ABA Regulatory Compliance Conference Takes on Digital Marketing

In an opening day session of the 2017 Regulatory Compliance Conference (RCC), titled “Engaging in the Digital Marketing Age #BankBrand #AmICompliant? #Bank@SocialMedia”, a panel of four esteemed compliance professionals took on digital marketing. Early in the presentation it became clear that, although there are specific laws that must be adhered to and best practices that should be applied for managing risk in digital marketing, many potential issues are still emerging.
Most financial institutions have had websites for at least 25 years and one of the major players in digital marketing, Facebook, has been used by financial institutions as a marketing tool for nearly a decade; yet, the digital marketing tools available to banks and the way they are used continue to evolve at a rapid pace. As a result, it is more important than ever before to ensure banks understands the types of digital marketing available, the risks involved, and how to manage those risks.
In this session, the panel covered various digital marketing tactic and associated challenges. To name only a few of those discussed: 1) Email marketing and the CAN-SPAM rules; 2) Social media and privacy, information going viral (good vs bad publicity), and risks associated with contests and sweepstakes; and 3) Mobile marketing and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. In addition, one of the major concerns highlighted the use of digital marketing set up to target specific age groups (age discrimination concerns), consumers with specific interest (could be considered a proxy for disparate treatment), and geographical locations (potential redlining issues).
In order to safely and effectively utilize digital marketing, financial institutions should ensure they understand technology and digital marketing tools, conduct risk assessments, develop a strategy (objections, performance, stakeholders, controls, etc.), and employ a strong risk management framework. With a strong foundation in place to control risk, digital marketing can be an effective tool to further your financial institutions marketing goals; without a strong risk management framework, it can become a legal and regulatory nightmare.
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