Every department in an organization is a potential source of risk that compliance professionals need to understand, measure, and prepare for. Sales and finance departments need to know the regulatory compliance basics and warning signs of bribery, corruption, money laundering, and fraud. IT teams prepare for cybersecurity, phishing, hacking, and other technology-driven risks, and the regulatory and reputational implications of them, on a daily basis.
In today's fast-paced, increasingly digital, collaborative, interactive, and social media-driven business landscape, the role of marketing, and the people on that team responsible for campaigns, content, and messaging designed to generate more awareness and business opportunities, are one of the most constant and growing risks of all.
GDPR violations, social media fails that cause reputational damage and FTC fines, website oversights that neglect to factor in key disclaimers or regulatory rules, and the need to properly archive and preserve all of that activity can be a challenge for both marketers and the compliance teams responsible for reviewing and approving their activity. The most creative marketers can be the biggest headache for legal and compliance teams because, without the proper checks and balances in place, their creativity can be a liability.
All of these risks are magnified when compliance is siloed from key functions, decisions, and business processes across these departments, lacking the transparency and collaboration that would make them considerably more effective. But while it's true that marketing teams, when left to their own devices and without the proper controls in place, can create problems and regulatory risks for compliance professionals, it's also true that compliance professionals can learn how to become more effective from their marketing peers. Marketers are constantly innovating how they capture attention and tell stories, leveraging data and technology to make smarter decisions, and rethinking how they achieve and measure their goals.
For compliance professionals, whether they're struggling to measure program effectiveness or hoping to improve how they build and deliver training content to their internal peers, tapping into the strengths of a marketing team can help address some of the pain points in their own department.
In this post, we'll take a look at 3 interactive marketing campaigns, from Betterment, Tangerine Bank, and Lemonade Insurance, consider why they're effective, explore what potential compliance risks could stem from them if not managed correctly, and identify what lessons a compliance officer can apply from them to their own responsibilities.
BETTERMENT "OUTSMART AVERAGE"
In 2018, Betterment launched a new marketing campaign across its website and social media channels featuring Maggie Siff, an actress best known for her role as Wendy Rhoades on Billions. On the show, she serves as an “in-house performance coach” and therapist for traders and investors at Axe Capital, a fictional and very successful hedge fund. In the ads, Siff taps into her TV character and speaks to the human, emotional desire for any investor to be better than average.
The effectiveness of the campaign’s message and it’s perfectly cast spokeswoman is amplified by the experience of Betterment’s website, which invites you to interact with Siff, and then, with the range of interactive financial advisement tools that Betterment offers.
The first thing you see, and the first thing you're invited to do, is to watch an immersive "Hello, Investor" video (shown above) that takes over the full screen of the page. From there, you can continue watching more videos, or go down a number of paths that eventually land you in an interactive, personalized experience that curates different investment vehicles for each visitor based on their age, income, investment goals, and risk appetite.
Why Betterment's "Outsmart Average" is a good marketing campaign
Interactive investment and retirement calculators aren't a new digital marketing tool. While once unique, they've become somewhat of a web standard for financial services companies, and today you can find them on the websites of Betterment's more traditional or established competition, like Fidelity, Edward Jones, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, and Ally, just to name a few.
What makes Betterment's campaign so good is the messaging, medium and spokesperson they chose, and the experience those three pieces create. It's video-centric, and that video features an instantly recognizable character who isn't just "famous" but also most frequently associated with a high-performing financial services firm. By creating that emotional connection, their campaign gets more weight and credibility, capturing the attention of their intended audience before it slips away.
The interactive calculator that the video campaign drives traffic to is quick, doesn't ask too many questions, and provides some level of information and "results" without the need to give over much information, creating a frictionless transition for each user meant to resemble how easy it is to work with Betterment.
Why Betterment's "Outsmart Average" marketing campaign is a potential compliance risk
Any personalized online experience coming from a financial services company creates risks around compliance with SEC and FINRA regulations around web activity, from the disclaimers you have to use, the tone and nature of the message itself, and the ability to archive and capture the web pages that comprise the experience. This campaign is no exception.
The video at the heart of the campaign isn't embedded in the homepage, but rather, opens up and lays over the screen once you click. The investment vehicles that Betterment provides as options are curated based on variable information such as age and income, and each vehicle offered has a different ratio of diversified investments based on that information, assuring that virtually no two individuals will have the same experience on their website. To comply with SEC Rule 17a-4, for example, Betterment's web archiving solution will need to produce, maintain, and preserve records of this campaign that can match its dynamic and interactive nature, which would be virtually impossible with a PDF.
What compliance officers can learn from Betterment's "Outsmart Average" marketing campaign
At the heart of Betterment's campaign are two components often missing from many compliance training programs, but becoming more prevalent among modern Chief Compliance Officers; strong branding and personalization. The "Outsmart Average" slogan and recognizable character at the heart of the campaign make it memorable and resonant with its audience, and the personalization of the interactive calculator treats each prospective customer as the unique individual they are.
For compliance officers, adding an element of branding to their training program can help it stand out, and personalizing the experience for each employee can ensure the training they receive is relevant to who they are and what they do.
TANGERINE BANK'S "GREAT INVESTMENT VOYAGE"
Tangerine Bank, originally launched in Canada as ING Direct in 1997, today touts itself as "a simplified, innovative and safe approach to your everyday banking." In the spirit of that brand promise, their marketing team has innovated how they educate potential customers in simple, engaging ways through a series of content created with Ceros in 2018. Ranging from an interactive eBook, quizzes about credit score basics and how to spend your annual bonus, and other unique content on their blog, Tangerine Bank is taking a modern spin on some classic forms of marketing to reach their audience.
Most notable is their "Great Investment Voyage" interactive eBook.
