January 30th, 2014
Prospects are hesitant when it comes to outsourcing any kind of process today due to possible security issues even if it would ultimately improve quality and efficiency. The reason why is the same reason why financial service companies hesitate to outsource information-based processes like marketing and lead generation: data security.
There is no shortage of cases where data breaches came through rogue employees, hackers and lost/stolen devices. This already goes on top of risks such as receiving poor services, operational inefficiencies, lower quality products and decreasing customer satisfaction.
Companies should be capable of managing their outsourced vendor relationships to ensure data (such as customer data) is always protected. The staff tasked with marketing management should naturally handle these risks and consider implementing the following:
- Required Security Policy – Before deciding to use a third party for outsourcing, you need to identify the concerns and pitfalls associated to each respective vendor. Distinguish between sensitive and common data so you’ll know what to share. Make sure they have all the appropriate staff for a marketing campaign: production managers, designers, analytical staff and the like. Agree on guidelines and follow risk-based requirements to manage the process from vendor selection to campaign monitoring.
- The Right Marketing – Proper vendor selection means proper marketing selection. Evaluate proposals against the requirements and do not approve until you’re satisfied. It’s also essential to involve your key personnel during the selection process so that their perspectives can weigh in on the decision.
- Risk Review – Prior to entering into a contract, review a vendor based on risk level. Low risk vendors may involve inquiring through phone while you review their company’s websites. High risk marketers on the other hand may involve direct site visits, reviews of financial statistics, policies and procedures, internal controls and other heavy third party assessments.
- Negotiate Contract Implementations – The vendor management policy identifies who has the authority to execute contracts. Don’t enter a contract that legal counsel might disapprove so review it properly. It should clearly define what responsibilities you have as a financial business and what your outsourced lead generator is obliged to provide you.
- Notification System – Timely reports. Transaction processes and errors. IT-based security issues. System uptime. All of these must be there to ensure agreements are not violated. Most people think that some service level agreements are meant only as mere protective measures. Even so, the measurements can be used to help identify possible long-term issues (and ultimately benefit both parties).
- Proper Monitoring – Arguably this the most important part since it’s the primary means of security for your data. Your policies should assess risks but at the same time is acceptable enough for high, medium and low risk vendors. Begin the monitoring process first by identifying your population of vendors. After which, identify which companies often provide access to other companies and what are their own policies for it.
There really is a lot to consider with the outsourcing process. The most important thing to keep in mind however is that outsourcing processes like marketing and lead generation doesn’t mean you outsource your responsibility.
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