Corporate Insight recently attended the IMEA Marketing Summit at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago. IMEA (formerly MFEA) hosts several themed conferences throughout the year, such as sales, distribution and leadership, with this iteration focusing on marketing. For the one-day event, industry leaders and key decision makers gathered to offer their takes on the latest asset management trends, challenges and opportunities.
Here are the main takeaways from the event:
- Firms continue to shift toward making advisor content publicly available – As we previously noted in our January 2018 blog post, we have observed asset managers moving toward making advisor site content available to unregistered viewers. Advisors regard asset management sites as the most valuable source of product and strategy information. Allowing advisors to view appropriate content seamlessly without logging in generally outweighs rationales for restrictive barriers. An overabundance of required logins may potentially dead-end advisors in their journey, moving them to other websites. Many industry leaders at the conference discussed removing the full login process and simply asking for a one-time email address entry that will be saved for future visits. On the back end, firms will verify the domain but will not spam or follow-up with the user.
- There is no clear answer for content creation or delivery frequency – One of the panel discussions focused on thought leadership, around the question of how much is too much content? A panelist shared a recent finding that over a one-year span, the tracked asset management firms published between 33-566 commentaries, which is a significant discrepancy. Firms struggle with content creation and writing in a clear, actionable manner, rather than just a data dump, which can be difficult to digest and share with clients. One speaker recommended removing clutter and focusing on content ideation, discussing how to initiate and develop client relationships. One interesting finding was the prevalence of AI or robo-writers crafting content. While typically for product-orientated pieces and not thought leadership or market outlook, it is still valuable to understand how firms are designating and designing published content.
- Evidence-based approach is key for portfolio construction tools – The latest trend around portfolio construction tools is using an evidence-based approach. Evidence-based investing aims to build a durable portfolio around data. In addition to the familiar consultative theme, the evidence-based model takes it further and shows quantitative data within the tool output and related materials. One panelist stressed the importance of these tools as they will test whether the portfolio can withstand market scenarios and will make key recommendations, such as to increase diversification. Advisors who are equipped with these powerful tools are better positioned to build more successful businesses and client relationships.