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Part 8: Non-compliance is Not an Option

BY Chris Miller

Whatever your industry, it can be time-consuming, complicated, and costly to communicate to consumers across geographies and still meet compliance, especially when deadlines don’t leave much wiggle room.  Whether new state or federal legislation or on-going mandated changes required to stay in compliance with existing regulations, your ability to respond to change – especially those affecting messaging in your communications touchpoints – is highly dependent on the level of control and the tools you have at your disposal.

First, let’s talk about control.  Today’s processes are typically driven through resource-constrained IT schedules and need to be carefully timed to fit into your company’s existing planning cycles. Of course, these cycles don’t often, if ever, map to the timelines set by regulators (aligning planets might just be easier).  It goes back to the point made earlier in this series that the ability to change touchpoint content through a composition development cycle is fraught with delay, risk, and a general lack of control. So, it can’t be stressed enough, even if I’ve stressed it in the series to the point of breaking, that the business needs to own and manage the content throughout the touchpoint messaging lifecycle. When responding to fast-breaking change with tight timelines, the ability for business users to edit, test, and approve content changes – without impacting IT – is paramount.

Second, the capabilities you have at your disposal to manage content is critical, as they can help or hinder your ability to respond to regulatory changes.  A 2.0 touchpoint messaging platform should let you create and define messaging that itself has variation based on customer-specific variables such as geography and language, among others. In other words, it’s not just about managing touchpoint variations but also dealing with message variation within those touchpoints.

For example, in a 1.0 world,  worst case, you might be forced to create individual instances of touchpoints to tailor the disclaimer text by geography. And if language and translation play a role, you may now be forced to take your collection of instances by geography, and translate them, thereby multiplying your universe of touchpoint variations by the number of languages you require.  It can get pretty crazy, and managing changes across these individual variations even more difficult.  Now, when you need to modify content in response to regulatory change for existing touchpoints, you have the challenge of finding and replacing content across a sea of individual touchpoints. Akin to having to open a directory of potentially hundreds of Word docs that vary slightly from each other and only require changes to “page 3, section 2” in each one.

In Touchpoint Messaging 2.0, if a specific disclaimer needs to be modified to correspond to various location-based wording changes, then that block of content itself should be managed in one central location (change once, update everywhere) and shared across all touchpoint variations that require it. Ideally,  that block of disclaimer content should be dynamic —  triggered by the corresponding value in the customer’s data record indicating their location, for instance.  Each state could then have its corresponding content variation all stored within the same content block.   The same principle would apply to translations or any other shared dynamic content.

Of course, that change process needs to be wrapped in a carefully managed, automated workflow that ensures content changes are verified and approved by various stakeholders before getting released to IT production.

Not that anyone welcomes change or more work, but in a Touchpoint Messaging 2.0 world, you can tell the regulators to ‘bring it on’, because you’ve now got the ability to response rapidly and efficiently to whatever they throw at you!

This blog is the eighth part of an ongoing series called “Introducing Customer Touchpoint Messaging 2.0” explaining how Touchpoint Messaging 2.0 simplifies the planning and execution of customer messaging programs.

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