CUSTOMER Magazine recently spoke with Gryphon Networks to get an update on what’s happening in the important area of marketing compliance. Here’s our interview with Melissa Bateman Fitzgerald, Esq., CIPP Vice President, Privacy Consulting & Counsel at Gryphon Networks.
Gryphon Networks is a marketing compliance company. What does that mean?
We help firms that market directly to consumers comply with the myriad of federal, state and industry do-not-contact and call-recording laws. We protect them from violations, fines, and brand damage, while simultaneously ensuring they have largest possible universe of legally contactable consumers.
How do most companies address marketing compliance?
Most firms rely on list scrubbing, either internally or by third parties who are essentially data vendors that reconcile a company’s marketing leads by removing numbers that exist on a do-not-contact list, like the National Do Not Call Registry, and returning only marketing contact points that are allegedly permissible to contact.
Why do you say allegedly?
Because scrubbing gives companies a false sense of security. The federal list is only one marketing regulation. Additionally there are 14 state-specific lists, varying call time curfews, holiday solicitation bans, state-of-emergency restrictions, and federal and state wireless prohibitions. Scrubbing does not ensure the most up-to-date information across all these regulations. But the bigger shortfall with scrubbing is the massive sales opportunity lost to over-suppression. Scrubbing doesn’t account for a company’s established business relationships, consumer’s recent opt-ins, inquiries or transactions, or number reassignments that would allow numbers on the federal or state lists to be legally contacted. We find list scrubbing unnecessarily suppresses contact points 20 to 60 percent of the time, on average. This means companies scrubbing lists are getting the worst of both worlds: they’re leaving millions of legal numbers out of their marketing campaigns in an effort to remain compliant, but they’re actually still at risk of violating numerous other regulations.
What’s a more effective way to ensure marketing compliance – and not lose opportunity to over-suppression?
The most effective way is to automate compliance and certify phone numbers or e-mail addresses as close to the point of marketing interaction as possible. This means that when an agent or auto-dialer dials a phone number, that number is certified right then, ensuring every law, curfew, and internal policy is adhered to in real time. And the latest opt-ins, exemptions, or recent number reassignments can be applied. The call is then automatically blocked or allowed, based on real-time consideration of hundreds of rules. This approach is 100 times more effective than a scrubbed list.
How does the cloud enable companies to more effectively leverage their customer contact lists?
The cloud is a key enabling platform for a centralized communications contact strategy. With the cloud, companies can have a hosted, always-current database that houses all their customer info, transaction and inquiry history, internal DNC and opt-ins that are updated in real-time 24x7. The cloud makes integration with a company’s in-house systems, as well as integration with the company’s third-party marketing service providers and e-mail providers, dead simple without extensive IT involvement. The cloud is the great enabler and accelerator.
Is there a difference in marketing compliance requirements for wireless as opposed to wireline endpoints?
Yes. Wireless rules are far more restrictive and the penalties more punitive. Companies’ compliance systems need to stay current with the latest federal and state regulations.
Who relies on Gryphon Networks for marketing compliance today?
We have over 600 clients and growing. About half of the world’s largest banks, eight of the top ten insurance providers, several well-known retailers, and several of the largest communications companies rely on Gryphon for automated, integrated, real-time, always-current, and indemnified compliance because they don’t want to be experts in do-not-contact regulations and legislation. They want to be able to focus on marketing and selling their products and services to drive revenue. Many of our clients have been with us for more than 10 years. That kind of loyalty can only come from a relentless focus on reliability, accuracy, customer service, and continuous innovation. Also, our clients enjoy bulletproof legal protection, since we indemnify them against any investigations or fines.
Edited by Alisen Downey