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.


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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How to Prep your Team for Content Automation

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How to Prep Your Investment Marketing Team for Content Automation

By Emilie Totten

As Ben Franklin once said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Preparation is critical to the outcome of a content automation initiative. There’s always a possibility implementations will go awry if the project plan is disorganized. Organization and planning are challenging, for it takes specific business and leadership skills to run this kind of technical project. Many departments need to get involved, including marketing, IT, sales, and compliance. Stakeholders from each department must re-examine their processes and work together to re-create them for automation. The goal is to improve the process fundamentally and permanently within the boundaries of a systemized solution. More often than not, this is easier said than done, and may require professional assistance. Here are 5 best practices to prime your team for content automation.

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How to Prep Your Team for Digital Sales Enablement

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Guest post by Meghan Rees, Digital Communications at Mediafly


Sales and marketing teams in the financial services industry have their work cut out for them. Marketing teams struggle to create content and processes that will be well-received by the sales group. Salespeople, in an effort to be more client-centric, tweak materials themselves, creating “rogue” content that is not compliant with regulatory and brand standards. When compliance approvals and procedures are bypassed, the firm is exposed to significant risk.

To some extent, all investment firms struggle to create and present client-focused content that is on-brand and compliant. Weighed-down by the risk of penalties and the pressure of working in a competitive business environment, financial services companies are turning to digital platforms to streamline their efforts and improve engagement with prospective clients.

Adopting a sales enablement solution may be the obvious choice to help with content automation and effective sales engagement, but building a case internally and setting expectations with the teams are crucial to a successful implementation.

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