All posts by Emilie Totten

Emilie is Head of Marketing at Synthesis. Emilie earned her B.S. in Advertising from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She has 15 years of integrated marketing experience in the financial services, technology, and healthcare industries. She lives in Chicagoland with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she isn't marketing or parenting, she can be found practicing yoga or reading a good book.


Client-Centric vs. Investment-Centric Marketing at Asset Management Firms

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By Emilie Totten

Investment Marketing - Is your approach investment or client-centric?

Times are changing, and the modern consumer’s attention won’t be captured by old-school marketing tactics anymore. This is especially true for asset management firms. Good performance isn’t enough. With thousands of options, investors not only put more emphasis on what they are investing in, but they also want to feel like a priority; that their values, interests and goals are at the top-of-mind to their advisors. Firms that understand their clients do better in the marketplace. As the industry becomes more challenging, firms must move from investment-centric to client-centric messaging.Read More

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Obstacles Salespeople Face when Trying to be Customer-Centric

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By Emilie Totten

Obstacles salespeople face when trying to be customer-centric

When developed and used properly, buyer personas can help marketers and salespeople win more business. By talking to clients, leads, and prospects, your team can implement highly effective communications that drive new and retained assets. When a company develops effective communications, it leaves buyers thinking, “This firm really gets me.” Read More

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2019: The Tipping Point for Asset Management Marketing?

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Get Predictions for Asset Management Marketing from Industry Expert, Andrew Corn

By Emilie Totten

Every January, I call up my friend, Andrew Corn, to get his predictions on marketing trends for the year ahead. I’m always interested in what he has to say, as he has an impressive background in many areas of financial services and marketing. His career has spanned across consulting, marketing, advertising, Chief Investment Officer – Equities, index designer, multi-factor model creation and agency head. He is an expert at uncovering and enhancing asset gathering campaigns and designing and implementing marketing funnel optimization for both consumer and B2B audiences.

According to Mr. Corn, there are a couple of major trends going on in the industry right now, and they’re really a continuation from the past couple of years. Specifically, the move from active to passive investing and fee compression are persistent issues that have now become acute. According to Corn, 2019 is going to be the tipping point for asset managers.

“This move from active to passive is happening so much faster than anyone was able to predict. The upside is that many companies have been able to launch products and gather quite a bit of assets into them. The downside is fee compression. In fact, there is a race to zero, where Fidelity has actually introduced products with no management fee. Now, there are other ways for them to make money, but certainly this fee compression is creating enormous pressure on firms to differentiate,” he said.

If 2019 is the tipping point for managers, what should marketing be doing to help their firms survive in this very competitive market? Read on to hear insights and advice from Andrew Corn in our latest interview.

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What Can Marketers Do to Grow AUM in 2019?

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How Investment Marketers Can Grow AUM in 2019
By Emilie Totten

As we enter a new year, the shift from active to passive investing continues to drive significant change for investment management sales and marketing. Very recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sandra Powers Murphy and Donna DiMaria to discuss what marketers can do to grow AUM in this very challenging environment.

I first became acquainted with both women through the 3rd Party Marketers (3PM) Association, where Powers serves as President and DiMaria as Chairwoman.  In addition to 3PM, Powers and DiMaria both act as CEO and CCO of their own third-party marketing firms, Ark Global and Tessera Capital Partners, respectively. Their firms provide outsourced strategic sales and marketing services to institutional asset managers who lack adequate internal resources.

According to DiMaria, operational efficiency in sales and marketing has become imperative, and asset managers are taking note. “Firms are looking to be more efficient, doing more with less resources both in terms of bodies and budget. And that is leading to consolidation, outsourcing, and automation. The status quo isn’t working anymore so, in a way, the market is recreating itself,” she said.

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