Compliance- An Enemy or an Opportunity?

When marketing and compliance work in close correspondence with each other, this partnership can face dynamic government regulations while bringing about an improvement in the overall customer experience.

Compliance is considered to be an Enemy or an “anti-sales department” by the advertising agencies or the marketing departments. A lot of people working in the advertising agencies believe compliance to be the devil.

The reason behind this consistent theme is that people feel that they are barred from being truly creative, sell services or provide great marketing concepts, simply because there are too many rules and requirements. Let us understand this from a concept where compliance is the NFL Commissioner- Roger Goodell while marketing is the New England Patriot. The commissioner is naturally preventing the Patriots from succeeding by setting up the roadblocks. There are a ton of companies in the marketing and advertising space that identify with the same feeling.

Banking has evolved significantly over time and has become more innovative. The marketing and advertising strategies have become so much more than just flyers and billboards. This has enabled the financial institutions to extend their advertising strategies not only to their banking apps but also to the third-party apps and various strategic digital resources.

The concept of compliance should not be perceived as an enemy or something that hinders the publishing of marketing materials and advertisement. In fact, the concept of compliance is intended at helping the businesses thrive as much as any other area within the financial institution.

Basically, compliance strives for the established rules and regulations to be followed. The reason behind putting these rules and regulation into place was not only to elaborate the products or services offered by the bank to consumers and businesses but also to make the consumers understand what they are signing up for in the first place.

To keep a financial institution thriving and alive, customer satisfaction has to be made a core value. Ideally, marketing and compliance should work together to enhance customer experience with satisfactory communications.

It is the job of federal and state regulators to keep a check on the institutions to make sure they are not abusive or deceptive towards their customers. The goal of setting such fine values for clear and consistent consumer communication is to lead them towards a conclusion as to who to work with for their banking needs as well as what products or services they need to choose for their current needs.

Non-compliance with these guidelines results in a severe penalty. Institutions have been fined for millions of dollars by the regulators just because their communication standards seemed to be deceptive.

When compliance and marketing departments are made to work side-by-side from the inception to distribution, the financial institutions get aligned with the changing regulations themselves. It is the job of the compliance team to coordinate with the marketing department for the production of clear, true and concise advertisements. The job of the marketing department is to come up material and advertisements that primarily focus on the consumers.

It is intriguing that advertising agencies and marketing departments tend to forget about the fact that when they are not working, they are also consumers. Seeing things from the consumer’s perspective help them to create more effective advertising and marketing strategies. With every step of the way, they should ask themselves if they were in the place of the consumer, would this piece of advertisement communicate all the elements of products or services they were receiving from the offering organization?

Compliance is supposed to make sure that communications meet current regulatory requirements. However, this is not enough and compliance also intend to get a better understanding of the current market situation. This is necessary to deal with grey areas where the interpretation rests more with the current industry practices rather than rules and regulations in writing.

These practices build a more flexible environment for marketing and compliance to interact with each other allowing the creativity from marketing and standards from compliance to blend. The working partnership is the only way to achieve success in the area.

It is never wise to distribute the marketing communications or use it without seeking the approval from the compliance. This includes respecting the changes that have been made after the initial approval. It is better to keep compliance in the loop. This makes sure consumers are always disclosed with accurate information no matter how fast the banking world is evolving. This helps build trust, providing the best customer service possible.

Consumer experience is based upon clear communication and transparency, that should be translated to the whole buying process and extended to other parts of the customer journey as well. Ultimately when an institution focuses on strong marketing/compliance partnership through communications, this results in better sales profile.

The marketing and communication department should be working hand in hand with the compliance to achieve the highest levels of customer experience possible. In a nutshell, an institution that has finely tuned marketing and communication departments is better able to attract new customer and sales prospects. This is how compliance helps the company save its revenues.

When marketing and compliance cannot operate in isolation of each other, this is the type of bond that is said to be strong from the marketing perspective. This marriage between the two is bound to have disagreements, but the key is to resolve these through compromise and to bring issues to the table.

No organization wants negative media attention in lieu of deceptive practices. This makes it imperative for both compliance and marketing to work in sync with each other to form a mutually symbiotic partnership as opposed to a relationship that is adversarial.

CAC International Bank takes no responsibility of the contents of this article. The views expressed in this article are of the author and does not reflect the policy of the organization as the ownership of the article is solely of the publication with all the research conducted by the author. Our purpose of posting this article is to educate our audience about the issues highlighted within the article and have nothing to do with any sort of commercial intent. Please contact us on for any queries or reservations about the article.

Originally published on The Financial Brand

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