The cost of doing business continues to climb within regulated industries like healthcare, insurance and financial services.  Just this week, it was revealed that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is on pace to far exceed the amount of fines imposed last year with the total amount anticipated to jump a whopping 15%.

According to a recent survey conducted by Sutherland, FINRA’s top enforcement issue was the violation of advertising and marketing regulations.  In fact, sanctions associated with advertising and marketing violations grew 344% with the total number of alleged violations doubling compared to the prior year.

The recent increase in marketing and advertising related FINRA violations should come as no surprise to marketers.  Today, the challenges associated with content distribution have never been greater as marketers must now contend with more communication channels than ever before.  The challenge associated with effectively managing today’s marketing communication channels is one that plagues every organization.  However, take that same challenge and apply it to organizations that are regulated and sell through a distributed sales and marketing force consisting of quasi-independent agents and now you’ve got an enormous challenge.  These marketers aren’t just responsible for their own marketing communications but also those of their field sales and marketing partners as well.

Today, employees are more technologically savvy than ever and are already using tools such as Facebook and Twitter to communicate with friends and relatives. It should come as no surprise that employees now expect to just as easily find, customize, share and distribute materials to their customers and prospects using similar tools.  A Multi-Channel Distributed Marketing Platform allows organizations to distribute these types of sales and marketing enablement tools throughout the organization while still allowing centralized control and monitoring at the corporate level.

The Distributed Marketing Disconnect

-The Challenges and Disconnects of Distributed Marketing –

Not surprisingly, the need for a centralized Multi-Channel Distributed Marketing Platform within regulated and compliance driven organizations has never been higher and the costs associated with not having one are only going to continue to go up.

Organizations can no longer turn a blind eye to anything that happens outside the four corners of the corporate marketing and IT departments as their local producers are likely already adopting their own tools in order to communicate and conduct business in today’s fast paced, multi-channel business environment.  The reality is that if an organization doesn’t have a Distributed Marketing Platform already in place then the odds are pretty good that employees have already gone rogue and have begun implementing their own. In fact, Forrester found that over 34 million workers today have bypassed the influence of the IT organization and have installed unsupported software this past year to help them more effectively do their job. Obviously, organizations that leave their field sales and marketing teams to their own devices run a much higher risk of compliance and regulatory violations. However, the high risk of compliance violations may not be what you should fear the most.  In my opinion, the bigger fear is the risk of a substantial decline in new client acquisitions and retention rates as competitors utilizing distributed marketing technologies encroach on your customers and prospects.

About the author:
Tim Storer is the President & CEO of Distribion, Inc., a leading provider of web-based multi-channel marketing automation software that optimizes marketing distribution while maintaining brand and regulatory compliance for large enterprises. To learn more about Distribion’s Distributed Marketing Platform visit