Category Archives: Global Marketing Operations
I’ve been in the computer-driven publishing industry my entire working life. For better or worse, that’s going on 30 years and six firms worth of experience building and selling systems to support the print (or print-like) communications needs of large businesses selling or supporting high-value goods and services. I’ve worked with Airlines, Pharmaceuticals, Auto Parts, Reference Publishers, Military, and Financial business. All have significant data-and-rules driven content publishing needs, including well-designed print artifacts. Supporting publishing in the financial services world makes up a majority of this experience, but we gain wisdom by understanding similarities and differences between multiple business sectors and markets.
For 87.3% of my long and illustrious career in supporting print communications, people have taken the position that Print is Dead… or soon will be. While there are specific examples and versions of this narrative that are true, I’m here to talk today about where and why it is not true!
Understanding the challenges asset managers and their salespeople face in generating leads and winning new business has always been a key driver of our product development and enhancement efforts.
But the conversations we’ve been having with these firms have radically changed since the COVID-19 crisis began. The volatile market environment, in combination with the embargo on in-person meetings, has pushed typical product-and-performance meetings to the backburner. Sales teams have replaced lunch-and-learns and walk-in visits with digital marketing campaigns and Zoom sessions. As a result, wholesalers have had to find innovative ways to keep financial advisors engaged, many of whom are struggling with similar client acquisition and retention challenges.
The economic pressure that has weighed down asset managers recently will continue to mount in 2019. We will especially see this as the tide of market-induced asset growth subsides. The established industry trends are rising passive inflows, fee compression, increased regulation, continuing platform rationalization. These are inescapable, threatening profit margins of the least prepared asset managers. In response, firms are intensifying their efforts to streamline distribution costs, improve their offerings, and invest in relationships. However, many still fall short of differentiating themselves among financial advisors. This could be the ultimate key to sustainable profits in this shifting landscape.
In 2018, we conducted a Mutual Fund Fact Sheet Production Study, where we analyzed 235 factsheets from 47 asset management firms of all shapes and sizes. A few factors observed included publish date, modification date and how the file was produced. The two most observed methods were using automation and producing factsheets manually. To find the firm’s production method, we turned to the metadata to show us what applications, software, or tools they were using to create the PDFs. After digging deeper into the metadata, we identified some key reasons why firms have longer production durations or later release dates. We were also able to make some observations about what drives efficiency, and the findings were pretty shocking. Read on to get the scoop!