Digital marketing has dramatically changed the marketing landscape. We now live in an era with significant new ways to effectively reach customers.

However, the increased numbers of channels created by digital technology has the ability to create more time for the user and complicate the approval process if not managed properly.

In highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, telecommunications, consumer products and financial services, the challenge of managing these additional demands of compliance is even harder.

The consumer is now in control
Digital marketing represents more than a shift in technology and delivery systems. It is also a realignment in how your message reaches your customer. Yesterday’s passive target audience is now active, engaged and in control of what marketing impressions reach them.

Since marketers can no longer rely on a message driven by traditional mass media, it is essential that compliance approvals are achieved at every opportunity.

The challenges of assuring compliance
Marketing content is repurposed across all of the various platforms necessary for successful digital marketing and although the number of marketing channels has multiplied, the time available for reviews and approvals has not.

With the new content requiring approval for digital channels, an organisation’s compliance department can face the following challenges:

– Increased cost:  Websites consume increasing amounts of time and money as agencies need to constantly update them.

– Risk of inconsistent messages:  With digital content often being produced by different teams, it can be a struggle to collect all marketing materials to be reviewed together. Instead, reviews can happen at different times, letting inconsistencies creep into what should be a consistent, unified message.

– Missing the deadline: Delays in approving digital content can add up to last-minute deadlines and significant late charges. This can lead to increased costs and can impact marketing budgets down the road.

– Balancing demands: the requirements of compliance do not always merge with digital marketing. For example, a lengthy disclaimer that works for a print ad cannot simply be used in a web banner or Twitter feed. The more coordination and transparency between marketing and compliance, the more efficient the production process becomes.

The solution: Get integrated and get automated
By automating the review process, today’s most successful digital marketers have implemented approval systems that deliver on the following outcomes:

– Defined areas of approval: Clearly identifying the people and processes needed to review content for each channel empowers team members to recognise the importance of their roles and aids in accountability for project completion.

– Efficient review of website content: Reviewers can find it difficult to understand how content is related and connected on websites. Using a site tree for navigation when evaluating website content often aids in the approval process.

– Centralised assets for review: When all members of the approval cycle have access to both traditional and digital content, materials can be easily reviewed to assure compliance and consistency.

– Centralised review process: Every constituent has access to where projects are in the approval process and they can view comments that might impact concurrent or upcoming content.

– Visibility of resources: The more knowledge the compliance team have of what needs to be reviewed the better their understanding where approvals may be delayed and what they can do to help fix these delays.

When digital compliance is properly managed marketers will be able to cut down on time spent during the approval process, which will reduce or eliminate agency fees. Managing the digital compliance process will also allow all marketing content to be viewed during  each stage of the review process, ensuring consistent messaging across all channels and an improvement in the overall  marketing process.

Digital Marketing has transformed how marketing content is produced and approved. By integrating and automating the review process, new challenges involved in satisfying the needs of compliance can be overcome.


Lisa Arthur
BY Lisa Arthur ON 5 November 2011
Lisa Arthur serves as Aprimo’s chief marketing officer driving global market and brand strategy, solutions and product marketing, demand generation and customer-centric initiatives.