Regain efficiency with this financial promotions approval checklist
October 09, 2020 • 5 min read
It might sound obvious, but marketing campaigns are usually most appreciated by other marketers.
This is because a huge amount of work goes into all marketing campaigns, and often only other marketing teams fully realise this. From the research and planning stage, right up to sign-off and execution, even the simplest campaign can likely take weeks, if not months, of work.
Unfortunately, the marketing journey is only getting harder, according to recent data from Ziflow.
On average 60% of marketers will be handling four or more projects in a week with 33% overseeing six or more projects at the same time! This will ring true for a lot of marketing teams that are overworked and handling numerous projects simultaneously (juggling both long-term campaigns and short-term, more reactive initiatives).
Marketing teams are usually pulled in different directions and over half (53%) don’t have a consistent process in place. Unfortunately, these kinds of processes take time and attention to implement, let alone get used to.
Therefore, it’s no surprise that marketing teams are often too busy to see to this...
A lack of process
Often, the process of marketing content being passed to compliance for approval can become repeatedly interrupted when multiple stakeholders are sought for their input, directions of the brief change and (as we’ll come to) compliance changes need to be made.
Any log of this process can quickly lead to a spreadsheet full of conflicting and constantly updating information (as to who changed what, when and why).
Overall, this can damage a marketing team' long-term focus.
"75% of marketers admit they prioritise short-term tactical needs over long-term priorities"
For marketing teams in regulated industries, such as financial services, a big part of the process comes down to compliance. Creating financial promotions that meet this criteria is one thing, but ensuring approval doesn’t hold up the overall process can be extremely difficult. Due to the sheer amount of regulations in place today, compliance teams are also extremely busy and being pulled in different directions.
Countless marketing teams have had to wait for their compliance dept’s schedule to free up so they could run something past them. And if changes are needed, this can unfortunately lead to delays...
How can this be improved?
To help, we'd like to go over a recent tool we made available to marketing teams throughout financial services. This checklist was designed to provide a template for marketing teams when it came to financial promotions.
In four steps, this checklist has been created as a handy guide to help marketing teams ensure they are not missing any small - yet important - requirements when creating content.
This could make the difference between stress-free completion of a job and costly compliance rechecks and edits!
Step 1: The creation process
The content of financial promotions has to meet certain requirements in the eyes of the regulators, aimed at ensuring consumers have all the information they need and are not being misled in their decisions.
Step 2: The ownership of a financial promotion
A stated owner for each financial promotion needs to be decided upon and recorded (usually determined by the type of promotion involved). This is important from both an accountability perspective and for the benefit of future audits.
Therefore, in this process ask yourself if:
Step 3: Approval sign off
It’s likely you’ll already have a designated ‘financial promotions approved person’ within the business.
It will be their responsibility to sign off all this content and it could be wise to rope in the firm’s legal team at times with particularly sensitive promotions.
Your firm’s designated ‘financial promotions approved person’ will already know what to review, but you can save valuable time by proofing it yourself first from a compliance perspective. Here are some things to consider:
Step 4: Post-issue review
Once you’ve ticked all the boxes and the financial promotion has been approved and published, it’s important to implement a post-issue review. This isn’t just about good business practice...
You need to proactively manage the duration and withdrawal of financial promotions to ensure they remain current and are still required by the business.
This helps you to comply with two of the FCA’s key tenets – that you are treating customers fairly and that your promotions are fair, clear and not misleading. If a promotion does not meet these criteria, it will need to be withdrawn. Therefore, make sure to:
We hope this four step approval process helps you build more efficiency across marketing and compliance teams.