Emily Rogers

Who’s Running Your Marketing Department, You or Legal?

April 23rd, 2013

I’ve recently been involved in projects for some big-name companies. We carry on through the project path and set up our testing strategy to optimize its landing page. Everyone’s all excited, and then BAM, roadblock. The party fizzles momentarily because these words are muttered:

“We have to get it approved by Legal …”
“Legal needs to approve this …”
“We’ll need to run it by Legal …”

As a research manager, those words translate into:

  • Nine more meetings added to the calendar
  • A three-week extension to launch the test
  • Wondering what the results would have been if our ceiling hadn’t been capped by Legal

Now let me be clear, in no way am I suggesting you subvert or choose not to follow the proper legal procedures within your company. I simply wrote this blog post to inspire you to push the legal department a little harder, so you can push the boundaries with your marketing.

The beautiful part about testing is we can shut down a test immediately if a treatment is failing miserably, or if legal issues arise. At MECLABS, we stress that at minimum, we will come out of any test with a learning – regardless if it produced an increase in revenue. Our creative teams are eagerly waiting to improve website design and copy.

But, we know your website and copy may prove to be better than ours. All we want is the chance to test the waters and learn from the results.

I worked with a Research Partner and we were pretty limited to testing these elements on the landing page:

I can’t even imagine the results we would have produced if Legal would have approved additional testing.

I’m left with this:

  • Why shut the door on opportunities that could potentially increase revenue for your company? It’s important to remember a test is simply a platform from which to learn — it’s not a set in stone plan, or a done deal.
  • Is there a way that both Marketing and Legal could come together to be educated on the same playing field when a company enters a series of tests?

With these approaches, I hope Legal would understand the motivation behind the tests and not immediately shut Marketing down. I realize this may be wishful thinking, but considering the millions of dollars companies could very well be losing by not testing, I think these approaches are worth pursuing.


Related Resources:

A/B Testing: How a landing page test yielded a 6% increase in leads

Landing Page Testing and Optimization: How Intuit grew revenue per visitor 23%

Landing Page Optimization: How to start optimization testing and get executive support

How to Get Legal to Approve Your Marketing Campaigns More Easily: 3 Tactics

Emily Rogers

About Emily Rogers

Emily Rogers, Senior Research Manager, MECLABS Emily’s position requires managing more than 10 projects for a Fortune 20 wireless company. She works to make its website easier to understand by developing testing strategies to increase usability, and ultimately result in an increase in revenue. Emily also works with MECLABS to ensure its teleprospecting programs generate the highest number of leads for its clients. Emily graduated in 2011 with a BBA in Marketing and an Advanced Business Communications Certificate. She began her career with MECLABS in September 2011.

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  1. Sandy
    April 29th, 2013 at 12:09 | #1

    Sad commentary you have here. At my company, we find that if our marketing team approaces legal with a reasonable timeline and partner WITH them rather than seeing them as the adversaries as you do, we get positive results on both sides. Too many marketers today push legal boundaries — not understanding there are actually good reasons for those boundaries — thus why corporate America is seen in such poor light. People don’t trust companies who don’t care about being legal and focus only on the Almighty dollar.

  2. Emily Rogers
    Emily Rogers
    May 1st, 2013 at 13:03 | #2

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for your response.

    At MECLABS, we understand that our partners have legal obligations to their company—that is something we do not take lightly. By no means am I suggesting to continue segregating the two departments, or disregard the legal boundaries your company has in place. The purpose of the blog was to spark further collaboration, teamwork. I think it is so important that both marketing and legal be apart of the test planning process from the get go—that way, all parties understand the objective and reasoning behind the test., and potentially could meet on some kind of middle ground.

    -Emily J. Rogers

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