Hingham, Massachusetts – December 10, 2019 – Cutter Associates, LLC, a leading provider of operations and technology research and consulting to asset managers, wealth managers, insurance companies, pensions, endowments and asset servicers, today released its first ever Marketing Benchmark Survey detailing the marketing strategies and practices of some of the world’s leading asset management firms. The survey of chief marketing officers and executives from firms representing more than USD 5 trillion in AUM is the first of its kind to focus specifically on the global asset management industry.

The survey results point to an overall trend of transformation across the landscape as marketers are embracing new forms of communication to better engage with advisors, consultants, investors and shareholders. Survey respondents revealed that they are focusing on content marketing, lead generation, personalization, segmentation, analytics and marketing automation, all with the goal of driving asset growth."

Our survey shows that asset management marketing organizations are recognizing more than ever the importance of managing client experience,” stated Cindy Sealey, CFA, principal and leader of Cutter Associates’ Client Facing Consulting Practice. “Seeing marketing step up to drive client experience is a remarkable shift from the days when the marketing function played more of a supporting role to the sales group. Our survey shows that it’s clearly a new age, one in which marketers are now taking the lead and employing modern tactics and communications strategies to engage with their constituents."

While the survey certainly indicates an intention to incorporate new tools and tactics within the marketing mix, it also reveals many of the challenges associated with advancement of the marketing function. Included in this is the need for improvement of data quality, completeness and accuracy, with many organizations saying they lack the necessary tools to integrate and analyze siloed data sets. As a response to this, many respondents report that they are participating in their firm’s data governance programs to gain insight into how marketing consumes and produces data.

Other key takeaways from Cutter Associates’ Marketing Benchmark Survey include:

  • Current marketing efforts are most focused on content marketing, sales alignment, analytics, and lead generation. Organizations report they will significantly shift their focus toward segmentation, new channels, and data management over the next two years.
  • Marketing organizations are spending the majority of their content marketing efforts creating “business as usual” content (e.g., fact sheets, pitch books), leaving little time for brand-building content that differentiates the firm in the minds of prospects.
  • Although 92% of firm websites are optimized for mobile devices, only 17% of surveyed firms have defined mobile use cases. Firms using native mobile apps, separate from a mobile website, are a rarity.
  • Fifty-eight percent of firms are using email nurture campaigns, and many are planning to increase use.
  • Despite the impact of data on marketing functions, only 36% of surveyed firms have representation in enterprise data governance programs.

“We are intrigued by the results of this all-important, first-of-its-kind benchmark survey as it greatly underscores the leadership role marketing plays in today’s financial services organization,” commented John Refford, the report’s author and a director in Cutter Associates’ Client Facing Consulting Practice. “The survey also indicates that firms still have a long journey ahead as they are at the early stages of modernizing their efforts. Encouragingly however, all respondents reported dedicated and strategic efforts to do so, which will ultimately lead to better servicing of their clients and constituents.”

The Marketing Benchmark Survey provides a useful resource for financial services organizations to see how their marketing efforts stack up against others across the industry.

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