Blog Marketers, Stories – Not Fact Sheets – Are the Answer

Posted October 16, 2017 by Mike Cogburn

When companies are able to align products to their brand promise, their stories naturally become more memorable. But that is just part of the mission that asset managers are on as they fight to stand out in a crowded investment product market. In a recent blog post, my colleague Tracy Needham made a compelling case that there’s a significant need for asset management marketers to better align products to their brands – and I couldn’t agree more. But I am going to focus on the actual product story telling piece for this post. Only 1/3 of advisors can recall a product pitch that they have heard in the last 6 months because marketing messages (and sales pitches) aren’t always relevant, aren’t brand-aligned, and tend to sound the same as others. And I want to be clear that fact sheets are not the answer.

Distribution Solutions Marketers Stories Not Factsheets illustration

Who Wants to Hear Your Story?

First, figure out who should be hearing the story that you’re putting together. Advisors, like all of us, expect messages to be relevant to them. Luckily, there are now more data tools to help you understand who they are – going beyond just the business that they are doing with your firm. DST’s Advisor Practice Analytics provides deep information on overall asset class usage, receptivity to new funds, fund ratings preferences, and more. Honing in on good targets will bring a relevant message to the right advisor. And it will leave the wrong advisor alone (until the next campaign comes along to better suit them) – which can be just as valuable in the long run.

Forget the Fact Sheets

Next, the creative juices really need to get flowing. Fund fact sheets shouldn’t be taking up marketing managers’ time (or talent) because their production can and should be automated. Although there is certainly a place for them, they can’t be the leading storyteller for your products anymore. They are boring, no matter how data-rich they might be. Let’s push marketing teams to use their talents to bring to life what is special about your products in new and exciting ways. Consumers researching Tesla automobiles on the company website can quickly see the trade-offs between different battery options, while seeing the designs, expected charge times, and duration of charges by time and distance in different weather scenarios – with miniature interactive tools. Pricing transparency is becoming more common place on sites like Everlane that are showing customers what their manufacturing, tax, and transportation costs for items are. These are new, simple, interactive ways of getting product details while immersing customers. They are memorable because of the way they’re told. Asset managers have an opportunity to do the same by moving beyond fact sheets and telling deeper stories to the customers that are most likely to listen to them, read them, or perhaps play with them.

I am looking forward to hearing about where digital execs in the asset management industry are taking their targeting, storytelling strategies, and capabilities on November 6-7, 2017 at DST’s annual Future of Digital roundtable event.

In the meantime, for more information on trends in product marketing, please read our recent report series on Effective Product Market Strategies.

Mike Cogburn
Managing Consultant
Research, Analytics, and Consulting

categories: advisor engagement/client engagement, marketing strategy, product strategy

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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