Updated on 28/04/2022
Towards digital marketing for SGR
Digital marketing for asset management company represents a huge opportunity to grow your business. However, it is not easy to understand which is the right tool to use to be successful. For this reason, before choosing, it is good to keep in mind some “golden rules” that are useful to build a really effective digital marketing strategy.
Digital marketing is now a reality for many activities that want to remain competitive for a long time in their field of expertise and this also applies to areas that are not usually associated with digitization, such as asset management, and yet it is now clear that an effective digital marketing strategy is needed for the asset management company. After all, digital transformation has had a major impact in Italy and beyond, affecting all possible areas of business: from catering to the hotel sector, and from retail to large-scale retail.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the financial sector is also involved in this change; obviously the managed savings sector is not an exception. However, before proceeding to understand the impact that digital marketing strategies for SGRs will have, it is necessary to clarify one thing.
What is meant by digital marketing?
We always talk about digital marketing and how important it is, but let’s take a closer look at what the term means.
By digital marketing, we are referring to all of the marketing activities “conducted by a company through the use of digital tools and channels, often in synergy with other traditional marketing tools, to create an integrated, personalized, and interactive communication able to help the company develop and retain its customer base”.
In other words, digital marketing is an approach that aims to combine the actions and fundamentals of marketing with new solutions made available by the digital revolution in order to make communication more effective and, consequently, to strengthen the link with customers.
On closer inspection, the tools that digital marketing provides are many and they are constantly evolving. Some of the most important are:
- for one to many, or “broadcast” communications, a risk management company can use own social and digital channels for digital advertising;
- regarding positioning in search contexts, digital marketing uses SEO (search engine optimization) and SEM (search engine marketing) techniques, which serve, respectively, to optimize the website so that it is better indexed for search engines and to make the same site more easily traceable by users;
- email marketing, which is an effective marketing strategy and is based on sending specific communications to consumers via email;
- product placement, which involves the strategic positioning of products, so that they integrate perfectly with storytelling (in the case of digital it is mainly placement within videos, web pages, or content published on social networks);
- the referral, a typical traditional marketing tool, which, in the context of digital marketing, serves to indicate reports of users who are potentially interested in a company’s products or services (very relevant for SGRs as it allows easy comparison between proposed financial services).
A dilemma to solve
Clearly, each of these tools has a specific function and serves to achieve different goals. For those who want to take advantage of the opportunities brought about by digital transformation, which one to choose?
Actually, answering this question is very difficult if not impossible. There is no single tool that is better than the others. However, there is a right way to choose, and that is to keep some basic objectives in mind that benefit any asset management company, in any context.
In general, everything concerning the economic and financial world is rather abstruse and inaccessible for non professionals in the sector and the thing also applies to Italians, since, according to the report “The financial literacy of Italians: the results of the survey of the Bank of Italy”, it emerged that Italy, has a literacy value of 11.2. Result slightly below average, 12.7.
This means that financial products and services must be explained clearly and effectively, and where technology is employed, the tools must be engaging. In this sense, a simple email is not necessarily enough. A video, for example, can be more explanatory, as it allows you to explain basic concepts; also, you can send financial tools directly to users or publish them on your social channels.
Building a relationship of trust with your customers
Asset management companies generally work on behalf of their clients who clearly identify the limits within which the asset management companies can operate. This means that it is essential for each of these institutions to earn the trust of those who entrust their savings to them.
Obviously, trust is created with seriousness and professionalism in every operation, but not only: trust must also be transmitted, perceived in every way to customers. Also because, if the above is true, individuals need to trust asset management institutions also because of their unfamiliarity with the financial world. In this sense, social networks can be a particularly useful tool since they allow companies to build a closer relationship with users.
Social networks also allow asset management companies to give immediate feedback to issues that customers raise, thus establishing a closer relationship with customers and being able to provide the type of service that can meet customers’ expectations.
The key to everything is personalization
Another aspect to keep in mind when building a digital marketing strategy for asset management company is that, for Italians, saving money is a priority. For this reason, the offer must be perfectly in line with what the customer expects, as well as with the customer’s own personal characteristics.
Anyone who approaches the financial world to have their savings administered expects, at a minimum, to receive personalized offers. This personalization must also reflect on the type and mode of communication chosen by the asset management company.
The more that these offers are personalized and “tailor-made”, the more likely that customers will see them as relevant. From this point of view, a particularly effective digital marketing tool could be email marketing, provided that the content of the message and timing are calibrated and consistent with the client’s position on the customer journey.
Creating a strategy
The choice of a digital marketing tool by any asset management company depends on the identification of its objectives. Therefore, clearly defining the KPIs and the expectations are essential for building a consistent and effective digital marketing strategy. It’s also because not all tools are designed to achieve the same effects; instead, they allow you to pursue a specific goal.
Among other things, measuring KPIs is fundamental not only before defining a digital marketing strategy, but also afterwards. Only by collecting the results achieved and comparing them with the initial objectives can you understand whether the choice made at the beginning was correct or not.
Everything is held, everything is touched
The last recommendation that an asset management company should follow before choosing the type of tool to build its digital marketing strategy is not to choose.
As mentioned a few lines above, digital marketing tools are not all the same: each of them has a particular effect and proves to be suitable to do only certain things and to achieve only certain results. However, this does not mean that different tools cannot coexist; on the contrary, the most effective digital marketing strategies are those that manage to make most of the available tools in an integrated and harmonious way.
Among other things, this is often reflected in the quality of the customer experience offered, since a perfect integration of digital solutions favors the creation of an omnichannel architecture that makes the user experience easier, more engaging, and immersive and allows the asset management company to significantly reduce the time-to-market of its products and services.
But do Italian asset management companies choose digitization?
After understanding how you should choose your digital marketing tools, it is equally interesting to understand the inclinations of Italian asset management companies with respect to this new approach. Let’s take a closer look at issues that are specific to the Italian market.
Although there are some positive examples that bode well for the adoption of digital marketing techniques by Italian SGRs, the general situation could be much better, especially regarding social networks (it.fundspeople.com).
According to some recent surveys by Stampa Finanziaria, “out of a sample of 100 of the largest asset management companies in Italy, only 27 are present on at least one social network (Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter) with Italian content” (stampafinanziaria.com). As a result, this has led international asset management companies to invest much less in these communication channels than in all other European countries, with considerable damage not only to companies providing services in that area, but also to the business itself. Giving up social media and digital marketing, in general, is not recommended, if only because it inevitably leads to a reduction in the number of people that can be reached with its services and content.
And we are not just talking about customers.
It is true that social media is a formidable tool to reach with consumers, if only because there are almost 50 million people who access the internet daily and 35 million who are present at least on a social network (wearesocial.com). On the other hand, however, the loss is also in terms of network, considering that, there are more than 10,000 financial advisors on Italian social networks, and LinkedIn in particular, that could be targeted with interesting content, blog posts, and articles.
Digital marketing for the asset management company is not only selling
On closer inspection, digital marketing is not only useful for communicating services and products to interested customers. It is also an approach that allows you to work on other elements, such as enhancing your business in the eyes of colleagues.
In an increasingly competitive context that tends to standardize the offers on the market, an effective way to differentiate yourself is to focus on your brand, charging it with added value. To do this, you can, for example, choose to become a point of reference for those who work in the sector through the publication of in-depth articles, or you can create content accessible to all to become relevant even in the eyes of non-experts.
In this sense, digital marketing is the right approach to strategically activate digital and social channels.