MFEA Digital Council 2017: Content Engagement and Tech Relevance

by on Mar 16, 2017

We recently attended MFEA’s Digital Council conference in Denver, hosted by Janus. The event included a host of interactive presentations, expert panels and breakout meetings that provided an open forum for industry leaders to share their challenges and successes in content marketing. When it comes to content generation and marketing, many Digital Council attendees identified the following challenges:

  • Breaking down organizational silos to promote cross-team collaboration
  • Managing high volumes of content
  • Repurposing existing information into new content
  • Leveraging social media to reach diverse audiences
  • Deciding when to produce internally versus hire a vendor

MFEA Digital Council Banner

A common theme we discussed with Council participants was the importance of keeping on par with the latest marketing technologies. Dan Saltzman (Vice President of Effective UI) highlighted a bleak point in his presentation on customer centered design: in the last 15 years, 52% of Fortune 500 companies have disappeared. The statistic emphasizes the importance of staying technologically relevant and drives home the idea that companies must cater to client expectations. Firms that fail to do so could fall victim to being perceived as obsolete, or even worse, out of touch. Graig Norden (President of Freewheel Marketing) presented on digital-first marketing, and reiterated Saltzman’s message. Norden provided a walkthrough of his recent study on RIAs and advisor perceptions, which ultimately highlighted the necessity for advisors to adopt technology advancements in order to stay top of mind.

Dan Saltzman of Effective UI Shares His Insights

Many MFEA participants discussed strategies for making content more engaging to their audiences. Experts noted that content does not always need to be academic in tone or sales-driven – it can be purely informative or even entertaining. Andy Seibert (Managing Partner at IMPRINT) and Natalie Widdowson (Head of Content Marketing for Individual Investors at T. Rowe Price) conducted an illuminating presentation that provided examples of how interactive design can be used to convey ideas more engagingly, encouraging marketers to think beyond static, text-only content. Widdowson presented a case study highlighting T. Rowe Price’s success with the Do You Act Your Retirement Savings Age? quiz and unveiled the firm’s latest interactive piece, Retirement Challenge.

T. Rowe Price’s New Interactive Piece – Retirement Challenge

MFEA’s Digital Council posed some eye-opening dialogues amongst its attendees. We anticipate the fund industry will be tackling its content marketing challenges more closely in 2017, something we will be tracking within our Mutual Fund  Monitor and Mutual Fund  Monitor – Advisor research services.