Category Archives: Leadership



The 3 Ways to Approach Content Automation

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3 ways to approach content automation

By Rachel Totten

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.

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How to Prep your Team for Content Automation

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How to Prep Your Investment Marketing Team for Content Automation

By Emilie Totten

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 implementations 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.

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Celebrating 20 Years: A Message From Synthesis CEO

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By John Toepfer

Synthesis is celebrating 20 years in business this month.  For me, this is an event that calls for both reflection on the past and reaffirmation of our vision for the future.

These 20 years came and went in what feels like the blink of an eye. At a high-level, it feels like a blur of RFPs, client meetings, implementations, contract negotiations, partnerships, financial reports and company picnics. However, when you take time to look more closely, you see more than just a fog of work. You begin to see key events that really made the difference; Hiring of people who turned out to be key leaders or fantastic engineers, finding partners who understood our value proposition and helped us take it to market, and landing clients who understood bigger is not necessarily better… better is better.

An organization is only as good as the talented people they hire, especially in a business of our nature.  We’ve been extremely fortunate in that regard. Credit for our success and longevity boils down to the amazing, intelligent and hardworking team members we’ve been fortunate enough to hire, several of whom have been with us for 15 years or more. Their passion and dedication set us apart in this industry.  I’ve never known a staff to be as committed and loyal as the teams we have here at Synthesis. I am truly thankful for the people that we have, even those no longer with us, for the positive mark they’ve left on our company and with our clients. In turn, I’m also thankful for the many clients who treat us as true partners where “mutual” is the key word in our success.  I thank you all for your hard work, loyalty and service, and look forward to what we can accomplish together in the future!Read More

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Pessimism or Reality? Forbes says Asset Management Marketers are “Still Taking Batting Practice”

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By John Toepfer

Are Asset Management Marketers still taking batting Practice?

As recent 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 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, 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.

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