Blog Five Ways Asset Management CMOs are Responding to Industry Change

Posted October 9, 2017 by Tracy Needham

“I’ve never seen more change than I have the last three years in our industry,” one marketing executive said at last week’s annual CMO roundtable. And given current trends and pressures in the asset management industry, the executives who attended are bracing for more change ahead.

After a presentation to spark thinking on how asset management marketers can better meet today’s challenges, the discussion ranged from collaborating with internal partners to marketing organization structures to data, digital marketing, and measurement. Here are five key takeaways:

Distribution Solutions Five Ways Asset Management CMOs are Responding to Industry Change illustration

Firms are starting to turn marketing into a revenue center by laying claim to certain segments or building a marketing profit and loss (P&L) statement. Some groups of advisors may be based on segmentation and lead scores. Others may be based on the advisors’ penchant for digital interaction. But in all cases, marketing has created an opportunity to take credit for sales where the advisor has only responded to marketing touchpoints.

Marketing structures are evolving, and often, to be leaner. Firms are transforming teams into a collection of specialists instead of a generalists. In some cases, that includes more of a “marketing operations” function that is distinct from editorial and content. Positioning marketing as more of a discipline, as other industries do, and giving specialists the authority to make certain decisions in their areas, help reinforce their expertise. But instead of hiring separate digital heads and staff, many firms expect all new hires to be digitally minded in their approach.

Firms are recruiting more marketing and business intelligence staff from outside of the industry, to inject new skills, fresh thinking, and a more agile approach. The ins and outs of asset management regulations can be learned. Choosing the right person and successfully onboarding them can be a challenge though. Looking for candidates who display intellectual curiosity helps – if someone is not interested in the challenge, the lure of more money won’t keep them happy for long.

Firms are driving results and buy-in with the small wins. Testing fast and frequently helps build momentum and minimize any potential downside for sales. And once you can show that a team has beaten its KPIs with a pilot, more people get excited about and want to be part of the process.

Looking ahead, marketing executives will focus more on partnering with home offices and key accounts. The home office’s growing influence on advisors’ investment decisions is shrinking the pool of advisors with full discretion over their portfolios and making it more important to understand and communicate with all the various players are in a decision journey. Educational events and asset manager portals with sophisticated content catering to these “professional buyers” are already in the mix at some firms.

Roundtables are a great way to learn and share ideas with other asset management executives in a small group setting. "The Future of Digital," our last marketing roundtable for 2017, is coming up in November. Visit the information and registration page to learn more.



Tracy Needham
Senior Research Analyst
Research, Analytics, and Consulting

categories: advisor engagement/client engagement, c-suite, cmo, marketing strategy, roundtable/events

The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position or policy of DST Systems, Inc. or its affiliates, subsidiaries, joint ventures, officers, directors, or management.




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