Marketing compliance, we’re sure you’re aware, is serious and at times complex. Let’s take a stripped back look at the fundamentals marketers need to better manage compliance.
1. Understand the laws and regulations
If you don’t know the rules, you can’t play the game. Whether they are imposed by state or federal government, or mandated by your industry or own organization, you need to be across all rules and governance. Understanding the intricacies and nuances of these regulations allows you to tailor your internal processes and systems accordingly. It allows you to develop necessary controls and establish clear guidelines for all marketing activities. Once that happens, a culture of accountability forms that can transform compliance from a mere requirement into a strategic advantage.
2. Implement policies and procedures
Once you’ve got a handle on the rules, you need a marketing-wide system to make sure they are being followed. Depending on the scale of comms being produced, this can involve everything from creating some simple guidelines to implementing a workflow that automates pre-approved disclaimers and mandatories for every creative asset that bears your brand name.
3. Train employees
Unless each team member is following both the marketing compliance rules and the system supporting them, you’re just asking for trouble. Legal trouble, financial trouble, you name it.
4. Work with experts
By working with legal and compliance professionals, you can ensure you’re within current regulatory guardrails and get help to navigate any potential marketing compliance issues.
5. Monitor and audit
Nominate a watchdog. Whether that’s a person, a software solution or a combination of both will depend on the level of compliance and reporting mandated within the regulations themselves. By threading monitoring and auditing into your protocol you can catch any marketing compliance violation early on before it becomes a bigger issue.
6. Be prepared
If a marketing compliance breach happens, what are your next steps? Have a plan at the ready that includes everything from identifying where the system failed and how you’ll act to rectify the situation. Having an online traceable marketing compliance workflow is critical to identifying what (or who) fell over and allow you to make quick refinements.
7. Regularly review and update
Marketing compliance laws and regulations change all the time. Depending on the size or your business and the scope of marketing compliance involved, you need to have a team or an individual to oversee any legal or best practice updates and report breaches.
Fundamentals are vital
With the increase in content volume and the speed at which it goes live, it is impossible for teams in highly regulated industries to stay on top of compliance without having a solid framework. It is the linchpin for maintaining trust, mitigating risks, and sustaining operational integrity.