Can Content Automation End the Quarterly Update Crisis?

With average industry margins falling from 34 to 31 percent over the past decade, and most experts forecasting a continued slide to 20 percent over the next five years, it’s critical for asset management firms to foster productivity in conjunction with improving operational efficiency. Last year Seismic surveyed over 100 individuals from 37 asset management firms with the goal of learning not only what makes improving operational efficiency so attractive, but also why firms want to adopt content automation solutions in the first place. The results of the survey were overwhelmingly supportive of eliminating manual processes, especially where quarterly updates were concerned, and implementing technologies that could streamline workflows and lower costs, thereby delivering a higher return for firms.

Respondents believed that reducing the time it takes to build a fact sheet or pitchbook allows for the reallocation of resources that would otherwise be dedicated to such time-consuming, cyclical tasks. With this additional free time, managers are then open to pursue value-add activities, like prospecting new clients or strengthening relationships with current ones. Firms that had already adopted a content automation platform were experiencing the manifestation of such intangible benefits and found themselves gaining a competitive edge in the asset management space.

Because of these uniform results, Seismic decided to conduct a comparative analysis on the operational differences between manual and automated update methods–old school versus new school, if you will. The following table outlines the main steps a marketing person takes to produce a finalized, client-ready, PowerPoint pitchbook. Also included are estimated times for each step based on input from industry experts and Seismic customers. The data speaks for itself.


Item / Data ElementNumber of StepsEst. Time:

Without Automation

Est. Time:

With Automation

Gathering Baseline


36.5 Hours34 Minutes

Collecting Corporate


68 Hours13 Minutes

Describing Firm’s 

Investment Approach

10.5 Hours1 Minute

Detailing Firm’s

Management Process

and Investment


228 Hours62 Minutes


Credibility, Proof Points

and Client Successes

212 Hours4 Minutes

The Marketing 

Operations / Production


743 Hours510 Minutes
Subtotals98 Hours10.4 Hours

Adjustment for

Concurrent Activities

< 33 Hours >< 3.4 Hours >
Total65 Hours or Approx.

8 Days

7 Hours or Less than 1 Day



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