Asset management and wealth advisory firms spend untold millions on technology and data to improve their investment performance. They write big checks to vendors of all kinds, including providers of:
Portfolio management, pricing and trade execution systems
Accounting, settlement and compliance solutions
Big Data, decision support and data warehouse products
Market data subscriptions, systems integration services and other support services
These firms have well-earned reputations as early adopters and big spenders on technologies that directly support their investment operations.
But when it comes to investing in marketing solutions, many of them act more like laggards. With innovative products that would help showcase firms’ hard-earned investment results, they’re usually late to the party and slow on the uptake.
It’s curious, because relative to what firms spend on technology for operations, the cost of one of the new sales enablement or marketing automation systems is quite small. These firms and their teams strive mightily to achieve better investment performance, and then they don’t market their results as effectively as they could.
It’s like a chef using great ingredients and cooking them perfectly, then not being careful with how the dinner looks on the plate.
The reason these firms haven’t been at the forefront of automation for sales and marketing probably has to do with ROI, or more precisely, the perceived lack thereof. Tech spending at institutional financial services firms is always predicated on a solid business case. This presented a hurdle for some of the traditional marketing- and sales-focused systems because with many of them, pinning down their hard-dollar ROI was difficult.
This isn’t the case with newer offerings like sales enablement solutions. These systems can directly tie marketing activities to sales pipeline building, deal progression and closed sales. They do this through more thorough tracking and reporting. For example, these solutions can keep tabs on all content created by marketing, how often it is used, by whom, when, on which devices, and for which clients. Content usage can be sliced and diced any number of ways: at the summary and detail levels, by piece, by individual usage, by day, week, month, by distribution channel, by groups, etc. This tracking and reporting is just one of the ways these systems clarify and validate their ROI.
With much stronger ways to document their ROI, sales and marketing enablement solutions are quickly becoming one of the most popular dishes on the technology menu for financial services firms. It’s time to put the focus back on the presentation, not just the ingredients.