Evolving the Role of Marketing within Asset & Wealth Management: How to Get Started

Kevin O'Shaughnessy, Tara al-Azawie, Darren Chim

The role of Marketing within Asset and Wealth Managers is changing, driven by the increasing need to be truly client-focused. Historically, Marketing functions have primarily been responsible for communications and supporting Sales teams. However, market drivers are increasing the pressure to transform and play a bigger role in how clients are managed, and driving areas such as the Digital & Client Experience (CX) agenda. With increasing remote working, teams will need to upskill to adapt and thrive in these new ways of working. Processes will need to be redesigned, and the Marketing technology stack will need to deliver more than ever before.

What is Driving the Transformation of Marketing?

There are recurring themes that are accelerating the need for marketing functions to become more strategic and drive improved client engagement:

  1. Changing Client Expectations: Managers are responding to increased demand for new offerings (e.g ESG: Environmental, Social and Governance) and improved ways to access and engage with content, information and data that are needed to help with both awareness and servicing needs.
  2. Focus on ROI: Increasing expectations that data is used to demonstrate the value marketing is delivering, and a focus on how best to direct often-limited budgets and resources
  3. Move to Digitisation: Firms are often looking to their Marketing Teams to lead their digital agenda and develop and use the data that comes from these digital interactions to create greater client insights
  4. Growth in Sales Enablement: With more traffic and activity happening across digital channels, there is an increasing role of marketing in identifying sales opportunities and creating the right journeys and content to convert to revenue. Furthermore, as firms look at how they group their clients into tiers/bands, Marketing are being called on to play a larger relationship management role with clients in the lower tier
  5. Long lasting effect of COVID-19: Marketing teams are now in focus as clients look to make more use of a manager’s digital channels and access many of their services and people via remote channels. The result is that Marketers are now reviewing their marketing technologies to make sure a mix of content, events, data, and people can be made available via remote methods.

These drivers are forcing Marketers to ask themselves the following key questions:

  1. What does a modern and strategic Marketing function look like?

  2. How do I improve my Marketing organisation?

Let’s take the first question: What does a modern and strategic Marketing function look like?

A modern and strategic asset management Marketing organisation is digitally enabled, data-led and client focused. Our Marketing Maturity curve present five levels and we typically find our clients are between ‘2. Foundation Level Marketing’ and ‘3. Coordinated Marketing’. Most are looking to move to level ‘4. Optimised Marketing’. It is useful to identify your Marketing team’s maturity and identify the key elements that need focus:

The second question: How do I improve my marketing organisation?

To move up the maturity curve there are four areas you should be thinking about:

The five areas to start your Marketing Transformation:

  1. Understand your clients: Develop a detailed understanding of your different client types – what do they want and need from you? What are their motivations?
  2. Develop your marketing vision: Define the remit and role of Marketing within the business
  3. Build the right skills: Identify any skill gaps you have in your Marketing organisation, we often see gaps around client experience, digital marketing and insight
  4. Design the right organisation shape: Design and implement an organisation shape to deliver on your strategy
  5. Define your KPIs: Determine the KPIs and metrics to measure and demonstrate the value of Marketing

The role and expectations of Marketing teams has changed and continues to evolve moving towards a more strategic function. Marketers need to deliver on this changing business demand, ensuring they have the right talent, structures, processes and technology.

Alpha are industry experts on Marketing Transformation. We have worked with leading asset managers on these types of initiatives and please get in touch if you would like to discuss the Marketing challenges faced by your organisation.

About the Authors

Kevin O'Shaugnessy
Kevin O'Shaughnessy

Kevin is a Director at Alpha and leads our Digital & Agile Transformation practice. He has over 20 years’ experience of driving digital & client centric transformation across the Financial Services Sector and in particular in the Wealth and Asset Management space. His experience covers the full range of digital topics from strategy to execution which have deployed with a range of asset managers supporting a mix of Institutional, Wholesale, Retail and End Investor audiences.

Tara al-Azawie
Senior Manager

As a digital transformation expert, Tara has a strong track record of delivering complex projects and programmes. She has led a number of digital projects that have created seamless client experiences. Tara is an experienced user of contemporary delivery methodologies and frameworks, including Agile, Service Design and User Centred Design. She has a deep understanding of market trends, enabling technologies and how to apply these to accelerate change. Tara has also worked with organisations to overcome common digital transformation challenges, such as organisational culture and operational capabilities.

Darren Chim

Darren is a Manager at Alpha with more than 8 years Financial Services and Consulting experience. He has delivered Distribution and Digital transformation projects covering a mix of sales and marketing strategy, client experience, organisational design, and implementing new ways of working
He has successfully managed the review of a new digital and marketing operating model for a global asset manager to support the integration following a merger, and has previously led the design of the UK Distribution operating model at a global manager which involved conducting market analysis and designing a new data-led client segmentation model to support a new proposition strategy to improve sales effectiveness.