Regardless of which types of customers investment management firms aim to serve, improving their marketing efforts to reach, convert, and retain more of the right investor audiences must be a primary goal.
Whether your asset management firm specializes in helping financial advisors find the right ETFs or identifying the ideal asset classes for institutional investors, you need a data-driven marketing program that brings your preferred investor prospects into your funnel so you can nurture them over time.
A 2018 PwC report noted the growing role of artificial intelligence in wealth management marketing in the coming years — a trend that will transform firms for the better:
“Real-time optimization of sales, marketing, client interaction, predictive modeling and near-instant processing of data will enable the AWM industry to rise to the next level, making AI a technology that managers should invest in at an accelerated clip.”
This type of AI-powered technology referenced in the report can help with a wide variety of investment marketing activities: from bolstering website traffic and enhancing engagement to turning unknown website visitors into known leads and converting them into clients.
As investment management firms across the globe undergo a digital transformation that makes the customer the center of their marketing and data infrastructure while leveraging the power of AI to enable more intelligent one-to-one customer experiences, they are turning to an emerging technology to enable this shift: the customer data platform (CDP).
The benefits of customer data platforms for investment management firms
The CRM has long been the centerpiece of investment management companies’ (and brands in countless other industries’) marketing technology stacks.
What some of these firms may not realize, though, is martech has evolved quite a bit in recent years. A CRM is still a helpful cog in the modern marketing machine — but it’s no longer the alpha tech marketers rely on to get an accurate picture of prospects and customers.
The CDP has leapfrogged the CRM — as well as data management platforms, master data management solutions, data warehouses, and similar marketing software — as the new focal point of investment management firms’ martech stacks.
Why? Well, for starters, with a CDP, these companies can:
- Unify client and prospect data from disparate databases into a single source of truth
- Activate that data cross-channel for real-time messaging and long-term prospecting
- Update their contacts’ profiles dynamically based on new activities and behaviors
The list of customer data platform benefits goes on and on. Obviously, the use cases will vary slightly from one industry to the next. Suffice to say, there are several use cases investment management firms can take advantage of right after onboarding their CDPs.
Specific CDP use cases for asset and wealth management companies
Before you build the case for adopting a CDP, it’s important to understand what the platform is capable of — particularly as it pertains to your business use cases.
Here are some of the most common ones for asset management companies like yours.
Use case #1: Consolidating all prospect and client data from disparate sources into a single source of truth.
As noted, having several legacy marketing systems to store critical client and prospect data can lead to wasted marketing spend and operational inefficiencies across departments (not to mention many-a-headache).
Many investment management firms are allocating sizable spend to advanced analytics solutions to aid their digital marketing programs. That’s where the customer data platform comes in, although it is much more than an analytics solution. It acts as the single source of customer data truth that can be activated in real-time to improve marketing performance.
Consolidating all of your data into a CDP means you no longer have to pull in technical staff members — your IT pro, data scientist, or similar database expert — to create custom data lists for the purposes of marketing segmentation anymore.
A CDP enables the marketing team to build any segment it needs in less than two minutes, and then immediately activate that segment across marketing channels – all from within the CDP’s interface.
One BlueConic customer in the asset management space experienced this exact issue: the need to integrate data from multiple data sources (campaign management software, data analytics tools, etc.).
The company in question could rapidly deploy real-time interactions based on marketing campaign association and predictive models. Through these optimization efforts, the firm saw click-through rates via targeted messaging rise from 5% to 40%.
Translation: Our pure-play CDP allowed the company to not only see the latest interactions its clients and prospects had with its digital presence and act upon that engagement accordingly, the firm also leveraged our platform to gain predictive insights regarding upcoming online engagement and optimize programs to improve performance.
Once the investment management firm organized its client data into relevant segments (e.g., ones based on behavioral profile properties like momentum, which monitors when contacts’ engagement levels suddenly increase), they could send the most relevant (see: high-converting) messaging to those segments in real-time — not minutes or hours after the engagement, but within seconds.
Gaining the single customer view by integrating data from organizational silos and segmenting contacts into niche categories for targeted marketing: That’s how many of today’s investment firms make the most of their CDPs and, in turn, gain crucial insights into their niche investor audiences and transform them into clients.
Use case #2: “Knowing” unknown users through dynamic forms and personalized recommendations.
Delivering real-time marketing messaging to prospects is certainly a top priority for modern wealth management companies looking to boost their most important conversion metrics.
But first, you need unknown leads to identify themselves know who they are and what they’re looking for so you can provide them with the most pertinent product and content recommendations — tactics that have proven fruitful for engaging (and reengaging) consumers, including investors.
Many wealth management firms play the long game with prospecting, as practically all investors want to take their time to evaluate what distinguishes one firm (and its funds and services) from another.
