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Episode 42: Sneak Peek of the 2024 State of Marketing Compliance Report

COMPLY Podcast from PerformLine Sneak Peak of the 2024 State of Marketing Compliance Report

Each year, PerformLine conducts a survey of marketing compliance professionals throughout the consumer finance industry to provide insights into the current state of marketing compliance in various organizations, their challenges, and future expectations. It aims to help organizations benchmark their compliance practices and identify areas for improvement.

In this sneak peek, Gianna Kennedy, Content Marketing Manger of PerformLine and author of the State of Marketing Compliance Report, and I discuss:

  • Key data points and takeaways from the report
  • The most consistent and inconsistent data points year over year
  • Insights on how marketing and compliance teams are collaborating

Show Notes:

Subscribe to COMPLY: The Marketing Compliance Podcast

About COMPLY: The Marketing Compliance Podcast

The state of marketing compliance and regulation is evolving faster than ever, especially for those in the consumer finance space. On the COMPLY Podcast, we sit down with the biggest names in marketing, compliance, regulations, and innovation as they share their playbooks to help you take your compliance practice to the next level. 

Episode Transcript:

Rhonda:
Hey there, COMPLY podcast listeners, and welcome to this week’s episode. This week, I sat down with our content manager here at PerformLine, Gianna Kennedy, to discuss the third annual release of PerformLine’s State of Marketing Compliance Report. This report takes a deep dive into data we collected in Q4 of 2023 from compliance professionals across a wide variety of industries with regards to their takes on marketing compliance practices, concerns, and challenges. In today’s podcast, Gianna and I will discuss key takeaways from the report, the most consistent and inconsistent data point year-over-year, a few insights on how marketing and compliance teams are collaborating.

So grab a cup of joe and enjoy the show! And thanks for listening!

Rhonda:
Hey there, COMPLY Podcast listeners, and welcome to this week’s episode. This week, I am joined by our content marketing manager, Gianna Kennedy, who has just wrapped up our third annual State of Marketing Compliance Report. This is our third annual release of this report, which dives into data that we collected in Q4 of 2023 when we surveyed compliance professionals across a wide variety of industries on their marketing compliance practices, concerns, and challenges.

So today, Gianna is going to give us a sneak peek into the report and share a few key takeaways for what’s going on in the financial services space. Gianna, thank you so much for joining us today, and welcome to the podcast. And this is our first time podcasting together, isn’t it? 

Gianna:
This is our first time podcasting together. I am super excited to be here. 

Rhonda:
Awesome, awesome. So yeah, tell us a little bit about yourself and give us a little bit of an overview. 

Gianna:
Sure. So, I have been a guest on our podcast a couple of times, but for all of our new listeners, I’m Gianna, the content marketing manager here at PerformLine. In my role, I am responsible for PerformLine’s content initiatives, from strategy to writing to optimization, you name it. So, like Rhonda already mentioned, our latest content piece that we are publishing next week is the 2024 State of Marketing Compliance Report.

So, for this, we surveyed compliance and marketing professionals across a wide variety of industries in Q4 of 2023 on their marketing compliance practices, concerns, and challenges. Then we spent the last two months organizing and analyzing the data and putting it all into this one big comprehensive report. So we first launched this report all the way back in 2022, so this is already the third edition, which is crazy, but it’s really great because we could take a good look at some trends year-over-year and really see how things have been changing in the industry.

Rhonda:
It is crazy that this is the third time that we have done this. So yes, congratulations on three successful years of this. So, Gianna, you don’t give yourself enough credit. So I’m going to do that for you. So, Gianna, you are the brains behind much of the content that’s written here at PerformLine.

You have developed one of the best, most amazing content libraries. And most of our clients and even our internal folks we depend a lot on the content that you bring. So thank you, kudos to you, and thank you so much for everything that you do here at PerformLine. So, with that said, let’s dive further into the State of Marketing Compliance Report. What are some of the key insights that everyone listening is going to to want to gain from reading this report?

Gianna:
Yeah, so this is our most comprehensive report yet. We added a bunch of new questions this year compared to previous years, so there is a lot of information in this report. So, I kind of just picked out a few of the top takeaways that I thought were most important to mention today.

So, first is probably a surprise to no one; manual processes and resource constraints are the top marketing compliance challenges that teams are facing this year. This is fairly consistent year-over-year, but I think a lot of companies are really feeling those challenges now, especially given all that’s happened in 2023 in the industry. Secondly, despite those challenges, only 43% of organizations lack compliance monitoring on at least one channel that they are using for marketing. Objectively, 43% is still a sizable price, but that number is actually down from 58% in 2023 and then 59% in 2022. So, it seems that more companies are embracing an omni-channel approach to compliance monitoring, which is really great to see. 

Rhonda:
Absolutely. 

Gianna:
Third, the demand for compliance technology is rising as companies are trying to do more with less. We asked our survey respondents what resources would be the most helpful to them to address their biggest challenges, and the number one answer was automated compliance review and approval software and compliance monitoring technology. And for those respondents who reported that they expect their compliance budgets to increase this year, 39% of them said that they are planning on spending it on compliance technology.

Rhonda:
Nice.

Gianna:
And then, lastly, we always ask what regulatory hot topics are top of mind for organizations going into the new year. And so for 2024, again, I think this comes as no surprise; UDAAP, fair lending, and third-party risk management are top concerns. So I don’t want to give too much of the report away, but like I said, these were kind of the top takeaways that I really wanted to call out today.

Rhonda:
So not giving a lot away, but you sure did share a lot. So wow, that is some very interesting data. And it seems like every year UDAAP, fair lending always seem to come to the surface as some of the things that folks are really trying to stay on top of and making sure that they are aware of what’s happening in that space. So now that you have had more of that year-over-year data, what would you say is one of the most consistent facts that you’ve observed that year-over-year look-back?

