Category Archives: Fund Fact Sheets
When looking at content automation and sales enablement solutions, firms are often confronted with a tough decision: To build or buy? Over the past 20 years, I’ve participated in many of these discussions and seen it go both ways. Sometimes the decision is successful and other times it ends up a costly mistake. On one hand, it isn’t always less expensive nor less risky to build software as opposed to buying commercial solutions. For example, when application development projects are initiated with the intent of justifying and maintaining the technology team. Then, unfortunately, they never get off the ground because they can’t be supported technically or economically. What then happens, after all the internal effort and expense, is a new commercial solution is procured to replace it.
On the other hand, sometimes the technological or business needs are so pertinent to operations that they cannot be outsourced. In these circumstances, there’s a good case for insourcing as opposed to outsourcing if the board of directors approves. Also, the IT organization must be truly committed to the budget and vision. At the end of the day, the success or failure of development efforts should be measured against the same criteria. When weighing the decision to build or buy, I recommend using these six criteria:
Maintaining a strong and positive brand image is more important now than ever. Every contact with a client and every piece of material they see from your firm needs to be professional, timely and well produced. Even something as mundane as a poorly produced factsheet can be off-putting and give an investor pause to think about the overall quality of your operations. Yes, even in the digital age, quality design and typography in printed materials really matters. That’s why automating factsheets in PowerPoint is a bad idea.
A long-time head of marketing for a major asset manager once said to me: “If you look at the most successful companies in any industry, you’ll find that they share one thing in common; excellent branding.”
Due to the competitive nature of the financial services industry, content automation has become a strategic priority for many. With a finish line goal to improve scalability, risk management and brand compliance, the race is on to improve marketing and sales operations. The challenge firms face is knowing how to approach content automation. Is it better to build or buy? What are the differences between the leading vendors, and their approaches?
In 2017, we commissioned some research on how asset managers are automating content production. The research found 3 common models: Fully outsourced, DIY, and hybrid. Here’s a brief description of each and the pros and cons.
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