An essential element of this nurturing process is leveraging personalized, informational content on-site: guides, white papers, calculators, videos, and other assets to educate investors on investment concepts and specific offerings — equity investing, asset allocation, and other specialized products.
Supplying this enlightening and instructive content in a gated fashion — requiring site visitors to fill out a dynamic form to access the collateral — is how numerous investment companies improve their recognition ratio: the number of contacts for whom they have at least one piece of identifying information they can then use to guide much of their marketing efforts to said contacts.
Once an unknown visitor becomes a known lead, you can offer individualized messaging to them across your various channels.
For example, once an unknown user (say, a registered investment advisor) fills out a form and becomes a known prospect, you can tailor emails specific to them, like ones in which you offer additional info on the specific content or product pages said prospect viewed, or you can ask if they want a consultation now if they are demonstrating high momentum behaviors.
The commonality among all of these marketing activities and approaches? A CDP like BlueConic enables marketers to execute, analyze, and optimize said activities and approaches to continually improve their campaigns and real-time offers and, ultimately, generate more clients.
Use case #3: Build real-time client and prospect segments for key audiences that can be activated across channels.
Not only can the aforementioned segments constructed for each audience help you develop unique marketing strategies for each one, but you can also get even more granular and hyper-specific with a CDP by building sub-segments based on those contacts’ interests and behavioral data.
The more you’re able to narrow down your “best” leads into high-intent, high-value buckets through behavioral segmentation, the more detailed you can get with messaging to these prospects.
For instance, your individual investor segment will likely require a different outreach strategy than those for institutional investors and financial advisors. With segments for each client category — and additional sub-segments for each prospect type based on distinct behaviors — you can develop a wide array of ads, emails, on-site messaging, and other promotional activities tailored for each one.
The sheer number of segments you can create — both based on particular behaviors as well as demographics, firmographics, interests, and contextual data — for each investor client type is practically endless. You can:
- Bucket RIAs into different groups based on specific engagements with your firm: site visits, emails opened, content downloaded, events attended, and the like
- Separate investors by persona type, like those who typically convert into new clients within days or weeks versus those who take months to sign on or never do
- The amount of risk certain kinds of investors are willing to take on in their (or their clients’) portfolios or the size of investor asset pools advisors in dollars
We could list numerous customer segments you can build, but really, it’s up to you to test different segments using a CDP to determine which ones are worth continually targeting.
Use case #4: Reduce funnel abandonment and target leads via ads to improve efficiency and limit wasted spend.
There’s nothing worse than orchestrating a lifecycle marketing strategy to convert leads into clients, only for those leads to abandon the conversion funnel at the eleventh hour.
For instance, some investors will visit an asset management firm’s website several times in a short period and visit the “make-an-appointment” or “schedule-a-call” page — only to never fill out a form. Or worse, they start to fill out the form, but never click submit!
This frustrating experience is sometimes out the marketing team’s direct control due to multiple variables. Having said that, there are savvy ways for marketers to advance more leads further down the funnel.
With a customer data platform, you could develop targeted (and retargeted) advertising campaigns to high-engagement leads through Google and Facebook, as well as through other channels like email.
Browser privacy measures like Apple’s ITP makes tracking leads across the internet via third-party cookies a difficult task for companies of all kinds today — including investment management firms.
But, as we noted in our webinar on the death of third-party cookies, the CDP helps marketers leverage their first-party data to optimize targeted ad campaigns and reduce wasted spend.
Your first-party data is your best marketing asset. Why? Because you earned said data in a consented manner from your prospects and clients, and you don’t rely on other entities’ (see: third-party data providers), which may or may not comply with global privacy and consent regulations such as GDPR and CCPA .
As your contacts’ profiles change over time in your CDP (and, believe us, they’ll change quite frequently), those featured in your segments intended for ads will subsequently change as well. And consent management is built into the platform so you can automatically suppress marketing exposure to any leads that have not provided consent in markets that require this level of explicit opt-in.
These dynamic, real-time updates mean you’ll only ever target the most applicable audiences with your advertising efforts, in turn making your ads much more effective and saving you from wasted spend.
Enhancing your investment management firm’s marketing with a CDP
Gaining a complete picture of investors across data sources and channels, and then segmenting them based on several criteria used to be a time-consuming, energy-draining endeavor.
Simply put, the customer data platform saves you time and energy with these important tasks, gives you a comprehensive view of every prospect and client in your universe, and makes it much faster and easier to send the right messaging to the right individuals at the right times via the right channels.
No more wasted ad spend. No more partial customer views. No more inefficiencies in your marketing.
That’s what you get with a CDP.
You and your investment firm get the martech needed to take your marketing strategy to the next level, while your clients and prospects get an optimal experience based on their individual preferences, interests, and behaviors — a mutually beneficial experience for both your business and your customers.