Content has become an increasingly popular tool for financial service brands to market themselves. With consumers digesting more online information than ever and organisations producing more content day-to-day, the risks associated to non-compliance are on the rise.
The success of this content-led approach is driving more financial services brands to create their own content and 74% of these companies expect to increase their in-house content creation going forward (with 61% of the industry already doing this), according to the fifth 'State of Play' report from Editions Financial's annual survey of global financial services marketers.
However, while this gives brands a fantastic opportunity to speak directly with their target demographics, there are risks with this.
"61% of content is currently created in-house and 74% of organisations expect to increase in-house capabilities in the future" - State of Play Report, Editions Financial
Regulated firms already have to contend with strict rules around financial promotions and the way these financial instruments are marketed to the wider public. Following numerous high profile scandals linked to mis-selling, the FCA will be watching out for firms that may be ignoring their duties and marketing irresponsibly.
This was evident last year when the FCA penned a letter to CEOs of regulated firms reminding them of their responsibilities in the use of financial promotions:
We’ve written before on the difficulty of marketing compliantly, especially when it comes to delivering personalisation (download our free guide on compliant marketing personalisation to learn more...) and this challenge isn’t going away.
Balancing creativity with compliance
To create content in-house, many financial services brands are bringing on board professional writers and dedicated marketing staff. A lot of these people will be highly skilled at what they do and understand their market and subject matter perfectly.
The risk comes when writers lack the knowledge and understanding of the subject matter they’re writing about, especially when content needs to be created to be compliant with financial promotions regulations.
"The cross-sector 2018 Digital Trends report found that organisations that are bringing content creation in-house are more likely to have exceeded their top 2017 business goal by a significant margin" - 2018 Digital Trends in Financial Services, Adobe
For example, a skilled writer could probably write a high quality blog on UK equities with ease. However, could they do it in a way that is clear, fair and not misleading?
We're alluding to FCA COBS 4.2.1 which states that a communication or financial promotion must be fair, clear and not misleading. An understanding of what constitutes a compliant or non-compliant communication requires a certain level of understanding, without this and the right approval and record-keeping processes in place could potentially leave firms at risk.
When it comes to financial services promotions, the regulatory risks are real and so making this content both entertaining, insightful, yet compliant is a challenge that leaves little room for error.
"Nearly half of millennials (46%) said their bank does not sending marketing materials that are relevant to a future financial brand" - The Financial Brand
For the record...
Financial services brands that own their future will also demonstrate ownership and accountability of their digital presence.
Capturing and records of digital communications is a big component of this, along with the ability to audit and approve financial promotions. For example, how will you as a firm ensure website promotions and social media posts are managed from a compliance and regulatory perspective?
This is why so many regulated firms are using web archiving to create thorough records of their entire digital estate. Created with innovative software that 'crawls' entire websites, these archives are:
- 100% accurate
- Record dynamic data
- Fully interactive
- Legally admissible
- Designed with compliance and digital preservation in mind
Achieving the compliant gold standard in marketing
The opportunities that in-house content creation affords for regulated firms are immense. If done correctly, firms will communicate to thousands of new customers, strengthen their brand proposition and potentially improve the public’s perception and knowledge of financial services.
However, the challenge of this is significant which is why we have created the Ultimate Guide to Compliant Marketing in Financial Services.
This guide is filled with expert insight from some of the leading marketing teams in the industry, offering practical advice and actionable tips that cover topics such as:
-Social media policies
-Internal approval processes
This guide is free to download so grab your copy now below!