Category Archives: Content Automation
Managing disclosure language has been a critical element of Synthesis’ document automation approach for almost two decades. Even with modern technology and processes, disclosures continue to be a pain-point for most asset management firms. Recently, we’ve been doing research into the processes asset managers use to manage their disclosures. The goal of this research is to better-understand why disclosure management continues to be problematic. Through our discussions with marketing and compliance professionals at large and small investment management firms, we’ve been digging-into how firms create, edit, distribute, and retire disclosure language — and what the major issues are.Read More
Every investment marketer would love to get tedious tasks, like updating factsheets, off of their plate. Automation is a great way to accomplish this. When you’re considering how to automate your factsheets or other investment marketing collateral, there are essentially four different approaches you can consider.
Your options are:
- Outsource to a service bureau,
- Implement a “DIY” solution in-house,
- Buy a technology-enabled service (a hybrid of #1 and #2), or
- Build a custom solution in-house (Read our Build vs. Buy guide).
There are pros and cons with each of these options and, depending on your firm’s situation and goals, one of these options will be the best fit. Firms operating under tight budgets and resources will often gravitate toward the first option on this list — outsourcing factsheets to a service bureau. The manual production of marketing collateral like factsheets, commentaries, and client reports is labor-intensive and laden with risk. Not to mention, it’s often the least gratifying work that the marketing team does. “Kicking it over the fence” to a fully outsourced service provider often seems like the most attractive option. Read More
Recently, I wrote an article about why automating within desktop publishing environments can be a bad idea. When I talk about desktop publishing environments, I’m referring to programs like InDesign, PowerPoint, or Quark for content automation. If you’re looking for a way to effectively scale your literature production, you simply must say goodbye to your desktop defaults. And, I’ll tell you why.
This topic is front-of-mind for me today, following a meeting with a prospective client last week. This client described their frustration with their current automation solution. They told me a story about how their automation provider is currently supporting their suite of about 50 documents using about 50 InDesign templates. Even the client recognizes that this is a problem and knows that if the templates were being shared properly as shared entities then there should be, at most, eight of them for this catalog of documents. Fewer templates allow changes to be made centrally, without needing to apply a change 50 different times.
I smiled in sympathy as they told me about this problem. This is precisely the issue with automation solutions that are based on desktop publishing applications. This client articulated the issue even more simply and perfectly than I have in my past musings on the topic.
If a Microsoft or Adobe desktop publishing application is being used as the foundation of the automation solution, that system is then dependent on that desktop publishing tool, as well as the people who use the tool. It’s easy to overlook or dismiss this reality. People really love these programs, and understandably so. They are familiar, intuitive and your collateral is probably already designed in one of these formats. But, the hard truth is that almost always leads to bad long-term results in a commercial document production environment. This is due to what we call the “Save As Phenomenon”.Read More
Last year, we published a blog on what to expect in asset management marketing in 2016. The post is based on an interview I conducted with Andrew Corn, CEO of E5A Integrated Marketing. During the interview, Andrew and I discussed how 2016 would be the year of transparency and immediacy; the year for asset managers to leverage data to improve segmentation and personalization, create more transparency in the sales process, and provide timely information to every audience, on every channel. At Synthesis Technology, we saw these predictions hold true. Many of our clients made significant improvements to their content delivery methods through strategic data and content automation.
So, what will be the new trends in 2017? How will firms embrace data and technology to be even more competitive?
Once again, I called upon Andrew to mine his brain for insights. He is the former CIO of Beacon Trust and Clear Asset Management, where he led the development of a multi-factor model to manage long-only equities. He has also designed ETFs and managed two hedge funds. Today, he helps firms leverage digital media and technology to grow sales through marketing and advertising, while adhering to industry regulations.
Here is part 1 (of 2) of our discussion on what to expect in asset management marketing in 2017. Read More