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Everyone knows that Legal should be focused on things that are high risk, high value and generate a competitive advantage. But what happens to the other stuff?
In many instances, Marketing is the interface between the business and its largest stakeholder group: customers. The campaigns they produce are designed to be seen by massive volumes of people and can generate huge amounts of revenue, but this makes Marketing a risk with a seriously long tail.
Innovative campaigns will stand out from the crowd, but making a false or misleading claim or breaking consumer law will lead to a hefty fine, not to mention potentially irreversible damage to your brand’s reputation.
Marketers aren’t experts in compliance law, and while they would never intend to, it would only be a matter of time before they overlooked a key compliance detail if left to their own devices.
For the most part, Marketing gets it right. Afterall, they know the company and the brand like the backs of their hands. They probably wrote the company’s Communications Guide!
Marketing work will be air-tight almost all of the time. It’s the rare occasions, however, where Legal review of marketing collateral will pick up on a major risk, catching the smoking gun well before it becomes a train wreck.
No one wants to put the business at risk, so legal review makes sense. The trouble is that it’s arduous, administrative work, and often in high volumes. Legal functions are not exclusively managing risks for Marketing - they need to effectively split their time between Legal support requests from all areas of the business.
The Legal review stage is often what delays marketing projects. When the time it takes for Lawyers to review all Marketing collateral (and then for Marketing to make any revisions) is added up, the delay can put the business at a competitive disadvantage.
No one is disputing the critical role Legal review plays in developing marketing campaigns, but the most effective and efficient way to incorporate Legal review has remained a source of contention.
There is no one size fits all approach for Legal review. What works for one company may not work for another.
Here are four ways we’ve seen Legal review incorporated into the Marketing process:
1. Legal review at every stage
Some business structures have Legal review at each stage of a Marketing campaign, from ideation all the way through to production and publication. While this ensures Marketing teams don’t waste time on projects that were non-compliant from the early stages, it’s ultimately a very inefficient way to manage risk.
Legal is responsible for managing risk across the entire business, so adding additional review stages only adds to their bottleneck of Legal support requests.
2. Legal review of final artwork only
For many businesses Legal review is the final stage in the marketing process. This strategy decreases Marketing cycle times exponentially and keeps Lawyers focused on higher risk Legal work.
The problem with only involving Legal at the end is that Marketing might find they've spent months working on a non-compliant project that Legal will not approve to go live. Marketing now needs to re-work their campaign from the ground up. It’s any wonder Legal is viewed as a roadblock in so many organisations.
3. Outsource to a law firm
Like going grocery shopping in a Ferrari. Great if you can afford it, but probably not the most effective allocation of your limited budget.
4. Leverage Productised Legal Services
Productised Legal Services like Advertising Wizard are a new way to provide Legal support to your business. Advertising Wizard allows your marketers to self-serve the basics via an online platform but is backed by Lawyers who specialise in marketing and compliance law. It’s the perfect marriage between technology and experts, to ensure compliance is guaranteed in a fraction of the time, at a fraction of the cost.
What sets Productised Legal Services apart from traditional Law Firms is the ability to match their service input with demand from the business. This flexibility means your team gets more value out of the relationship.
Adopting a Productised Legal Service like Advertising Wizard takes repetitive, administrative and often specialised Legal work off your Lawyers’ hands so they can get on with the higher risk, more strategic work.
Advertising Wizard even allows Marketing to submit partially completed collateral for a ‘mid-cycle check’ to ensure their campaign is compliant from the earliest stages.
Progressive Legal functions who are engaging Productised Legal Services to work closely with their Marketing functions are finding their people are freed to work on higher-value work, while also driving competitive advantage for their businesses by getting marketing campaigns out the door faster.
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