Marketing

What made the biggest marketing headlines in 2018?

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As ever, nothing stood still for Marketing teams this year. There was new regulation to tackle, innovations to keep pace with, and ever-evolving best practice in both traditional and newer areas of marketing.

Here we round up the things making the biggest marketing headlines in 2018. Why not take five minutes to remind yourself of all the challenges you’ve faced over the last twelve months?

Regulation was never in short supply

In January, we looked at the marketing trends that were predicted to matter in 2018.

Regulation featured heavily among the predictions – and this was borne out during the year.

GDPR was probably the word (acronym) of the year as far as Marketers are concerned. It’s probably fair to say that, to date, its impact hasn’t been such a game-changer as imagined. In fact a recent article suggests that less than a third of EU organisations are currently compliant.

Not that we’d advocate being among them. With potential fines reaching up to 4% of annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater, and GDPR anticipated to be the next PPI scandal, being complacent about the regulation really isn’t an advisable approach.

For firms taking their GDPR preparation seriously, new data limitations have changed the focus of their marketing activity. And we looked at some of the efficiencies you can make to counteract the costs of compliance with the regulation.

And in case GDPR wasn’t enough for you, new CAP rules of the use of data in marketing came in in November, giving you a new raft of considerations to think about.

Aside from data-focused legislation, there was no shortage of other regulations for your team to get to grips with.

MiFID II came into force in January, with PRIIPs hot on its heels. The latter was controversial, with much discussion about the Key Information Documents required and whether they delivered what they intended to. If you need to produce KIDs, our tips on producing compliant PRIIPs documents has some good advice.

What happened other than regulation?

You might be forgiven for thinking that 2018 was all about new rules. And while they certainly took up a lot of our time and energy, there were other developments you couldn’t afford to ignore.

Automation

Marketers continued to seek greater insights and efficiencies via increased automation. The ongoing refinement of automated workflow systems helps to deliver project management, approvals and production efficiencies that help to offset some of the other challenges demanding your attention.

Harnessing the benefits of automation can help you to develop a more efficient creative review process and optimise your approvals, enabling you to get materials to market faster and creating a best practice approach to digital asset management.

Social media

Social media continued to be a highly valuable channel this year, all the more so, perhaps, because of the limitations imposed by GDPR. We asked in a blog whether the regulation would increase your use of social media.

Of course, for regulated marketers, social media comes with more than just its usual risks. FCA rules govern it in the same way that other financial promotions are regulated. If you’re going to up your game on Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook or Instagram in 2019, you might want to read our tips on how to minimise compliance risk in your social media strategy.

And social media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Marketing channels are increasingly interlinked, enabling Marketers to use social media data to inform their content strategy and amplify their posts by combining email marketing and social media for maximum impact.

Innovation

Although innovation, in terms of marketing approaches, communications and delivery methods, continued apace this year, this was an area where UK Marketers could perhaps do better.

A report in August suggested that UK CMOs are lagging behind their counterparts elsewhere when it comes to innovating. Is this an area where B2B Marketers can learn from their B2C colleagues? If you’re keen to innovate but wary of the compliance implications, our advice on minimising risk in digital transformation will help.

Don't forget the marketing fundamentals

Against a background of evolving challenges and new regulation, there are some marketing basics you can’t ignore. These ‘housekeeping’ aspects are the backbone of your marketing activity and you just need to get them right.

SEO, for instance, where it might be worth revisiting some of the basics of best practice to make sure you have them in place.

And then there’s your brand reputation, which is all too easy to destroy. Take tips from the world’s most valuable brands on ensuring brand consistency; a culture that fits with your brand ethos; and an unimpeachable approach to compliance.

From even this brief canter through some of the changes Marketing teams faced in 2018, it’s obvious that you’ve had a busy year. Take some time out over the next few weeks to relax and recharge your batteries, ready to return invigorated for 2019. Because somehow, we doubt the next year is going to be any quieter!

As the world of marketing is constantly changing, it can be hard to keep up. You can read more about the evolving challenges you face in our free whitepaper, The changing role of the financial services Marketing Manager. The whitepaper is free to download here.

Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.

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