As the markets have become increasingly volatile over the last few quarters, many asset managers are left wondering what to do with their marketing strategies. There’s a battle brewing between the old and the new, and increasingly, financial advisors and their clients are turning to digital channels and social media to understand which funds and products are going to best serve them in the current market. Plus, traditional firms are facing some stiff competition from consumer fintech apps that make investing easy — whether equities, commodities, or crypto.
New apps are gaining traction, but what are their secrets to success? Since these apps have the advantage of going straight to consumers, firms like Robinhood, SoFi and Chime have become masters at the art of gamifying personal investing. Beyond creating a compelling user experience when investing, these fintech apps are doing two things really, really right: 1) driving strong word of mouth marketing through direct referral programs, and 2) building awareness through strong content and influencer marketing programs via YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and more.
So, how does an asset management firm keep its edge among market disruption?
Technology can help firms stay a step ahead of the competition. In a survey of senior executives at asset management firms, 95% agreed that an asset manager’s technology, data, and digital capabilities will be differentiators for today, tomorrow, and into 2025.
Let’s take a look at the top marketing technology and asset management trends that firms are leveraging.
1. Direct and Distributed Marketing in unique and novel ways
For years, asset managers have had a dual-threaded challenge: how do they market their funds and services to financial advisors who are inundated with options, and how do they market directly to consumers? The most effective asset management firms have tackled this challenge head-on by applying persona-driven marketing principles to amplify their successes. But now, they are taking advantage of technology to leverage marketing in unique ways. This is helping them grow and gain more market share over time.
For many of our asset management clients, this begins with an exercise that establishes and develops strong marketing personas. Which RIAs and financial advisors are in your ideal client profile? What do they know about your products and services today? Because the industry is constantly growing and changing, it’s important to begin with the right target audiences up front and develop a psychographic profile that will guide your communications.
Once ideal marketing personas are established, the next step is often to go through a journey mapping exercise that helps the team develop a roadmap for promoting brand awareness, especially for new financial advisors that the firm wishes to attract. It’s all about engaging with clients when and where they are and sharing relevant messaging with them — especially if it helps them get ahead in their careers and establish a strong clientele (and brand loyalty) early on!
Firms are increasingly turning to social, video, mobile, email, paid search, industry newsletters, and other channels that their ideal client profiles frequent. They use AI to personalize their customers’ journeys, perform A/B testing, and automate customer interactions. Using AI generates marketing results, with 87% of financial services marketers saying AI has led to marketing ROI.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud can help asset management firms segment these client profiles through engagement scoring to optimize the impact of marketing efforts. Even simple considerations like timing the send of an email or direct message can have enormous impact in engagement and conversion rates. By tying relevant messaging and connected customer data to actionable analytics, marketers can get qualified (and interested!) financial advisors into the hands of their internals and externals for better appointment setting.
2. Turning marketing awareness and client engagement into new revenue streams
83% of executives at asset management firms stated that their firm is actively looking to expand into new investment products and strategies. As asset management firms continue to diversify their offerings, a key area for them to consider is the feedback loop between awareness marketing and new product/service development.
Many top asset managers look at their marketing programs not only as a way to drive brand awareness in the market and reinforce the value assertion of the funds and products they offer, but also as a way to gather feedback about what end-user clients are demanding of their financial products. For example, many of our clients are creating new ESG and emerging markets investment strategies, or offering entirely new asset classes for investment like digital gold or crypto.
Once asset managers have established top-of-funnel awareness with the new advisors they’re marketing to, it’s important to consider how to convert that into building discrete interest in products and services that can be offered directly to clients. How can the marketing journey promote the top funds and services that are driving value for clients? How can you convey the innovation of your investment strategies and how you’re helping clients outperform the market volatility?
Many successful firms introduce an educational component at this step, offering online classes and seminars, targeted email content and newsletters, case studies and financial calculators, and other resources that can be used in client conversations to convey the impact of these products and services. Of course, it’s incredibly important to track all of this engagement data as well! Attending a virtual seminar or in-person event is an important step on the nurture journey, and drives engagement scores in a real and meaningful way.
3. Appointment setting, next-gen chatbot edition
When asset managers put financial advisors at the center of their marketing programs and collect engagement and intent data over time, it gives both marketing executives and sales professionals a big edge when it comes to converting into subscriptions and trades. Engagement data allows firms to move beyond campaigns and blast emails into differentiated advisor experiences that meet financial advisors where they’re at, when they need it most.
Nearly every asset management firm we’ve worked with over the years struggles to keep up with the sheer volume of financial advisors entering the market, or moving from firm to firm. It’s the classic challenge of the industry! But with a solid integration to market data about advisors through Discovery Data or SS&C SalesConnect, marketers can take the awareness journey to the next level when they receive a data signal indicating a new target advisor.
Many of the firms we work with are taking the next technology step with appointment setting and advisor roadshows by leveraging new tools and technologies to change up the game. Secure and compliant chatbots, appointment scheduling tools, and real-time collaboration through Slack help firms keep up with key business relationships and automate a lot of the tedium of scheduling and email. This is often a major service differentiator!
At Silverline, we’re big fans of Qualified, an app built on the Salesforce platform that integrates with Marketing Cloud and Pardot to provide differentiated experiences based on a range of simple to very complex criteria. Want to power a financial advisor experience that’s different whether you’re an advisor at Morgan Stanley or Goldman Sachs? We’ve got your back. And not only that — these tools can connect to individual advisor calendars, schedule appointments, serve up important account content, and provide lots of other tools to help satisfy common requests.
Executive assistants and busy rainmakers on the road alike can now have more meaningful client meetings discussing market moves and investment strategies, instead of endless time scheduling.
4. Partnerships and affiliates are being promoted as part of asset management brands
Finally, the world’s leading global asset managers realize the potential of scaling their so-called affiliate sub-brands. These partnerships provide an opportunity to be magnified and marketed for their unique investment strategies — and in some cases, entire complimentary theses.
It is to an asset management firm’s advantage that these affiliates excel, and parent companies are willing to invest heavily in ensuring their success. They invest in their affiliates’ operations and marketing to help raise awareness, performance, and growth. With a network of affiliates, you can offer local expertise in key markets and provide clients with guidance specific to an area’s regulatory requirements and business practices.
It is important to create synergy between the parent company and the affiliate, especially in terms of client analytics. They want to know who is engaging with the affiliate and how they are interacting with it for investments. Financial Services Cloud can help asset management firms and their affiliates bring all that client data and analytics together in a less siloed format.
Jumping on the technology trend
Marketing technology can be the key differentiator for your asset management firm to have a leg up on the competition. Silverline’s team of experts help you strategize and implement your technological upgrades. By using the power of Salesforce, asset management businesses can remove barriers and deliver personalized client experiences, now and into the future. Find out how our team can help elevate your asset management efforts.