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How to Manage Marketing Compliance

You may think marketing compliance sounds like a whole lot of work that slows the creative process down, and if not done properly – you’re right, it is. 

You may also think there are no shortcuts to achieve marketing compliance, but on that note, you’ll be happy to hear there’s a vast silver lining to be found in the martech cloud. Using the right system to manage compliance not only reduces breaches, but comes with the added upside of increasing efficiency across the board. Let’s take a look at some practical steps you can take to better manage marketing compliance. 

What is Marketing Compliance?

A quick re-cap of what marketing compliance is. Marketing compliance is about following the rules when it comes to promoting and advertising products and services. These rules can be set by governments, industry bodies, internal policies and even your own brand values. They include things such as not making misleading claims, disclosing product terms, protecting customer data, knowing which marketing channels are allowed and so on. They often vary from state to state and product to product.  

Compliance is a hot topic, the FTC recently issued warnings to nearly 700 companies outlining the severe penalties for breaches. It can be harrowing to consistently achieve compliance without the right system in place. Errors are costly, but what’s worse is the legal or reputational damage that comes from breaching regulations. That’s why an increasing number of organisations are turning to marketing compliance software systems such as IntelligenceBank.

Marketing Compliance Musts

If you don’t know the rules, you can’t play the game. Here are some pointers to ease the hurt of marketing compliance:

1. Understand the laws and regulations

Whether they are imposed by state, federal, internal or industry you can be audited at any time. Understanding the intricacies and nuances of these regulations allows you to tailor your internal processes and systems accordingly. Being aware of marketing compliance regulations is merely the starting point. By having a comprehensive grasp of the regulations, you can develop necessary controls, and establish clear guidelines for all marketing activities. Understanding fosters a culture of accountability 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 tech 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 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.

How to Simplify Marketing Compliance

Have a Marketing Workflow

You may be lucky enough to work on the coolest brand the world has ever seen, but no matter how great it, (or you), may be – there must be a system from which your workflows from brief to ideation, proofing, approvals and launch. That’s not to say it can’t be customized to suit your needs, but without a workflow, how will you…

Standardize Processes
Marketing workflows standardize the processes used to create and review marketing materials. They make sure everyone on your team follows a fool proof series of steps to ensure marketing compliance.

Be able to Audit 
There is no getting around who did what and when with a marketing workflow. Each piece of communication comes with a fingerprint of activity from brief to reviews, edits and of course, final sign offs.  

Automate Repetitive Checks
Automated checks for marketing compliance with company policies and regulations do an enormous amount of heavy lifting and create peace of mind. For example, a workflow could include a check to ensure that customer consent has been obtained before sending out a marketing email.

Monitor Compliance
Marketing compliance teams or tech can keep a watchful eye on marketing compliance in real-time as long as they are a part of a standardized workflow.

Train Staff to be Compliant
Marketing workflows can also be used to provide compliance training to employees by incorporating compliance-related tasks so employees understand and follow them. So, by incorporating marketing compliance into the workflow, you’re training staff on regulatory requirements at the same time. This is sounding very meta.

Reduce Risk 
Risk management are two words that’ll make your heart race with either fear or excitement! A marketing workflow bakes in necessary, (and frankly unavoidable), checks and approvals giving you more confidence marketing compliance is being met.

Campaign Approval w Image Screen 2023 815x380

Image: Marketing Compliance Audit Trails

Automate as much as you can

Automating your creative development and approval workflows saves an immense amount of time and frees your team up to do what they do best. It is the key to simplifying marketing complianceAutomating comms can be achieved in several ways:

Disclaimer engines
IntelligenceBank software offers advanced automation tools that populate legal disclaimers in your advertising materials based on predefined rules and conditions. This means if you use certain key words and phrases or select various products or territory combinations, the software with automatically include the correct content either directly into the ad or the brief.

Creative Templates
Templating simply requires your creative team to design templates for ads that include legal disclaimers in the appropriate places. Then, when you’re creating new advertisements, you can use these templates as a starting point. This helps ensure that your legal disclaimers are consistent across all of your advertisements. It also help retain brand integrity as and ramps up efficiency. See how IntelligenceBank’s client Tabcorp saved an FTE salary and turbo charged their creative process from 7 days to 20 minutes.

Workflow Automation
By automating your entire marketing workflow from brief to launch, the incorporation of marketing compliance disclaimers and other mandatories simply becomes a part of the process rather than its own separate beast.

Artificial Intelligence
We can’t talk about automating communications without mentioning artificial intelligence. AI-based systems can be trained to recognize the need for legal disclaimers in ads. For example, if an ad is promoting a financial product, the AI system can automatically include the necessary disclaimer.


We can’t help but insert our own disclaimer here. It’s important to note that legal compliance is a complex and constantly changing area, and while automation can help enormously, it’s not a substitute for seeking initial legal advice and review. 

With the increase in content and speed at which it goes live, it is impossible for teams in highly regulated industries such as Health and Finance to stay on top of compliance without it being built into their day-to-day marketing operations. IntelligenceBank has a suite of fully customizable solutions that does just that.  Hit us up for a live demo to see how we can help your team.