*Meeting The Challenge of New Regulation*
**By Stephen Margrett**
***Regulation. It’s everywhere these days. And on the marketing side of every mortgage company’s operations, as much as any other, it means that management has to take a much more active role in ensuring its brand and its products are correctly and compliantly represented in the marketplace. Communications with prospects, customers and even referral partners—whether driven from the center or by loan originators—must be controlled, but without inhibiting genuine creativity and individual initiative.
****One of the most distinctive features of an enterprise marketing automation solution vs. a traditional CRM, is that it establishes a controlled environment in which ingenuity and enterprise are able to flourish. It does this by providing management with five levels of control over the players in the marketing process.
****All you have to do is decide what degree of control you want to exercise in relation to each of the system’s key functions. For example, you can make sure that loan officers are unable to edit company information or upload unacceptable graphics or run on-demand campaigns that breach corporate guidelines.
****Examples of the levels of management control available in an enterprise marketing automation solution are as follows, working down from the most to the least restrictive:
****Prohibition: Different types of users can be prevented from accessing a system function, or even an entire page, by means of the solutions “permissions” capability.
****Authorization: Marketing materials created by users at lower levels in the corporate hierarchy cannot be implemented until approved at the center
****Alert: A defined set of fields is monitored and changes reported via a feed on the solutions Home page, enabling quick action to remedy any departure from company policy.
****Oversight: Users at higher levels in the corporate hierarchy can “impersonate” users at lower levels, giving management an instant window on the activities of Loan Officers.
****Reporting: The solutions “Reports” module provides information that allows management to hold users at lower levels accountable for their performance.
****The point is that traditional CRM isn’t good enough anymore. Today’s lender needs more. Why? Marketing is more important than ever before, but with all the new regulation it is also more complex.
****If we can all agree that the market is more challenging in terms of hunting for new business, while remaining as efficient as possible and keeping compliant, then we should also agree that this part of the business requires more automation that allows for both more control and more flexibility. Traditional CRM just doesn’t cut it.
Stephen Margrett is CEO of The Turning Point, Inc. The company’s flagship product is MACH3, a mortgage-specific CRM and automated marketing engine. With a master’s degree in consumer behavior from the University of Minnesota, Stephen has been in the field of relationship marketing for more than 25 years. In 1986, he created Europe’s first full-service, data-driven marketing agency and managed it until the mid-1990s, when he moved to the United States. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.