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Attribution Analysis – It’s not just for Portfolios

by Bob Dryzgula
on August 15, 2017

Attribution Analysis – It’s not just for Portfolios

The investment community has been using portfolio attribution for over 3 decades. While the exact origination of attribution cannot be agreed upon by academics, one thing can – it helps explain relative portfolio performance vs. a benchmark and ultimately endeavors to distinguish skill from luck by breaking down drivers of return.

Attribution analysis also serves two key functions in the asset management world:

1. Provides a quantitative “conversation map” and “common language" between Client/Investor and the Portfolio Manager/CIO during client reviews.
2. The raw material Marketing teams use to explain portfolio performance in the context of the markets in their broad marketing materials.

It becomes much easier to answer key questions like:

1. “Did your investment thesis play out and what did you own?”

2. “Are you doing what you say you do in your marketing materials?

3. “Was this performance a fluke (on up or down side) or expression/result of a repeatable selection process?"

4. Was an entire sector punished and excess return potential in the manager's names should be realized once a risk on environment where fundamentals are valued returns.

Marketing is now just as much science as art and at Harvest we believe the same quantitative approach we apply to portfolio management can be applied to our content marketing efforts.

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While it’s not easy, this approach requires the right distribution outlet, the right data sets, and actionable reporting that can both measure success and inform future efforts.

Most Firms look to reach three main groups of investors: Individual Investors, Retail (i.e. Financial Planners/Advisors) and Institional Investors. Today’s free flow of information means appetites and preferences are changing faster than ever and answering “What is working and With Who?” is more important than ever…layer in the factor of measuring content success by medium… albeit video, short blurb, or white paper and it should be clear a data driven attribution approach can yield a competitive edge.

Attribution is just one piece in the content puzzle but when combined with real-time analysis and actionable signals the race is on and firms embracing this approach are shifting the odds in their favor.

Watch a short, 20-minute webinar by CMO Bob Dryzgula of Harvest on using content marketing attribution to better understand your audience's tastes and preferences. 

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