83% of compliance and marketing professionals see their relationship as adversarial, report finds

Rick Steves

The study underscores the urgent need for collaboration between these seemingly conflicting departments. Technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), is seen as a potential mediator in this clash of priorities.

In the fast-paced world of financial services, marketing and compliance teams play crucial roles, but a recent study suggests that these two essential functions often find themselves at odds.

With the ever-evolving regulatory landscape and the need to stay competitive in a crowded market, the tension between these departments has become increasingly apparent.

A study commissioned by Red Marker, a software company, sheds light on the strained relationship between marketing and compliance in the financial services sector.

The research, which surveyed 521 senior professionals across the UK, US, and Australia, uncovered a prevailing sense of adversarial dynamics between these two teams. Here, we delve into the key findings and their implications.

An ‘Us and Them’ mentality

One of the most striking revelations from the study is that a staggering 83% of senior legal, compliance, and marketing professionals see their relationship as adversarial—a classic “us and them” scenario. This adversarial outlook can hamper collaboration and hinder the overall effectiveness of these vital functions within financial institutions.

Marketing professionals often view compliance as a significant obstacle to their work, with 81% believing that compliance stands in the way of their job. This perception is fueled by the belief that the compliance review process is too lengthy and cumbersome, a sentiment shared by 79% of marketers.

On the flip side, legal and compliance professionals have their reservations about marketing. A substantial 82% of them believe that marketers don’t fully comprehend the complexities of compliance rules. Moreover, 83% of compliance specialists feel that marketers tend to deflect blame when their content faces external challenges.

Need for a common ground

The study underscores the urgent need for collaboration between these seemingly conflicting departments. While there are inherent differences in their priorities, aligning their goals can lead to more efficient processes and improved outcomes. Establishing open communication channels and fostering understanding can go a long way in resolving these tensions.

Technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), is seen as a potential mediator in this clash of priorities. An overwhelming 95% of marketing, legal, and compliance professionals believe that AI-based tools capable of scanning and highlighting marketing content for compliance and brand risks would significantly enhance the review process.

Specifically, 33% of respondents highlighted the importance of automated checking of standard content elements such as disclaimers, sources, and terms and conditions.

However, there are concerns about the accountability of AI tools if they fail to identify risks. This issue points to the need for responsible implementation and oversight of AI solutions.

In the financial services sector, marketing and compliance are like two sides of the same coin, each integral to an institution’s success. While their perspectives may differ, the study’s findings indicate that finding common ground is not only desirable but necessary. Collaboration, efficient communication, and leveraging technology like AI can help bridge the gap between these departments.

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