To successfully develop engaging and compliant materials accurately, efficiently, and quickly, marketing and compliance professionals must develop a mutually beneficial and prosperous relationship. As with all relationships, there are foundational building blocks that need to be developed and nurtured, including:
The foundation for any good relationship always starts with respect. In any organization, it is important to remember that you are all on the same team. Everyone is working for the same overall goal of protecting and promoting the brand. Both marketing and compliance want to make sure that all communications are clear and effective in helping the organization achieve its goals. Both groups also want to be efficient with their limited resources and deliver materials to the market faster.
It is important to understand each group’s uniqueness and how they play a role in the overall process.
- Marketing drives all corporate communications with the public including advertising, promotions, sales collateral, branding, campaigns, online promotion, etc. They often work with various stakeholders within and outside the organization to craft just the right message and ensure everything is consistent and on-brand. It is often akin to juggling while riding a bike along a narrow sidewalk.
- Compliance stays informed on all changes and actions from the various regulators while determining how each change impacts their growing and evolving businesses. They are trying to thread the needle to allow marketing to be creative and to develop new ways of communicating while ensuring that all content is clear, can be substantiated, and meets all regulatory guidelines. They are trying to mitigate brand and regulatory risk. They are riding a bike on an ever-changing, narrow path while dodging obstacles that might derail them.
Communicate early and often
In building the foundations of a good relationship, communication is critical.
Marketers should understand the rules and the intent of the rules that impact their business. A marketing person starting in a group or business should set up time with their compliance partners to discuss and dive into the details of rules, and most importantly, the overall intent of the rules. Often setting and understanding the parameters makes creativity flourish.
The communications between marketing and compliance should be constant and just part of the process. Depending on the volume of materials, daily, semi-weekly, or weekly standups are time savers. Standups help each group to understand the number of items in the pipeline, the timing of those items, and most importantly, the nature of those items. For example, if marketing is working on a social media ad with extremely limited space, it is good to know about the long, required disclosure before you spend any resources developing an ad that you will never finish.
Use tools to lighten the burden for everyone
SaifrReview™ can lighten the burden for both marketing and compliance professionals by catching the simple, straightforward issues. SaifrReview uses natural language processing (NLP) models to “understand” the content and perform a first pass review. The engine assesses grammar, tone, gender, age, and sentiment to help marketing stay on-brand. It also points out the more routine items such as disclosures, footnotes, and risky language, and it analyzes content, videos, and images to determine if they might be promissory, exaggerated, unwarranted, misleading, etc. Using SaifrReview™, content creators can review and make any needed changes right away. The right tools can lighten the load for everyone and allow for more interesting work instead of boring tasks like finding the right disclosure.
Ideally, all marketing collaborators, stakeholders, and all compliance and legal reviewers and approvers are working in the same tool, such as SaifrReview. If you are all on the same page, there are no emails back and forth and no version control issues. Everyone can see all comments and agree, disagree, have a discussion, and create the final content together. Everyone can clearly see the status of all pieces and get an understanding of what they might want to work on next. All comments, changes, and approvals are tracked automatically and are available for reporting and auditing.
Be open to creative solutions
In any relationship, there will be disagreements; and it is key to understand why they appear and how to successfully resolve them. Often, a successful strategy is to be open. Marketers may see compliance as the party poopers or naysayers who rain on their creativity parade. But, compliance is often another set of eyes, more brainpower, and the catalyst to new ideas. There are always different ways to present something. So, if a marketer tries one way that isn’t compliant, openly discuss the intent of the piece and the intent of the rule(s). Brainstorm together and come up with alternatives that work. Keep asking: “What if?” “How about this way?” Frequently, the end result is a win/win for both teams—the materials are compliant and send a stronger message than you started with.
Make tracking automatic
Make the mundane and time-consuming tasks automatic so that each team can spend their energy on the new, challenging, and exciting work. Avoid using email for sharing files—that is just inviting version control issues and is a huge waste of time. Work within a system, such as SaifrReview, that tracks all comments, changes, and approvals. Robust reporting can help provide positive reinforcement for both teams as you measure successful teamwork and easily identify new areas for improvement.
If you follow these principles, your organization can create better communication more efficiently.