Why Tangerine's "Great Investment Voyage" is a good marketing campaign
Every brand uses content and education to build relationships with their target audience and generate more business opportunities. Instead of relying solely on written blog content, or static PDF documents full of text, Tangerine's marketing team seems to have leaned into the interactive nature of today's online environment to differentiate not just what they say, but how they can say it.
By using a variety of different media types, including expand and collapse text, animated text and graphics, video, and audio, the "Great Investment Voyage" keeps their audience interested, focused, and informed. By breaking up that content into different chapters and small, bite-sized pages that progress along as you click and scroll, they're building basic social media and mobile behavior and design into their content, making a long, information-rich piece of marketing more digestible.
Why Tangerine's "Great Investment Voyage" is a potential compliance risk
The "Great Investment Voyage" campaign lives on Tangerine's website, but that isn't the only place it can be discovered and consumed online, and the original source of this interactive experience doesn't include the disclaimers and legal language present on the website itself. Additionally, due to the interactive nature of the eBook, and the variety of media present throughout the experience, it's impossible to capture and preserve an archive of this content in its native format with a PDF. Each page in the clickable experience contains a fraction of the total information in the asset, and each page clicks through to different pages on their website, blog, and third party video/audio hosting providers too.
Finally, the audio content in the page contains investment guidance and advice without disclosing who the individual is that speaks, what their credentials or qualifications may be, and any disclaimer around the information they are sharing.
What compliance officers can learn from Tangerine's "Great Investment Voyage" marketing campaign
Compliance officers are responsible for educating their colleagues on the different risks relevant to their business roles through online and offline training each year, but often times, those experiences are text-heavy and time-consuming.
If there's one lesson a compliance officer can learn from Tangerine Bank, it's to diversify the types of media you use to educate your colleagues, and make it more interactive so people cannot passively consume the information and ignore key lessons that could impact their overall exposure to risk. You'll also notice Tangerine's use of iconography throughout the experience to create visual touchstones associated with key information, which the compliance experts at Broadcat have researched the benefits of in great detail.
LEMONADE INSURANCE'S INSTAGRAM STORY + CHATBOT
Lemonade is an insurance startup tapping into the power of behavioral economics, psychology, and artificial intelligence to speed up the claims process and disrupt their traditional competition. To connect with their target audience of millennials and create an interactive, conversational experience to acquire and learn about their potential customers, Lemonade is leveraging promoted Instagram Stories and a friendly chatbot named Maya, who will provide a customized insurance quote via email upon the completion of a form (in disguise as a conversation).
Why Lemonade's promoted Instagram Stories and chatbot are a good marketing campaign
In 2018, Instagram continued to grow more popular, becoming the second most frequently used social media network (behind Facebook), but more notably, the most effective for brands, brand engagement, and brand advertising. Lemonade's promoted Instagram Stories are the best social network for them to reach their audience in a meaningful way, and the quick, full-screen, immersive nature of the video is designed specifically for the vertical-video based platform. Maya, Lemonade's AI-powered chatbot, replaces the traditional form with a friendly, inviting way to collect information about potential customers, tapping into one of the top trends for 2019; conversational marketing.
Why Lemonade's promoted Instagram Stories and chatbot marketing campaign are potential compliance risks
Without thinking twice about it, I disclosed 7 pieces of personally identifiable information to Lemonade, including my name, address, relationship status, whether or not I live alone, if I have any alarms or security in my home, and if I possess valuable assets.
This raises two potential red flags:
1. This database of information could be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands, giving criminals a blueprint of who to rob, how to rob them, and where their most lucrative targets may be in a given city. How is that data being protected?
2. The option to actually sign up for Lemonade's services and learn more about my quote (pictured above) comes after I already provide all of that information to Maya - but if a potential customer chooses not to sign up, is that information still stored? If so, for how long? The opportunity to opt-in to their terms and receive a quote comes at the end of their chat-based experience, and because of how it's designed, it doesn't actually appear on the page where most of the information is disclosed, which could be an interesting GDPR use-case.
What a compliance officer can learn from Lemonade's promoted Instagram stories and chatbot marketing campaign
Compliance officers are constantly exploring new ways to improve the effectiveness of their hotline reporting and whistleblowing channels, as well as the accessibility of their Codes of Conduct, policies, and compliance training programs. In a recent Fast Company article, Convercent's CEO, Patrick Quinlan, shared details about how a new AI-powered ethics chatbot (pictured below) is starting to help compliance teams solve that very problem.
Whether or not every compliance program has the budget or resources to invest in chatbots and AI, there are still lessons to be learned from Lemonade. The conversational, friendly nature of the experience with Maya, created that way because of behavior economics research, can be applied to how their training and hotline reporting tools are designed and written to drive higher levels of participation. The Instagram ad, which essentially uses a short, targeted video to invite people to start a longer, more specific journey, could be explored as ways to onboard employees into their training or help preview what they're going to learn about.
Behind every great marketing campaign and social media post is hours of work, planning, and review. Compliance officers play a pivotal role in ensuring that marketers aren't doing anything that can potentially harm their organization from a regulatory and reputational perspective, but without transparency and collaboration across teams, it's always possible for a risk to slip through the cracks.
Hanzo Dynamic Archive enables marketers to do their best, most innovative work by removing regulatory roadblocks that historically stood in their way. Our unique, IT-friendly web archiving technology helps compliance teams capture, archive, and preserve web and social media content in their dynamic, interactive, and native format, giving compliance teams the peace of mind that marketing creativity won’t become an unexpected risk or liability.
If you're interested in learning more about the dynamic relationship between marketing and compliance, and the different digital and social media risks that exist in any online business, sign up to attend Hanzo's February 28th webinar on the topic.