Importance of Promptly Updating Financial Marketing Materials - Including Fund Marketing and Digital Marketing


Asset management is an ever-evolving industry in which asset managers compete across different areas such as market strategy, investment strategy, etc. One of the key responsibilities of asset managers is the creation and distribution of marketing material collaterals. They distribute such collaterals through advisors and marketing events, as well as digital channels such as websites and emails. Asset managers need these collaterals to keep investors / potential investors updated on their products.

The creation of these collaterals requires multiple experts with varied skill sets, including data specialists, content writers, content designers, etc.

Asset managers must update financial marketing materials, such as fund marketing collaterals, on a regular basis because:

  • It helps them to offer the latest and most tangible product information to investors, enabling them to make informed decisions. It also lets asset managers effectively market their products to potential investors.
  • From a regulatory standpoint, asset managers are required to publish information regarding their public products on a regular basis; not updating the financial marketing materials on time may invite penalties.
  • From an optics standpoint, it helps avoid reputational damage, which cannot be easily rectified once it occurs.

What challenges are faced by teams creating financial marketing materials including Fund Marketing and Digital Marketing?

Asset managers involve multiple teams in the creation, update, and distribution of marketing materials. Each team faces unique challenges, which are required to be assessed separately. The key teams involved and the challenges they face are as follows:

  • Data specialists: They provide accurate and audited data to content writers. Most datasets come from different databases and internal teams and require thorough cleansing / normalization, etc.
  • Content writers: They take on the challenging task of making content relevant and in line with changing marketing dynamics, as well as updating the storyline when required. For instance, bonds may start looking unattractive with time, and content writers have to handle the challenge of reworking the storyline to reflect rapid market changes.
  • Content approvers (registered principles): All marketing materials must comply with regulatory guidelines from authorities such as the SEC, as well as be clear enough to be understood by clients. As such, content approvers are often tested to their limits about what they can and cannot approve.

Here are a couple of other challenges that asset managers regularly face.

  • Unstructured data in different formats: As data is sourced from multiple databases and internal teams, data at times is – unstructured, unaudited, in different formats – excel files, csv files, pdfs etc. Collating and structuring while keeping the data integral is challenging.
  • Content Relevance: In the scenario of hyper-macro-economic environment with changing geopolitical dynamics, there is a constant need to bring out relevant content to keep the investors and clients up to date with the firm’s strategies and outlook. Sometimes the fund performance does not necessarily match the macro-economic indicators, which can be challenging tasks for content writers.
  • Time to market: All performance-related marketing materials need to published (on website) and distributed as soon as the quarterly results are filed. There is intense time pressure (both from regulators and competitors) to get these marketing materials in front of investors promptly.
  • Cross-team collaboration: As asset managers use multiple teams during the process of creating and distributing marketing materials, collaboration, synchronization, and communication between teams often appear as major challenges.
  • Channel management: Clients often require product information / marketing materials in different formats and across multiple distribution channels. As such, asset managers are required to manage content across
    • Web – Using content management systems (CMS) such as Adobe Experience Manager, Adesso, Drupal, Kentico, Progress Sitefinity, and WordPress
    • Email – Using email distribution software such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Seismic, etc.
    • Sales advisory – Using internal and external sales advisors

How can asset managers overcome the challenges they face while updating marketing materials?

Asset managers face quite a few challenges while updating marketing materials. While some challenges may persist, many challenges can be overcome through business process improvement. Asset managers and key teams involved in the creation and distribution of marketing content / materials can take the following steps to overcome their challenges:

  • Streamline data: As data is integral to marketing materials, asset managers must ensure thorough vetting of data through checking, normalization, and harmonization.
  • Streamline content approval process: Asset managers need to ensure that their content writing teams (content writers) fully understand the compliance requirements. They should clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member. They should harmonize the entire process, from disseminating new disclosure updates to training team members to apply the changes.
  • Ensure adherence to compliance requirements: Asset managers should develop / maintain active repositories of approved materials, including the validity date of approvals. They must make sure that unapproved marketing materials are not published / distributed. They must regularly coordinate with content writers and inform them about updates to any marketing material so that writers can rework the content accordingly.
  • Drive cross-team collaboration: Asset managers should clearly define tasks for each team involved in the creation and distribution of financial marketing materials so that there are no gaps in task ownership.
  • Automate wherever possible: In order to reduce time to market and improve quality and efficiency, asset managers need to identify areas that can be automated, e.g. compliance expiration checks, battle card for advisors, factsheet automation.
  • Leverage third-party vendors: Third-party vendors act as extension of client teams – help in restructure existing processes, bring efficiency gains, provide extended time support (through global operations), augment additional skills to client teams – work on databases, route compliance checks, managing marketing materials on CMS platforms and sales enablement through distribution platforms. Vendors are able to pick-up high-volume tasks with low/medium complexity with relative ease enabling clients to focus on critical high complexity tasks. These vendors also provide cost savings to clients while also enabling clients to ramp up operations on short notice.

How can tools (such as distribution tools) help asset managers to streamline the creation and distribution of financial marketing materials?

Creating financial marketing materials is one thing but distributing them is an altogether different and challenging task. Robust distribution tools (Seismic, Salesforce, etc.) can help asset managers with

  • Repository creation: These tools make content easily accessible to all marketing teams.
  • Content distribution: These tools enable seamless distribution of marketing materials to a wider audience; asset managers can also choose to provide a personalized touch by including the date, client name, location, etc.
  • Version control and collaboration: Tools such as Seismic can help asset managers maintain version control and capture workflow process trails. These tools can also enable collaboration among different teams on common marketing materials.
  • Compliance assistance: These tools can create rules that enable the automatic addition and removal of disclosures based on parameters such as region so that the same material can be used globally.
  • Analytics: Most of these tools provide analytics related to content usage, open rate, click-through rate, engagement metrics, and conversion rate to help asset managers get a holistic view of the performance of their marketing collaterals.

By streamlining and improving various processes, asset managers can consolidate the entire process of creating financial marketing materials. Moreover, improving collaboration and communication between the product marketing and digital marketing teams, and using robust distribution tools can help asset managers to efficiently manage their marketing process.

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