According to a report by global analytics firm Cerulli Associates called European Sales and Marketing Organizations 2015, institutional investors were the prime target for fund managers – with 94% using thought leadership initiatives to hit that particular market.
Keen to restore trust in an industry tainted by the financial crisis, fund managers said they were keen to offer fresh perspectives and solutions to help inform and educate their audience as competition and regulatory pressures intensified.
Consultants, private banks and wealth managers were their secondary target audiences, followed by platforms and IFAs – the latter being the focus for 22.2% of the fund managers interviewed.
Tone and format of communications are changing, the report explained, with 10-20% of budgets being spent on content marketing just in the UK. That content needs to be more informative, educational and form a more discerning aspect of the wider marketing mix, rather than being about a ‘hard sell’, the firm said.
“The written word alone is not enough, and the variety of message is much wider, quirkier, and colourful"
“The written word alone is not enough, and the variety of message is much wider, quirkier, and colourful. It is also sophisticated and fast moving; videos and podcasts are used as a matter of course,” said Barbara Wall, European research director at Cerulli.
“Training for thought leaders has also evolved as fund managers go to greater lengths to develop talent, either through third-party experts or by developing internal know-how.”
Further, respondents representing 35 asset managers across the continent are also allocating resource to establishing internal systems while drawing on third-party expertise, such as copywriters graduated from a sales copywriting course. But they expect improved dialogue as a result rather than the one-sided messaging often used in the past.
Incisive & engaging
“Feedback – any reaction, in fact – is meaningful because it shows that the message that caused it was incisive and engaging enough to warrant a response,” added Angelos Gousios, senior analyst at Cerulli.
Website traffic and hits on social media platforms were cited as the primary method of measuring successful communication by 80% of managers.