Don't let compliance get in the way of creativity

| September 5 2018

The risk posture

Sitting at a hotel bar on a work jaunt, we struck up a conversation with a general counsel at a large aeronautics firm. After some basic pleasantries about what was on the television, talk turned to work.

“Businesses are by nature risk-averse,” he explained, “and that’s essentially what the legal function is. The risk posture needs to be reduced.”

We nodded.

“Recently I’ve actually been supporting sales and marketing at my firm,” he explained, “and sometimes there’s a challenge there.”


“Well, sales and marketing wants to be creative, and wants to make their number, whatever that number is, but oftentimes I have to tell them they can’t do something because it could inflate our risk posture.”

While we continue to nod in the interest of continued social interaction, this is where we started to internally disagree. See, compliance is crucial to an organization, as is risk posture. Not arguing either of those two facts. Companies often exist from a place of cost-reduction and risk-aversion, and that makes totally logical sense.

But -- and this is a sizeable but -- compliance should not have to get in the way of creativity.

Cover Your Risk Posture

You can define compliance-related software in numerous ways, but essentially what any compliance solution is doing is offering a CYA. (Or “CYB” if you prefer, or even “Cover Your Risk Posture.”) What the solution is saying is, in essence, “You can be creative -- as creative as you want! -- if you check the right boxes for anyone that might come calling.”

Sometimes, people will see these two concepts as diametrically-opposed -- if you’re checking boxes, are you really being creative? Well, in the modern business world, you have to do both things at once. 

Consider FINRA 10-06. Those regulations stipulate different types of correspondence, including:

Correspondence: Correspondence includes any written (including electronic) communication that is distributed or made available to 25 or fewer retail investors within any 30 calendar-day period.

Retail communication: Retail communication includes any written (including electronic) communication that is distributed or made available to more than 25 retail investors within any 30 calendar-day period. A “retail investor” includes any person other than an institutional investor, regardless of whether the person has an account with the firm. Communications that formerly qualified as advertisements and sales literature generally now fall under the definition of “retail communication.”

Paradox of Modern Business

You can design a completely creative campaign and reach thousands of investors. You just need to cover your -- well, you know -- when you do it. Creativity can thrive so long as the compliance box is ticked off.

But here’s the problem/paradox of modern business: even though we know compliance is essential, firms haven’t been hiring for compliance roles. The gap between “the compliance needs of the business” and “low-growth staffing” has created a lot of compliance-related work stress, to be honest.

If you’re not sure about your back-end protection for a campaign, how far out on a limb will you really go? Will you be creative, or just stick to what you know works and hasn’t gotten you in trouble in the past?

Right. That’s the issue. Concerns about potential punishment or fines often keep people in familiar lanes. In those ways, compliance and the need for effective risk posture can stifle creativity.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, and it shouldn’t be. What you need is a trusted partner to help manage the compliance side so that you can focus on the creative, campaign-driven side.

Say yes to marketing, in other words. Say yes to more sales.

What you want:

  • Automate capture frequency and source to be sure that your “business communication” is captured every day, week, or month, depending on your policies.
  • Capture dynamic content such as video, interactive ROI or scenario calculators, forms, and the metadata behind them.
  • Unveil complex customer journeys to capture personalized views of your online content.
  • Present your content in its native format to show compliance in even the most interactive scenarios.
  • Defend your captures with Hanzo’s legally defensible collection and preservation methods.

That’s where we help.

What other questions do you have about how to stay compliant while also remaining fabulously creative?



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