News Round-Up: The $4 Million Tweet, and Led Zeppelin’s Compliance Lesson

by | Jul 22, 2011 | Blog, Blog Archive, Industry News | 0 comments

When Led Zeppelin sang about words with two meanings, it was the recipe for one of the best selling songs of all time. When regulators & marketers define things differently, it's a recipe for compliance disasters

Here’s this week’s round-up of news stories marketers shouldn’t miss because they offer key information or lessons that multi-channel distributed marketing organizations should take to heart.

  1. Knowing How Regulators Define Actions is Half the Battle:  Chad Bockius of Socialware was featured in an article this week that looks at how regulators define certain marketing activities.  This blog has written about the importance of understanding regulatory definitions before, but as  usual Chad’s explanations are clear, precise, and important.  (For more of his insights on marketing and compliance in a regulated environment, check out the presentation from a recent webinar that featured Distribion, Socialware, and trade association LIMRA.)  The lesson for marketers: When it comes to marketing compliance, most regulators aren’t really interested in your intent — just their interpretation of whether or not what you did meets the strictest standard of compliance.  So learning the vocabulary is vital.
  2. A Social Media Crisis Typically Costs about $4 Million:  How much will it cost if one of your employees publishes confidential or restricted data on a social media site?  About $4 million, according to a Gartner report excerpted by Marketwatch. At the same time, Symantec reports that up to 93% of all corporations lack an archiving and eDiscovery solution that includes social media.  Being asked by a regulator or court to produce social media content can cost millions.   The lesson for marketers:   If managing social media compliance isn’t in your budget for 2012, put it there now. 
  3. “Glocal” Marketing Requires Automation:   The new buzz word seems to be “glocal” — that is the local marketing and sales effort that allows global companies to connect with their audiences.  E-Commerce News this week published 7 reasons why marketing automation management is required for effective local marketing.  The lesson for marketers:  This entire blog is about distributed marketing, and the many ways in which technology can help marketers streamline and improve the processes that drive revenue, so this article seemed like a great recap of what we’ve been saying for months.  If you’d like more details on how automation can streamline your process, check out industry analyst David Coursey’s look at how digital asset management solves compliance problems, or a white paper on empowering local marketing with marketing  automation. 
  4. California Court Reins in Class Action Lawsuits:  A court in California has refused to certify a class action against insurance companies that alleged that the marketing and sale of universal life insurance violated state laws on unfair competition.  It’s the latest case where a court in California has refused to allow a group of consumers to file a class action lawsuit based on marketing practices.  The lesson for marketers:  Don’t get complacent.  Just because a marketing practice doesn’t merit class action status doesn’t mean that the marketer is off the hook on other legal grounds.   These days, if the CMO and corporate counsel aren’t best friends, they are at least colleagues who have to work together to make sure that compliance with regulations and laws goes hand in hand with creative and sales planning.
  5. Customer Service Lessons from the Best and Worst Companies on Twitter:  Red Hat blogger Ruth Suehle published her list of the customer service lessons companies should learn from Twitter interactions with customers.  It’s a subjective, but interesting look at how easy it is to get customer service right — or wrong — in an environment where customer complaints are public, instant, and global.  The lesson for marketers:  If you use social media to talk to customers, don’t be surprised if they talk back.  And don’t ignore what they say — good or bad — without being prepared to face the consequences.  Customers who use the Internet to reach out to companies expect a response at Internet speed, and word-of-mouse complaints can reach millions in seconds. 
Photo credit: Jimmy Paige, Robert Plant, 1970, Dallas Memorial Auditorium, Copyright Deb McAlister, All Rights Reserved.