Marketing regulations—and compliance with them—will be a challenging endeavor in 2017.
Change is going to be the norm as the new administration shapes the agenda. On top of that, increased activity by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Federal Trade Commission calls for a renewed focus on marketing compliance issues like deceptive advertising, consumer complaints, and omnichannel compliance.
So what should marketers expect in 2017? Here are the top three trends we see influencing marketers in this new year.
The Rise Of RegTech
Marketers will increase their demand for regulation technology in order to use compliance as a competitive advantage.
Complying with regulations is becoming increasingly complex, time consuming, and costly for marketing teams. The rise of regulatory technologies (RegTech) allows marketers using them to be more agile and faster in reacting to changing advertising regulations, to mine existing big data to unlock new uses, and to do all of these things while reducing the cost of compliance.
According to Deloitte, the key difference between “traditional solutions versus the RegTech era solutions is simple—agility.” Data about a company’s communications channels can be gathered in high volumes and organized to provide insights to marketing and compliance teams, allowing them to evaluate compliance and resolve issues faster than ever before. With this big opportunity knocking, RegTech companies will continue innovating and pushing out solutions that today’s businesses demand.
Consumer Complaints Will Drive More Investigations
The CFPB has been active in carrying out lawsuits and enforcement actions against companies for deceptive marketing tactics. This federal regulatory agency will continue to take a close look at companies that receive large numbers of consumer complaints in their databases.
At PerformLine, our data analytics team found that there are consumer complaint risk thresholds in the CFPB Consumer Complaint Database that signal a company’s increased probability of getting fined. When a company incurs more than 2,000 consumer complaints, the probability of being fined by the CFPB jumps to 50%. It’s important for companies to proactively address potential customer issues before they result in complaints.
The CFPB also notes whether or not a company responds to consumer complaints in a timely manner (in 15 days or less). Of the companies that failed to respond to 100 or more complaints in a timely manner, there was over a 40% probability that company would become the subject of a CFPB enforcement action.
Companies need to address potential consumer issues and respond to consumer complaints before they raise a red flag to regulators.
Omnichannel Compliance Monitoring
Research shows that the omnichannel customer center—one that delivers a personalized, seamless customer experience across multiple channels (including voice, chat, and web) and devices—is and will continue to be a crucial element of customer service and retention.
Companies with a strong omnichannel strategy retain 89% of their customers, according to the Aberdeen Group, whereas companies with a weak strategy retain only 33% of their customers.
PwC predicts that an optimal omnichannel customer experience will become ever more important over the next several years, based on “the reality that brands need to perfectly execute on customer requests.” To deliver that all-star customer experience, companies will need to monitor every one of their customer engagement channels for compliance with brand and regulatory guidelines.
As marketing technology continues to develop at lightning speed and federal agencies ramp up their regulatory activity, marketers need to stay at the forefront of these trends. Agility will be key in 2017, and knowing where to focus your attention compliance-wise will keep you ahead of the pack.