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Leading asset managers and mutual fund firms face unique challenges in managing their marketing, sales and regulatory content. Sales and marketing teams need accurate content — fact sheets, quarterly performance reports, prospectuses and market trends — that are impactful and meet regulatory requirements. No small feat, especially in today’s marketplace, where you are challenged to push out more content through multiple distribution channels and with increasing levels of customization.
This is why your approach to managing your physical and digital sales and marketing content is critical. Without an efficient method for managing and distributing content, teams waste time, increase overall spending, risk compliance errors (and possibly fines) and often are unable to gauge the efficacy of their content to inform next steps in the customer journey. In working with asset managers, Broadridge often encounters three common approaches to content management and distribution, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Persona #1 – Do-It-Yourselfers
Do-it-yourselfers have invested heavily in internal technology and operations to build their own content management and distribution systems – often developing their own content storage and ordering systems and combining them with internal mailing, printing and fulfillment operations. The rationale? Many think they can do it better and cheaper than outsourced solutions, while also providing a higher level of customization.
But many firms underestimate the ongoing costs of this do-it-yourself approach. At some point, a company will have a new development project and need to upgrade its software or modify it to meet the standards of a new operating system. Or perhaps because volumes are changing for business reasons, some of its facilities are no longer being utilized efficiently and equipment depreciation is outweighing the value the firm is receiving.
Plus, investing significantly in the operations of managing software or running a print shop is generally not part of a financial firm’s core business objective. Your goal is not to be a software developer or print and logistics expert. Rather, your competitive strengths are more closely tied to your investment returns.
Many former do-it-yourselfers have come to realize that by working with external providers to implement solutions that effectively manage digital content and leverage print-on-demand capabilities, they can build a cost-effective solution that is scalable and streamlines the overall process.
Persona #2 – High-Spend Business Silos
With this approach, companies typically invest in a range of leading point solutions, often providing similar capabilities to different business areas. For example, these firms may have segregated teams in Retirement, Institutional and Retail Marketing all implementing different vendor solutions to improve presentations, email capabilities or document management.
The problem with a siloed approach is twofold. One, siloed solutions rarely are cost-effective. Time and resource costs to manage and maintain multiple systems can quickly get out of hand. These costs include contract renewals, integrations, software upgrades and training for users. Two, oftentimes, solution providers expand their capabilities or acquire new ones, further clouding the picture for users and leading to a single business area managing and paying for several solutions with overlapping capabilities.
By achieving alignment and working across business areas, siloed companies can find a solution to meet their overall needs while taking an entire tech stack into account. This approach ultimately will break down barriers to content synchronization and equip sales teams with consistent, accurate and up-to-date messaging.
Persona #3 – Low-Tech, Low-Cost
Of course, some companies have been hesitant to invest in content management and distribution technologies. As a result, they rely on their company’s basic tools like corporate email utilities or shared drives to store and push out content. Physical materials are often stored under desks throughout offices.
The problem with this approach, however, is that if sales teams are sending content through an internal email system, they have no idea when – or if — someone actually reads it, eliminating the ability to measure its effectiveness and gain valuable customer insights. And, as for sharing and storing content, shared drives and local storage can be difficult to search and often lack compliance controls, such as expiration and disposal processes. This leads to outdated or inconsistent content that can create both regulatory and brand perception issues.
The implementation of a comprehensive solution that not only streamlines the management and distribution of content, but also provides usage and performance data, can empower firms that fit this profile to step up their game with a manageable investment.
Optimize Your Content Management Platform
So, what’s the right approach for your firm? Start by identifying which of these three personas most closely resembles your current state. Then evaluate your system’s process efficiencies and costs. Work to integrate any redundancies and break down silos. Finally, evaluate the marketplace. You’ll likely find external solutions that can help you derive more value from your sales and marketing content.