By James Sanderson, managing director at Wunderman Inside
Compliance is hardly a new concept for highly regulated business sectors like banking and financial services. In fact, it's probably the thing that defines the sector.
Research carried out by Duff & Phelps last year reinforced this perception, concluding that asset managers, brokers and banks typically spend 4% of their revenues on compliance. It also predicted that this is set to increase to 10% by 2022, such is the impact of regulatory reform.
The spectre of regulatory compliance extends into everything a financial services company does, and that of course includes its advertising and marketing. The processes and technologies used to deliver effective marketing naturally all need to sit inside an organisation's compliance framework, but that comes at a price: speed and agility.
As financial businesses start to act and behave with more agility – their engagement of consumer, intermediary or even institutional audiences should follow suit.
By bringing more of their marketing options in-house, they can meet these challenges. Being closer to compliance, in every sense of the word, means getting it right first time more often. That means creative boundaries can be pushed harder because the creatives are starting with a greater perspective and a deeper knowledge.
Agencies Inside their clients' businesses
And this explains the growth of in-house agencies, which provide people and technologies to augment the client marketing team but with access to specialist skils and resources, via an external agency, as needed.
Agility speeds delivery times
Consumer and business audiences don't want to engage with old, tired or out-of-date communications. Slower delivery times come from an external agency way of working and elongated approvals process that limit spontaneity, operational efficiency (cost) and agility.
By implication, financial services business generally have very robust security layers, but these firewalls present a physical and workflow barrier to efficient working.
Key internal client-side platforms s are also often only accessible from inside the client's physical environment, further limiting the external agency partner's ability to fully integrate.
So being on the right side of the firewalls speeds efficient working and potentially gives the creators access to more tools, insights and data, to inspire better creative work.
Faster, more efficient
Bringing the marketing and advertising agency inside also means more transparency, greater operational control and better communications. It brings subject experts in to the business, held together by bespoke processes with full access to their own and their clients' technology platforms. In turn this speeds up delivery times because the inside agency is literally and figuratively closer to the compliance and insights/strategy teams.
Greater efficiency and a substantially reduced overheard (onsite teams don't carry the agency overheads that external agencies bring) translate to significant cost savings, making the argument of onsite agencies difficult to ignore.
Working effectively in this new model
The marketing and media landscape has changed beyond all measure in just one generation, and yet the external agency model has remained the same for decades. This approach needs to change, particularly in the face of the 'always-on' content driven age we live in.
Businesses in the financial industry and beyond require a financially viable agency solution that can deliver at the speed of the customer. This model offers that, and more. The financial services world has transformed itself in the last few years. It's time to ask your agency to follow suit.