Any time a new year begins, bold predictions fill marketing blogs across the Internet. From content marketing and digital advertising to the Internet of things and big data, there is no shortage of declarations, trends, and technologies that are “guaranteed” to disrupt, change or improve marketing as we know it.
Lost among the prognostications about data collection from connected toasters and disrupting how people take trash to the curb, is an essential mindset that must become part of every marketing department’s DNA (and organization’s DNA for that matter). And it’s what’s leading me to make the following marketing prediction:
2016 Is the Year of Marketing Compliance.
Recent activity by the Federal Trade Commission, the government watchdog department tasked with protecting consumers from business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers, is another sign that marketing compliance is about to go mainstream in 2016. The agency recently released guidelines on native advertising and the discriminatory risks of big data, both addressing issues generated by a couple of marketing tactics often predicted to be the next big thing for marketers.
For marketing teams to produce the level of content required for today’s highly personalized and digital campaigns, they must face the issue of marketing compliance head on and effectively manage the process of ensuring that content complies with regulatory and branding guidelines.
Marketing Compliance: It Isn’t Just for Lawyers
It’s easy for marketers to assume that compliance and regulatory issues are solely the responsibility of the legal department or compliance team. However, there is a wide variety of rules and regulations that stipulates how companies are allowed to market products and services.
These laws and regulations are intended to protect consumers from being misled, tricked, lied to, or otherwise deceived by businesses. Compliance laws additionally ensure consumers’ privacy rights are protected, giving consumers options when it comes to the type of information a brand collects and how they communicate with that brand.
But compliance also means meeting internal standards that accurately express the brand voice. Internal compliance standards lay out the brand’s marketing rules. They often focus on the use of the logo, colors, designs, text and other elements that preserve the consistency of your brand and its message.
Marketing Compliance is Essential, But It’s Not Complicated
We created Comply With This: A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Compliance to provide you and every member of your marketing team with a general understanding of compliance standards. Meeting these standards will not only protect your company’s reputation and integrity, but it can also save you from making some very expensive marketing mistakes.
Marketing compliance standards are not put in place to punish your marketing team. They are instead meant to protect both the consumer and your brand. Don’t wait for a violation to happen before you act: Take charge and be proactive. Download Comply With This: A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Compliance to help ensure your marketing efforts contribute to a continuously thriving and reputable business for years to come.
Marketing compliance is necessary (and at times legally required), and your company can best protect itself, its reputation and its integrity if you make it a priority for every member of your marketing team. Once you understand the basics, you may find it’s not as tough as you initially believed to balance compliance with creativity in your marketing efforts.