Gianna:
Yeah. So I did mention this already, but like I said, the most consistent data point year-over-year are just the top marketing compliance challenges. So, every single year, things like resource constraints, manual processes, comprehensive oversight are top challenges that these teams are facing. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. There are not enough hands on deck to handle all of these different compliance obligations, especially when you are relying on these manual processes.

Rhonda:
Yeah, and I hear that a lot as I talk to many of our clients and a lot of folks when I’m out in conferences and everything else. So definitely true to the trend. So that’s consistent, not surprising. But what was the most surprising fact that you found year-over-year?

Gianna:
So, I wouldn’t say this is necessarily surprising because we have seen this a lot over the past year. But the most prevalent change, I guess I would say, was around compliance team sizes. But these compliance teams are continuously getting smaller and smaller. For reference, back in 2022, 62% reported having a small compliance team of five people or fewer. In 2023, that increased to 74%, and now for 2024, 88% of respondents have a team of five or less. So that’s a pretty significant increase in two, three years.

So, I’m not an expert here. I have not, you know, I don’t claim to be, but I did dig a little to see kind of why that is. I think the more obvious reason is, again, just the state of the economy and the market. We, unfortunately, saw a lot of layoffs in the industry last year just across the board. But on the flip side, it could also point to a lot of these companies kind of prioritizing efficiency and relying more on technology and the streamlined processes so that they can do more with less, as we say. But either way, I will say that 76% of respondents said that they expect their team sizes to either stay the same or grow this year, which is a really positive sign.

Rhonda:
Well, that is a positive sign. And I do know that it’s very hard to do work with less, especially because we are now getting in a, you know, the economy has definitely marked some improvements. And we definitely, will hopefully see some changes in the interest rates in the coming months and everything, which means that marketing is going to get more aggressive. And as that happens, marketing compliance teams are going to be more important, more than ever. And definitely, having that technology to do that discovery is going to be so critical. So let’s pivot; now that I’ve said that let’s go with one of my favorite topics, and that is marketing and compliance teams. What are some takeaways from the data that you have been reviewing about those?

Gianna:
Yeah, so kind of for the first time with this report this year, we took a really deep dive into responses from compliance professionals compared to the marketers. You hear a lot that these teams, they butt heads. It’s kind of a classic tale of compliance is ruining my creativity, and then marketing is putting out stuff that’s like way too risky. So, we really wanted to see just how each of these groups felt about marketing compliance. We’ll be publishing a whole article that goes a lot more in-depth on these findings, but kind of at a high level, we found that despite a lot of training, both marketers and compliance professionals have moderate to lower confidence in their compliance programs. Only a third of respondents said that they have a high confidence in their programs. Sure, a lot of this has to do with the tedious compliance review and approval processes, which a lot of them agreed are creating slowdowns and bottlenecks for both teams.

So again, no surprise here; we have been hearing it a bunch. But both groups do agree that compliance technology can help address these challenges and really streamline that compliance process to make it much easier and enjoyable for everybody. So, like I said, we will be publishing more in-depth content on all of that, but it was really interesting to look into, especially just as a marketer myself.

Rhonda:
Yeah, no, it’s great to hear that they are connecting and they’re having those conversations and we have seen some success stories of how marketing and compliance teams work well here, work together. So that’s encouraging, and I’m glad to hear that technology is helping to create some efficiencies, and hopefully more and more will start to utilize those.

So Gianna, I just want to thank you so much for joining me here today, and in closing, I wanted to just turn the floor over to you so that you could share with our listeners any last tidbits of information that you would like to share with them. So, with that said, I’ll give you the floor. And again, thanks for joining us today. 

Gianna:
Yeah, thanks so much for having me. It’s always fun being on this side of the podcast instead of behind the scenes.

Rhonda:
Absolutely.

Gianna:
But, you know, I could talk about the data from this report all day, but to really dig more into the why behind these numbers, we will be hosting a webinar later this month that Rhonda will actually be moderating for us, with regulatory and compliance experts in the industry. So we’ll cover an overview of the data from the report and kind of the current landscape. We’ll take a deep dive into the regulatory hot topics of concerns that I mentioned, so UDAAP, fair lending, and third-party risk management. And then, we’ll talk more about how companies can achieve efficiency and overall more confidence through compliance technology. So registration for that event will open soon, so everybody keep an eye out for that.

And then lastly, I’ll just mention that we are always open to feedback on our content and on our reports. So, if anybody listening in has any questions, comments, or additional insights that maybe they’d like to see in future editions of the report, we would love to hear from you. You can connect with us on LinkedIn, you can shoot us an email; however you want to reach us, we are all ears.

Rhonda:
Well, thanks again, Gianna. And I’m already looking forward to the release of this 2023 report, but I’m looking forward to the collection of data for 2024. And I will encourage everyone that’s in marketing compliance to be on the lookout in Q4 and be sure to give us your survey information so that we can continue to bring this most important information to the marketing and compliance community. Thanks again for joining us today.

Gianna:
Yeah, thanks, Rhonda!

Rhonda:
Thanks for listening to this episode of the COMPLY Podcast!

As mentioned, keep an eye out for the release of the State of Marketing Compliance Report and for registration for our upcoming webinar. I will also include a link so that you can connect with Gianna or myself on LinkedIn!

As always, for the latest content on all things marketing compliance, you can head to content.performline.com. And for the most up-to-date pieces of industry news, events, and content, be sure to follow PerformLine on LinkedIn. Thanks again for listening, and we’ll see you next time!

author avatar
Rhonda McGill Senior Director of Client Success
Rhonda is the Senior Director of Client Success at PerformLine.

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