On Friday, October 13, Harvest CMO Bob Dryzgula hosted a webinar on the topic of data-driven product campaigns. A recording is available here.
There are four structural trends in the investment management industry that make this topic timely: margin compression, cost cutting, automation and artificial intelligence, and growth in external service providers.
These trends are forcing marketers, just the same as other investment professionals, to do more with less. This necessitates smarter spending and quantifiable results. The lynchpin of this approach is the use of data to personalize communication and ensure that it is within the appropriate context. This is Amazon’s approach and we also consider it the measure of success for investment managers seeking to differentiate their firm or product.
For context, recall the days of the boiler room-type sales culture of Wall Street. This strategy was based upon “dialing for dollars,” with rows of over-stimulated salesman using phone books. Those prospects lucky enough to receive a call on a given day generally had one thing in common: the first letter of their last name. Aside from delivering a terrible client experience, this practice was a woeful waste of resources.
Receive our weekly updates that focus on educational content and practice management ideas for investment managers.
These sales-driven cultures also meant that marketing was an afterthought, as brand or product differentiation was largely reliant on performance. Even now, an early step most investors rely on is determining which decile the product occupied. But with the proliferation of ETFs and with interest rates being anchored at zero for the past decade, we’ve seen a broad convergence in performance.
Good marketing is now a necessity. And if BlackRock is any indication, digital user experience is now just as relevant for investment managers as it is for Amazon.
The ultimate objective of emphasizing user experience is to harness new trends such as the aforementioned "doing more with less". This approach seeks to enable marketers to scale their efforts and nurture leads digitally, while allowing the sales team to focus on those leads demonstrating the highest engagement. This is a better exchange for both the investor and the manager.
Pivoting towards such a strategy is no easy task. Therefore, our webinar provides the necessary framework and blueprint to enact such a strategy. We also discuss our recommended life cycle for a product campaign that includes developing content, distributing it, measuring response rates, and learning about the campaign’s performance relative to the competition.