As the old saying goes, in order to survive, you must adapt… or find a new job. Asset management is no different, as advancements across every corner of finance are completely changing the world of banking, for investors and firms, alike. It’s not how it used to be 20 years ago, when mutual fund telephone lines would ring off the hook with questions and prospects. Because of this, it is crucial that every company radically changes how they market to and communicate with clients. While this may sound like a monumental task, I like to remember another adage: You definitely can teach an old dog — or asset manager — new tricks.
With most services available at the tap of a screen, clients won’t pick up their phones to call if they know that one of your competitors offers great customer service at their fingertips. “Millennials, and the generations to follow, are far less likely to rely on traditional phone calls to connect with companies…” Beyond this, your online presence should be the first thing that grabs the attention of potential clients. Your organization has to think of itself as a brand that people recognize and associate with, as a meaningful part of their lives. The best way to do this is to be proactive about telling your story every step of the way, from social media profiles to press releases.
But none of these strategies matter if you can’t market them efficiently. Just as Major League Baseball is entering spring training, asset management is in the “early innings” of a digital marketing revolution. While financial services have been some of the first to adopt digital practices over the last few decades, it will require firms to throw away stale, dated techniques in favor of modern, creative ways to reach their target audience. An asset manager is no longer simply an ‘asset manager;’ they must think like a marketer when it comes to the newest strategies of establishing a great customer connection right from the start. Your communications must set the standard for interaction, engagement, and response.
In addition, one of the most important factors in establishing yourself within today’s crowded, online landscape is your company’s ability to accurately measure its efforts. Data is the currency of the future, so you must be using it to your advantage when it comes to figuring out what works and what still needs to be improved. Personal feedback from your clients can serve as data points, and you can map out the success of your strategies. Using feedback, combined with quantitative information, is the key to crafting the most comprehensive digital marketing game plan possible.
Ironically, it’s not easy to make a name for yourself or firm in today’s always-connected world. There’s no sure-fire formula for digital success; it takes time, money, energy, feedback, and planning. But it’s when all of these elements come together that your marketing efforts will truly become an asset to your brand.
Dan Sondhelm is CEO of Sondhelm Partners, a firm that helps asset managers, mutual funds, ETFs, wealth managers and fintech companies grow through marketing, public relations and sales programs. Click to read Dan’s latest Insight articles and to schedule a complimentary consultation.