled a spammer by the email platforms responsible for sending email. If this happens, the cost third party platforms charge to send out emails on your behalf can rise substantially.
What Makes Marketing Compliance So Challenging?
Marketing compliance involves more than simply double checking marketing materials for regulatory improprieties before releasing them. Given the ability of the internet to rapidly propagate material released over it, your firm must ensure that the messages you deliver fall within the regulatory guidelines pertaining to a variety of different platforms. For instance, you may use email marketing to send out a message, only to find that your marketing material ends up being tweeted on Twitter, or placed in an Instagram image. Assuming that this will happen when preparing your marketing materials can head off problems down the road from this type of viral online propagation of material.
The people working on your marketing campaigns will typically, by definition, be creative types. They are focused on using words, images, and video to create awareness and drive sales of your product. While this approach lends itself to creating great marketing, it also can make it a challenge to ensure that your marketing stays compliant. This is why it is so important to add a compliance review component to your marketing material creation process. Whether you use a software tool or rely on human review, performing these reviews are necessary to make sure that your marketing staff doesn’t use material that might create a regulatory problem.
Such reviews don’t need to sap a campaign’s creative energy. They are needed just to evaluate the language and content of the materials produced to avoid the use of words, phrases, or images that could cause a problem. Marketing material should be designed to make your product or products appear as attractive as possible, without misleading or deceiving consumers in any way.
How to Improve Your Marketing Compliance
One method of improving marketing compliance is to bring technology into the picture. This enables you to automate various compliance functions, making it easier to stay in compliance with the multitude of regulations which apply to marketing materials and campaigns. Marketing compliance software tools can be purchased as SaaS platforms. Many of these solutions have specialized functions designed for marketing over different types of media or in certain industries.
In addition to helping you stay compliant, these solutions typically allow you to monitor any compliance issues which occur over all marketing channels. With software management of this type you can easily find and, if necessary, escalate any compliance issues. Before you send out marketing messages, the software can scan the material to make sure it follows all applicable laws. It can also work in call center settings to monitor compliance with do-not-call lists and other applicable regulations.
These tools allow for automation of the compliance process, which enables you to scan a large amount of marketing materials for compliance issues prior to approving them for distribution. Given the amount of marketing material that modern marketing campaigns can create, use of software of this type is essential to efficiently keep online campaigns compliant.
Marketing compliance tools enable you to reduce staff time needed for the review process, with compliance personnel mainly needed to check material that has been flagged by the software. This allows you to reduce the time your personnel spend on laborious tasks such as reading through each piece of marketing material for potential compliance violations and instead perform higher-level analysis tasks.
Tools of this type can also monitor the use of your marketing material after it has been released by tracking it across various mediums such as social media, message boards, and the like. If this material is utilized in an unapproved fashion, the software can alert you to that fact so that you can take steps to stop such use. Given the long memory of the internet, such monitoring is important to make sure that marketing material that was compliant when issued but is now no longer compliant is not being actively used by your firm.
Nuvro is a robust online project management tool that helps collaborating with your marketing compliance team. With Nuvro you can gain control and peace of mind over all of your projects, tasks, team members, workload and everything else important to your company. In addition to the project, task and collaboration features found in most PM tools, Nuvro also provides a company dashboard, a team dashboard, team member performance reviews, secure document management, an internal alternative to email and more. Nuvro is perfect for busy teams looking to accomplish more. Learn More…