Category Archives: Pitchbooks
Content automation has become a necessity, rather than a luxury, for most asset managers in today’s highly competitive environment. According to a survey of asset managers by the Fuse Research Network and Synthesis Technology, 95% of respondents use some kind of tool or process for automating content production. Most commonly, they use it for the creation of factsheets and pitchbooks.
The need for content automation is justifiable. Marketers need to get sales and marketing materials in the hands of salespeople, clients, and prospects as fast as possible. Now, investors, advisors, and consultants expect more frequent and timely product updates.
When implemented successfully, content automation solutions empower firms to produce fully compliant, client-ready sales and marketing content faster than their competitors. These tools reduce labor costs and relieve talented marketing professionals from the drudgery of content production. They minimize the potential for human errors that inadvertently deliver inaccurate and non-compliant information to the public. Plus, they eliminate one of the most common compliance headaches many asset managers face: keeping salespeople from stitching together their own non-compliant pitchbooks from a patchwork of outdated sales presentations.
Effective content automation solutions require two components: An in-house or commercial production tool and a reliable source of product data to populate the finished pieces. Unfortunately, data management is content automation’s Achilles heel for many firms.
Many factors influence the volume of content that asset managers produce. Some, such as the merging or closing of funds, help to alleviate the production burden, but most continue to expand the demands placed on marketing units. In a recent study of asset managers, we asked about their marketing processes and use of automation to fuel marketing programs.
Asset management sales and marketing efforts are fueled by data. The faster firms get clean, accurate product performance data in the hands of consultants, advisors and wholesalers, the better their chances of closing deals and increasing inflows. Effective governance for investment data is the foundation for this effort.
A growing number of firms are using marketing content automation solutions to quickly create and update pitchbooks, collateral materials and website product pages. Yet, many are still using inefficient, ad hoc processes for collecting, storing and distributing the source data that populates these communications.
These processes, coupled with a lack of formal governance around data collection and usage, increase product information’s time-to-market. Also, they raise the likelihood of errors that could result in reputational damage and regulatory sanctions.
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!