It’s no secret that developing strong cross-functional partnerships across teams drives greater alignment and better business results. But recognizing that fact and actually bringing it to life are two vastly different things. Nowhere is this sentiment more relevant in financial services than between marketing teams and compliance teams. The push and pull of the often opposing dynamics of these two teams can at times bring programs to a halt— limiting opportunities for your field teams and slowing momentum in the market.
Not only does the upside of a strong partnership help accelerate business results, but the risks of a weak partnership can be downright detrimental. Advisors going rogue on social media and the virality of potentially harmful content can tarnish a firm's reputation, and be difficult to recover from.
Total program collaboration between marketing and compliance is the key to success. Jointly creating a policy that is beneficial for both marketing and compliance lays the foundation for a client engagement program that’s useful and flexible for the field.
How can you get started? Let’s break it down.
- Communication is key; overcommunication is even better. As you get started building team connections, err on heavy meeting cadences in order to ensure objectives are aligned at each step, find common ground across each department, and build empathy with your business partners. And don’t forget the fun stuff! Social activities can help extend relationships beyond OKRs into a trusted partnership.
- Don’t stray from difficult and potentially contentious topics. Healthy, constructive conflict drives business forward, and often ahead of the competition. This Forbes article shares why: “In many ways functional conflict is the team’s bridge from fake cohesion to true relationship building.”
- Employ creativity to tackle compliance challenges jointly. Brainstorm with compliance and supervision partners to find ways to work around potential roadblocks. For example, when one organization wanted to use Facebook events (which can’t be captured or retained), the joint team came up with an alternate plan to use custom social posts that link back to the event information on the advisor’s website, as opposed to the Facebook events module. This creative approach achieved both team’s objectives and progressed the program forward.
- Marketing should also bring Compliance into the fold as they develop onboarding content, videos, and modules that help the field understand how regulatory restrictions may impact approval of certain content posts. Layering in compliance guardrails from the start to help the field understand the “why” can ingrain appropriate behaviors, thereby making supervision more efficient.
Beyond partnering on narrow, channel-specific programs, it’s important to share broader, strategic plans and visions across both teams early and often. Providing visibility into the marketing team’s objectives and key results can expand the compliance team’s line of sight into digital programs that could drive significant business opportunities, while mitigating risks far in advance to keep timelines on track.
This level of alignment across cross-functional business partners doesn’t happen overnight. But investing early in this partnership can reap a massive payoff in the end. Organizations that strike the right balance between compliance obligations and marketing desires can more effectively advance organizational objectives to capture market momentum.