It may seem, on reading the title of this article, that we are being a little biased on this topic and to a certain extent you may be right, we are a specialist financial marketing consultancy. However, whether you see this as a direct promotion for our business or us just giving you valuable advice regardless of who you use for your marketing, the fact is having someone in place who understands the industry and the expectations of the FCA on creating and using financial promotions, is crucial to ensuring that you and your business are not put at risk.
The rules and regulations around what you can say, what you can’t say, inducements to get business, using online channels for promotion, how prominent (or not) the disclaimers have to be and where they appear to name just a few issues, are vast and take time to understand and implement properly.
In addition, firms have to maintain an effective auditing process to ensure that if challenged, they are able to show who the stakeholders were, where information came from, why information was changed, when it was changed and the sign-off process.
Considerations for Getting Marketing Support
Do they provide the expertise in the relevant areas such as digital marketing, social media, print etc. that you require for your communications?
Are they a specialist in producing financial communications?
Who have they worked with previously relevant to the industry?
What level of understanding do they have of FCA rules on financial promotions?
Do they understand and can they help you with compliance and/or the auditing and review process you require for your communications?
Internal Marketing Team
Do you have the appropriate marketing channel expertise (design, copywriting, research, digital, print etc) in place to deal with your promotions?
Will their previous experience aid you in delivering your marketing strategy?
Do they fully understand the financial promotion rules and how to adhere to them?
Can they, or have they implemented/worked with a successful auditing and review process to manage financial promotions?
External and Internal Support
What are the relevant skill sets you need in house to manage your marketing and financial promotions?
What will you need to outsource and what criteria will you use to select the relevant resources?
How will you manage your internal and external stakeholders to ensure there is no adverse risk to your business or your clients?
There are many variables in financial services marketing that can cause issues for your business because the industry is so heavily regulated. Firms can be heavily penalised for making unrealistic promises, not providing clear and fair information as well as misleading consumers into thinking they can get something that they cannot without taking a risk, however big or small.
Putting in place the right resources who understand the industry and the expectations of consumers as well as the regulator is key to ensuring that any risks to you and your business are kept to an absolute minimum.