Content automation has become a necessity, rather than a luxury, for most asset managers in today’s highly competitive environment. According to a survey of asset managers by the Fuse Research Network and Synthesis Technology, 95% of respondents use some kind of tool or process for automating content production. Most commonly, they use it for the creation of factsheets and pitchbooks.
The need for content automation is justifiable. Marketers need to get sales and marketing materials in the hands of salespeople, clients, and prospects as fast as possible. Now, investors, advisors, and consultants expect more frequent and timely product updates.
When implemented successfully, content automation solutions empower firms to produce fully compliant, client-ready sales and marketing content faster than their competitors. These tools reduce labor costs and relieve talented marketing professionals from the drudgery of content production. They minimize the potential for human errors that inadvertently deliver inaccurate and non-compliant information to the public. Plus, they eliminate one of the most common compliance headaches many asset managers face: keeping salespeople from stitching together their own non-compliant pitchbooks from a patchwork of outdated sales presentations.
Effective content automation solutions require two components: An in-house or commercial production tool and a reliable source of product data to populate the finished pieces. Unfortunately, data management is content automation’s Achilles heel for many firms.
Many factors influence the volume of content that asset managers produce. Some, such as the merging or closing of funds, help to alleviate the production burden, but most continue to expand the demands placed on marketing units. In a recent study of asset managers, we asked about their marketing processes and use of automation to fuel marketing programs.
Growing asset management revenues is much harder than it used to be. The number of asset managers and strategies have proliferated in recent years. However, the number of consultants has shrunk, leading to a notable decline in available mandates. In this fiercely competitive marketplace, even firms with a solid track record of performance will struggle. Asset managers which master the marketing process and effectively differentiate themselves will be triumphant in 2021.
Each year, I check in with my network of industry experts to get a pulse on the trends and best practices in asset management marketing. The upcoming year will be marked by big changes in the way marketers develop and deploy their plans. Largely, this is due to the pandemic and a shift to digital. With everyone “going digital” with their content, events, etc…, it’s going to be harder than ever to rise above the noise. Recently, I met virtually with three experts in investment management marketing. I learned what asset managers should avoid if they want to differentiate and gain assets in the coming year. Here are three things asset managers should avoid if they want to differentiate in 2021.
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.