Tips to Overcome Common Marketing Compliance Challenges
By Jodie Byass
Marketing compliance is a critical aspect of any business that engages in marketing activities. However, it can get overwhelming for marketing teams to keep up with the ever-evolving regulatory changes, particularly in tightly regulated industries like finance, healthcare, and legal. To avoid the risks of non-compliance, it's crucial for marketing teams to be aware of the common challenges they may face and know how to tackle them effectively. In this article, we'll discuss seven issues that marketers may encounter and offer solutions to overcome them.
Issue #1: Inadequate Planning for Legal Requirements
You may have planned an exciting social media competition that's about to go live in a few days. However, during the approval process, the legal team alerts you to the fact that you need to apply for trade promotional permits in specific states. This situation can be frustrating, and your competition may have to be postponed while you sort out the legal requirements.
Solution: To avoid such situations, involve your legal or compliance team in the planning stage of your marketing campaigns. They can provide advice on any legal requirements that need to be fulfilled for the project to be compliant. This approach will help you to build legal requirements into the project's scope and prevent any last-minute issues that could derail the campaign.
Issue #2: Inefficient Marketing Approval Process
An inefficient marketing approval process can cause headaches for marketers and lead to non-compliance issues. When critical stakeholders like legal or compliance are left out of the approval process, last-minute changes may be necessary when errors are discovered. This scenario can also result in non-compliant materials going live to the market, posing a risk to your business.
Solution: To streamline your marketing approval process, create a documented approval framework that ensures artwork is reviewed by the right stakeholders at the right time. This approach will reduce errors, avoid non-compliance issues, and eliminate bottlenecks that lead to excessive artwork changes.
Issue #3: Lack of Compliance Training and Documentation
When new marketing team members join your team, they may lack sufficient compliance training and documentation. Without updated protocols, they may be at risk of non-compliance, and current staff may have no reference materials to consult when in doubt.
Solution: Document your marketing compliance protocols and keep them updated as regulations change. Understand what you need to do to meet marketing compliance requirements. Schedule regular compliance meetings to discuss any issues your team may be encountering. Ensure that marketing compliance is part of the induction process for new marketing team members.
Issue #4: Poor Project Management and Tracking
Managing multiple marketing projects simultaneously can be challenging, and it's easy to lose track of who is working on what. A lack of visibility over your projects and approvals can lead to chaos and compliance risks.
Solution: Use marketing project management or marketing approval workflow software to manage your projects effectively. The software creates an automatic audit trail of work, which helps you track and monitor tasks and resources. Software with a strong focus on marketing compliance should incorporate a range of compliance features to help manage the needs of different stakeholders including checklists, tiered approvals, approval checklists, audit trails and many more.
Issue #5: Neglecting Compliance Protocols
When marketers are busy with multiple tasks, it's easy to neglect marketing compliance protocols. However, this negligence can lead to mistakes, such as using old assets and legal terms in artwork that's up for review. Such mistakes can put your business at risk of non-compliance.
Solution: Schedule regular compliance meetings to keep yourself and your team up to date with current compliance regulations. Use resources such as consumer regulatory bodies to stay informed of any changes that could affect your brand. Global marketers also need to be aware of regional regulations outside of their local sphere.
Issue #6: Understanding Local Regulations
Your company has decided to expand globally, and you're excited to launch a new campaign in a new market. However, you're not familiar with the local regulations, and you're not sure if your campaign will comply with them. Ignoring local regulations can lead to costly fines, negative publicity, and even legal trouble.
Solution Before launching a campaign in a new market, research and understand the local regulations that apply to your industry. Consult with local legal experts, marketing professionals, and industry associations to ensure that your campaign complies with local laws and regulations. Consider cultural and language differences that may affect the messaging and imagery of your campaign. Localizing your campaign and working with local partners can also help you navigate the unique challenges of a new market.
Issue #7: Knowing the Different Privacy Requirements
Your company is collecting data from customers through various channels, including social media, email, and website forms. You're not sure if you're collecting data in compliance with data privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Non-compliance with data privacy regulations can result in significant fines and damage to your company's reputation.
Solution: Ensure that your company is collecting customer data in compliance with applicable data privacy regulations. Implement processes and procedures to obtain customer consent, handle data breaches, and respond to customer requests to access, delete, or update their personal data. Keep up to date with changes in data privacy regulations and adjust your processes accordingly. Consider hiring a data protection officer or working with a data privacy consultant to ensure compliance with complex data privacy regulations.
Marketing compliance is essential to the success and sustainability of any marketing campaign. Failure to comply with applicable regulations can result in significant financial and reputational damage to your company. By understanding the common challenges faced by marketing teams and implementing solutions to address these challenges, you can ensure that your marketing campaigns comply with relevant regulations and mitigate compliance risks. Keep in mind that compliance is an ongoing process, and staying up to date with regulatory changes and industry best practices is critical to maintaining a compliant marketing strategy.