The traditional ways Asset Managers distribute investment services has been evolving over the last 18-months. Asset Managers are now focused on how digital can help them reach clients and distribute their products through more channels than just Sales teams.
This article digs into Digital Distribution; we explore how firms should think about the different channel needs and the operational set-up required to operate in a modern digital world – where a stand-out product experience will be a differentiator.
Business success relies heavily on its ability to connect with buyers for its products and services. To date, Asset Managers have relied on face-to-face distribution of products through Sales teams. However, over the last couple of years this old way of reaching clients has been evolving. The growth in digital engagement since the pandemic provides new opportunities to connect with investors. Increasingly, Managers want to get their offerings out through a wider range of Channels than before.
Digital Distribution is seen as a way for clients to interact with an intangible investment product. Downstream offerings will differ by channel, target audience, client persona etc. (e.g. a Consultant DB used by an Institutional Investor will be interested in different product content and data vs. a D2C investment platform like Hargreaves Lansdown used by a retail investor). Asset Managers that can cater for these differences will create a more engaging product experience and thus will be a way to stand out from the crowd.
Firms are typically set-up to deliver the product experience via Sales teams using traditional reporting/commentary tools as the interface with clients. This tech and organizational setup doesn’t lend itself to delivering the needs of digital distribution channels.
We see Asset Managers often failing to meet client expectations against at least one of the 5 basic requirements:
The key question we’re seeing firms grapple with is: “How should Asset Managers think about the channel needs and the operational set up needed to operate in a modern digital world, and deliver a stand-out product experience?”
Creating a leading product experience requires a combination of the right data, content, tooling and operational support to come together in a way that meets the different profiles of the target channels, client segments and personas. This means multiple teams need to come together and form a Product Experience “ecosystem”
Firms that build holistic product data and content operations can start to solve their digital distribution challenges and create a product experience that is successful across all channels.
In our view, the first step to developing a leading digital Product Experience, that is also easy to run, is to really understand the channels and persona profiles you are targeting. From there, think through the architecture, and capabilities required across the 3 layers of the ecosystem that will address the needs of your target audience, in line with the overarching strategic priorities of the business.
It is often not possible to do everything at once. Therefore, a phased roadmap allows you to work on select enablers whilst delivering some frontend improvements early on. To learn more, please reach out to Alpha here