Asset Managers Tune Up Digital Marketing Strategies for Institutional Mindshare

September 21, 2023 — Boston

As asset managers compete for institutional mandates wins, digital marketing is increasingly important

Digital content—audio and visual—disseminated across multiple channels and touchpoints will be critical for asset managers seeking to retain and grow mindshare among asset owners making investment decisions, according to Cerulli’s latest report, Institutional Marketing and Sales Organizations 2023: The Growing Importance of Digital Marketing Efforts.

To win business from asset owners, asset managers need to create multiple impressions to portray themselves as leading experts in all aspects of economics and investments related to their institutional capabilities. According to the research, the factors asset owners consider important when thinking about placing a mandate with a particular asset manager include many that require extensive communication and marketing. Specialization in asset classes (99%), demonstration of strong expertise through thought leadership (90%), and a well-known brand (85%) are most important.

Given the need for strong thought leadership, digital marketing strategies are critical to deepening an asset owner’s or investment consultant’s understanding of the asset manager’s knowledge base and capabilities. 83% of the top-30 institutional asset managers by assets under management (AUM) host audio/visual content on their website and social media platforms, 76% promote webinars (future and past), and 40% offer podcasts. Marketing teams are also adding greater interactivity on websites, with 23% deploying such modules for audience retention.

In terms of content distribution, these managers are using social media and email for broad message amplification. LinkedIn (100%), X (formerly known as Twitter) (90%), and YouTube (90%) are the most common social media platforms that asset managers use to engage with clients, prospects, and consultants. Email remains, and will remain, the most crucial element of all digital marketing strategies. “It is a gateway to introduce an organization’s capabilities to key decision-makers at institutions and investment consulting firms in a highly relationship-driven industry. However, the tool should be used judiciously and in parallel with other tactics,” says Laura Levesque, director. “Asset owners, particularly investment consultants, tell Cerulli they receive so many emails that they never read them all,” she adds.

As managers explore various methods for delivering marketing content to a target audience, the length of the content, depth of content, and media being used should be considered. “These are crowded spaces and marketing content on its own insufficient to get the attention of prospective clients. As such, marketing for institutional asset managers is multi-faceted, requires numerous touchpoints, and should be designed to keep institutions top-of-mind for asset owners making investment decisions,” concludes Levesque.

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