Category Archives: Investment Marketing
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:
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 implementation 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.
In the heavily-regulated world of investment management, consistency and harmony between functional areas, including marketing, sales and compliance, are key goals for competitive advantage. However, blending customization and compliance is difficult to achieve.
Many disconnects happen at investment companies when marketing creates collateral which, from the sales perspective, misses the mark on client-focus and relevance—all before a compliance review. Ultimately, in the name of making the sale, salespeople customize presentations, creating multiple versions along the way that are difficult to track. This unwieldy process can cause compliance, branding, and messaging nightmares that may lead to fines, outflows, and lost revenue.
Firms are almost always aware that these disconnects exist and want to fix them, yet don’t know where to start. We recently held a webinar; The Sales Success Formula in Financial Services: Blending Customization and Compliance, to discuss this very topic. It was a Q&A session moderated by investment marketing expert Andrew Corn of E5A Integrated Marketing and explored the ways in which firms are using digital transformation to disrupt the status quo and gain competitive advantage.Read More
An article in Forbes pointed out that asset managers are extremely late in joining the digital marketing movement. This isn’t groundbreaking news, as the industry has long been criticized for the slow adoption of modern marketing practices.
The article points out:
- Financial services was one of the first industries to embrace the digital revolution, just not in marketing. The industry has focused on investing in high-speed connectivity for faster trade execution, as opposed to faster and more successful marketing/sales execution. It’s time to step-up the marketing game.
- Lower Fees and higher competition is driving more creative marketing. Executives are forced to rethink the old model of reaching investors one at a time. It’s an expensive endeavor involving lots of flights, hotels, steak dinners, and conference fees. They must create models for doing this at scale.
- Asset Managers who embrace artificial intelligence and machine learning will increase efficiency. The reduction in operating expenses associated with more efficient marketing will result in decreased cost for the consumer and increased margins for the manager. Asset Managers aren’t adopting digital marketing technologies because they loathe change. Executives who come from an investing background may not see an immediate ROI on this type of investment. Turnkey products do exist, and previously unavailable scale is now built-in.
Even though asset managers are a few steps behind other industries, many are making moves towards digitizing the sales and marketing process. We’ve seen evidence of this over the past couple of years as firms are rethinking their strategies. Firms are being forced to find ways to differentiate themselves and scale their operations in order to survive the fierce competition.