In a numbers-dominated industry, marketers at asset management firms constantly struggle to prove their department’s ROI to executives. It’s an issue that’s been compounded further recently, as competition over investor dollars, regardless of institutional or retail, has never been greater, putting marketing departments in the hot seat. Expectations for executing effective communications programs that resonate with clients and prospects have never been higher.
Despite the pressure on marketing departments, adding human capital to reduce the burden isn’t in the cards for most firms like it may have been in the past. There are many reasons for this, but most notably is the fact that the asset management industry’s workforce is shrinking for the first time in a decade according to research from Casey Quick, a research division of Deloitte.
Against this backdrop, it’s common for asset management firms, especially in the small and medium tiers, to employ a marketing department of one. Another approach that’s gaining popularity is “marketing by committee.” A CMO survey from 2016 found that two-thirds of companies give marketing and sales joint responsibility, and 10 percent put sales in charge of marketing.
Marketers in financial services are adjusting to the reality that doing more with less isn’t a trend; it’s an expectation. Fortunately, marketers aren’t going into this battle alone. The right technology partner can make the difference for most firms to get the most out of the resources they have and still run successful marketing and communications programs.
Technology as the equaliser
Similar to how website creation has become more accessible in the last decade with the advent of companies like SquareSpace and Wix, user-friendly marketing automation platforms have enabled marketers with limited resources to deliver a substantial return on investment by being able to craft effective, sophisticated communications on their own, without any technical background or assistance.
Technology partners today offer step-by-step workflows and “drag and drop” capabilities as core elements of their platforms, empowering marketers to easily (and quickly) create visually pleasing communications and make the most out of their assets. And with integration into popular CRM systems like Salesforce, keeping sales and marketing aligned, and maintaining lists and goals of clients and prospects for specific campaigns can be accomplished in just a few clicks.
With this also comes a level of personalisation these platforms allow for. Being able to properly segment and manager user subscription preferences allows for the introduction of more automation. For asset management firms, fund update documents are the perfect example. With the right process in place, you can send clients the fund updates they are subscribed to, as soon as they are updated, automatically.
Finding the right partner
In addition to the right technology, it’s also important to evaluate whether your technology partner can supplement your team’s skillset.
The ability to flexibly outsource a variety of marketing services is instrumental for a financial marketer’s strategy, especially at a small- to medium-sized firm. Some marketing automation providers, like StoneShot, have realised this need, and can offer flexible partnerships for marketing professionals to hand off things like design, development, campaign management, and even reporting. That way, marketing teams can outsource as much or as little as they need according to their bandwidth and strengths.
Are you a strong writer, but lack digital experience? That’s where a partner like StoneShot can come in and own the channel development and distribution.
Is someone from your team going on leave, but you can’t afford to postpone a key campaign? A flexible outsourced option, offered by a partner like StoneShot, allows you to hand off execution of campaigns to a trusted partner on an as-needed basis for situations like this.
On the servicing side, it means having access to a direct line of contact from your vendor, who is knowledgeable about your industry and can handle specific inquiries around the nuances of financial services. For an industry that’s rampant with technical language and compliance considerations, this is a major benefit that shouldn’t be overlooked.
What it means for you
Whether you’re a marketing team of one, or share marketing responsibility with colleagues in other departments, using the right technology and, more importantly, working with the right technology partner, can make all the difference in creating exceptional marketing programs for your clients.
If you’d like to discuss your challenges with marketing automation and personalising your communications, or have any questions around the StoneShot platform and how it can help you reach your business goals, we welcome you to get in touch with our team.