The pandemic ushered in a new age of technology in the investment management industry. Even firms that had been resistant to digitalization became suddenly, and acutely, aware of existential business risks that could be managed only through digital means. Investment management marketing teams began taking a hard look at their tech stack. A surge of quick pivots followed as firms scrambled to adopt new tools, change processes, and streamline operations to ensure business continuity.
These adaptations are particularly crucial for preserving relationships between advisors and wholesalers. According to research from Broadridge, 22% of advisors found wholesalers to be less helpful during the pandemic, and 32% have decreased their reliance on wholesalers over the past two years.
The status quo is no longer good enough for intermediaries and investors. Investment marketing strategies have and will continue to shift since the COVID-19 pandemic. Then again, if you’re a forward-thinking marketer, I didn’t need to tell you that.
Synthesis and Evalueserve recently kicked off our quarterly private marketing roundtable series. We met with senior marketers from top investment management firms. Marketers shared their experiences, challenges, and ideas for success in our post-Covid environment. Since the pandemic, managers are figuring out how to step up their game to deliver customized and timely information to investors. So, marketers are reevaluating sales and marketing initiatives to remain competitive in a digital world. What does digitization mean for asset management marketers, and how can they efficiently achieve this? Marketing departments need the strategies, tools, and resources necessary to enable sales teams for success.
Asset management sales and marketing efforts are fueled by data. The faster firms get clean, accurate product performance data in the hands of consultants, advisors and wholesalers, the better their chances of closing deals and increasing inflows. Effective governance for investment data is the foundation for this effort.
A growing number of firms are using marketing content automation solutions to quickly create and update pitchbooks, collateral materials and website product pages. Yet, many are still using inefficient, ad hoc processes for collecting, storing and distributing the source data that populates these communications.
These processes, coupled with a lack of formal governance around data collection and usage, increase product information’s time-to-market. Also, they raise the likelihood of errors that could result in reputational damage and regulatory sanctions.
The most successful marketing operations teams have one thing in common: they really own their fund data. Establishing clear ownership and responsibility for the data is critical. In order to take ownership of the data, the first step is to assign data management roles. We recommend building a written matrix defining the following:
- Your data providers (where the data comes from)
- Your data stewards/owners (the person responsible for the data)
- The data consumers (all the places it’s being used)