Asset managers are ramping up digital marketing initiatives, particularly investments in profit-boosting customer relationship management solutions, to more effectively connect with clients and prospects.
That’s a key finding of a new Cerulli Associates report, “U.S. Product Marketing and Sales Organizations 2015: Devising a Marketing Plan amid Technological Progress.” The study explores trends in digital marketing, including its impact on users and the client experience. The latter, says a Cerulli analyst, is “paramount” to marketers and asset managers aiming to gain a competitive edge.
“In order to put forth a positive client experience, engagement needs to take place,” says Cerulli Associate Director Pamela DeBolt. “The ultimate goal with engagement is for it to lead to [client] acquisition, thereby getting a prospect into the customer relationship.”
“Advancements in digital have provided ample opportunity to understand clients, but without the proper technology and resources to interpret results, firms are no better equipped to know their clients than they were 20 years ago,” she adds.
The report flags a host of initiatives that asset managers are undertaking to get better clued into clients’ wants and needs. These include investments in customer relationship management (CRM), predictive analytics and data mining solutions that can interface with customer-facing websites.
The study also points to growing adoption by financial services firms of social media tools, notably LinkedIn, to connect with prospects. The professional network lends itself well to pitching a practice’s unique value proposition and expertise, showcasing endorsements from satisfied clients, sharing knowledge through articles and blog posts, and easing communications with prospects.
Also gaining traction are marketing automation tools that facilitate digital advertising, email campaigning and marketing measurement. These solutions, the report notes, can aid in building the company brand and enhancing the client experience.
Among the report’s other highlights:
One-third of large asset managers expect to win business between 25 and 50 percent of the time. That compares to 45 percent of medium/small firms expecting to do the same.
Two-thirds of marketing managers plan to add to their staff. Chief marketing officers (CMOs) particularly value individuals with analytical skills to advance business intelligence and marketing measurement initiatives. Also valued: people who can create, manage and implement an effective content management strategy.
Internet/web advertising and native advertising nab the largest shares of asset managers’ advertising budgets at 26.4 percent and 24.2 percent, respectively.
Most (80 percent) of large managers spend $1 million or more on their CRM solutions. And 58 percent expect to increase spending over the next 12 months on CRM, which survey respondents deem the most powerful profit-enhancing tool in their digital arsenal.
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