2016 was a relatively strong year for asset management firms in the UK market, it was considered by many in the marketing field a year of transparent clarity, where direct marketing, segmented marketing client and consumer customisation would be key.
We saw a considerable uptake in the efforts of the players in this market to build on specialist marketing campaigns tailored to every segment, to all audiences and across all channels. It is on this premise that we view the trends so far in the first 2 quarters of 2017 and how we view the rest of the year ahead.
It is quite clear that these trends have continued into 2017, with a view that they become more sophisticated and even more tailored. Firms have recognised that the way to accomplish this is through market data insight and research, with asset management firms building out their market insight teams significantly; gathering, synthesising and feeding back on market trends, on both client and product levels to streamline and focus their marketing campaigns in the most effective ways.
Another offshoot of this has been firms driving their content marketing automation efforts across direct marketing campaigns, with a view that the marriage of thorough, cleansed and informative data effectively distributed across automated platforms can lead to large scale, commercially valuable marketing campaigns with strong, competitive ROI. This is not to say that all marketing can or should be automated but there has been a clear appreciation for sophisticated automated marketing which delivers for the client and or end consumer.
The Rise of Content
The leading investment managers have taken a clear route into putting greater emphasis in the importance of content and how it influences investment and brand. This has been true for some while, and with this, the most forward thinking firms have taken the lead in growing out their strategic content marketing offering. The key difference is that this year has seen a rise in firms seeking professionals to help build out their content management systems; with all this high collateral to hand, firms are being far more directed in ensuring that collateral can be saved, amended, updated and again distributed to the relevant parties. This content can range from anything like market insight, fund performance, asset allocation – all at a company’s finger tips and in turn making the sales and marketing process that much more streamlined.
As is expected, digital marketing is leading the way in asset management – the two will forever be intertwined, marketers need to know digital and digital marketers need to be able to adapt their skillet across the broad mix. Taking excellent candidates from outside of industry is neither uncommon nor frowned upon any longer, reflecting a big resurgence in the industry’s attempt to bring asset management into the digitally minded world of 2017.
Asset Management Trends in 2017: Active vs Passive
It is undoubtedly the case that passive funds are leading the market now, and have been doing so for some time. Both mutual funds and ETFs are growing in dominance, with ETF consistently out ranking other funds in popularity. Across the board, the retail user has deviated towards the passive fund market, able to access, invest in and build their portfolios at their fingertips, normally across apps and easy to navigate customer friendly interfaces. It is that firms have been focusing their marketing strategies, aligning marketing to simple, easily digested, sharp propositions which really differentiate the leading passive fund asset managers from the competition.