Blog Answer Your Customers’ Unasked Questions

Posted November 8, 2017 by Mike Cogburn

In my last blog post I spoke about the need for making product stories memorable, advocating for asset managers to tell product stories in new ways (and the importance of being relevant to the audience). We have found that when firms tout a clear and repeatable message about who they are and what makes their product(s) different, they’re remembered by advisors. One firm, for example, actively defends their active approach (pun intended) by positioning themselves as a risk management firm. As a result, 78% more advisors associate it with risk management vs. the average asset manager. To grab the attention of already inundated customers, think outside of the box of traditional fund objectives and data points and answer questions that customers don’t necessarily know that they have.

What I Learned From Paper Towel Dispensers

I recently attended a large B2B marketing conference hosted by MarketingProfs, and sat in on a session on mining social media data. In the presentation, an executive from Georgia Pacific told an unforgettable story. In monitoring social media mentions of their company and its products, the team came across a video produced by some college students poking fun at a particular paper towel dispenser – throwing objects at/past it without any towels being dispensed. The students were saying that the dispenser was not motion activated but should be. The question that they, and most viewers likely had, but did not know, was how this dispenser worked. So Georgia Pacific jumped into action with their own video showing objects being thrown at a dispenser in their corporate office without any towels dispensing. But when a human hand was waved in front of it, paper towels were delivered – allowing the company to explain that the technology it uses detects hands specifically to cut down on wasted energy and towels.

The point is the company found an opportunity to answer a question that customers subconsciously had – how these products actually work. Granted, in this case, college students were not the purchasers, but, as the company noted, university employees were following Georgia Pacific on social channels. The situation allowed them to highlight a key product feature and technology behind it.

Teach Customers Something Unexpected and Meaningful

Research, Analytics, and Consulting Answer Your Customers Unasked Questions illustration Source: DST Research, Analytics, and Consulting, LLC

What made this brief storytelling moment memorable was that it taught something unexpected and meaningful. If we think about what’s important to home office analysts, advisors, or institutional investors, product performance is typically the first thought. But when that is comparable, what else might they want to know? Close to two-thirds of advisors, for instance, use asset manager websites to review portfolio manager philosophy and process. For many firms, this is a good place to start. For example, delving into the details about what makes a portfolio manager tick, or why a fund was started in the first place could surface such subtle questions. And if a firm can surface some useful (and perhaps unexpected) info in the right ways, it is all the more memorable.

We are publishing a new report at the end of this month – "Destination Inbox: Increasing Email Relevance and ROI." We have found that the vast majority of firms use email to drive more business, but very few feel they are effective with it. For asset management marketers looking to take email to the next level, the report will outline ways to do so, as well as where industry leaders are with their email strategies. Using these tactics to answer questions that your customers may not know they have will ensure they are relevant and memorable – and firms that do so will be the ones to stand out.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about this upcoming report, or my thoughts in this post.

Mike Cogburn
Managing Consultant
Research, Analytics, and Consulting

categories: advisor behaviors, advisor engagement/client engagement, asset manager websites, branding, marketing 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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