"It takes us 10 weeks to get anything through compliance!"
"We attended an event 3 weeks ago and we're still waiting on legal to approve the post-event campaign!"
These are just a few of the quotes I've heard from those working in the life sciences industry. Wouldn't it be great if you could just bypass the whole compliance approval process?
OK, so you can't get past the attorneys. But you can better align with them and provide the information that will put their compliance concerns at ease. Below are 6 actions you can take to work more effectively with your legal teams.
- Outline your compliance process and where marketing communications fit in. Marketing cloud technology is not meant to replace your existing compliance system, rather it's meant to compliment your existing process. Tools like Eloqua and Compendium allow for an additional layer of review and approval. Make sure you identify at what point to involve legal. They probably don't need to see every draft, and would rather review all marketing assets for a program at one time. Understand their process. Have the attorneys define how much they want to see, and at what point in the process.
- Leverage built in tools. Eloqua contains a functionality that allows organizations to lock down content. This provides sales with the power to communicate independently, while assuring the organization that brand and legal standards will be met. Both Eloqua and Compendium also contain review, approval, and testing
- Export communication workflow. Once you've created your campaign workflow and decision rules, export them out of the system. This allows legal to visualize the process and approve the entire program, versus one asset a time which ultimately stalls the flow of communication.
- Define what data is captured in each system. Document what data is stored against a contact record, as well as what data is passed back and forth between your CRM, MA, and compliance systems.
- Allow ample time for development, revision, and approval processes. If you haven't already, document a project schedule. Baseline the work effort across the communication development process. Identify the constraints, like legal approval. Now, use that project schedule and execute backwards planning. Understanding when all communication assets must be finalized and approved allows you to plan backwards and identify the start date of the project. Clear it with legal. Explain why the schedule is defined as is, point out the constraints, and obtain buy-in that they can meet the approval time frames if all completed assets are turned over for review by the defined date. And don't forget to build in time for the revision process.
- Create an employee training and education program. This program should extend beyond an email with the rules listed. If employees are sending communications, creating content, and posting to social site then policy and governance should be clearly communicated to all employees, preferably in the form of training.
Working with your legal team will probably never be easy, but it can be easier. Below are supporting documents that will guide both you, and your attorneys, in executing effective, and compliant, communications in a timely manner.