5 things we learnt at the Investment Week Marketing and Innovation Conference 2016

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Here are our highlights from one of Investment Weeks most business useful events this summer.

The half-day Investment Marketing and Innovation event, held recently in London really cut through the noise to offer actionable insight on the latest marketing innovations.

Sessions focused on the trends which are helping marketers within asset and wealth management transform their marketing departments, and embrace digital across the whole organisation.

Here are our top 5 takeaway points from the event.


1. Digital is changing the wealth management and investing landscape

Google’s senior industry head finance, Hanne Tuomisto-Inch, revealed that consumers were turning more and more to search engines for answers, and that 2016 had so far seen unprecedented levels of generic investment search interest.

Interest in almost all investment products grew in 2016 with search queries for ‘Equity’ up 103% on 2015 and ‘IFA’ up 29%

There has also been a steady shift towards mobile, with searches on this platform type growing 43% YOY.

2. Don’t forget generation D

Tuomisto-Inch went on to talk about the challenge of attracting the mass affluent to investing. High net worth individuals demand a digital and tech-driven experience. They feel empowered to make decisions; and yet, they find investment decisions too complex, risky and expensive.

36% of 35-54 year olds choose online search for investment advice over consulting a financial adviser

74% of consumers would invest if they fully understood the details of an investment strategy

This opens up a big opportunity to traditional wealth management firms – they can leverage the trust and reputation their brands carry to smooth the journey for new customers towards a digital experience.

3. The power of consumer research

Alistair Welham, from AXA Wealth, demonstrated how important consumer insight testing is when trying to understand not only customers’ expectations but also their fears in relation to investing. This approach helps to create thought leadership, and it also helps to blend customers’ financial and emotional objectives, allowing you to better engage those customers in conversations.

4. Vary content through progressive campaign planning

Welham went on to demonstrate the importance of progressive campaign planning, which includes strategies like mapping the campaign stage to the customer journey and the content type, as well as aligning the channel to the objective. He stressed the importance of face-to-face engagement via roadshows and webinars to reinforce and support branding and thought leadership exercises.

5 Be prepared for the disruptive innovators

Mackay Williams, CEO of Mauro Baretta, discussed the increase in disruptive innovation and how new industry entrants, born in the digital age, are accelerating the delivery of solutions that are smarter, cheaper, faster, more personalised and easier to use.

One major example of this disruption, robo-advice, is starting to grow in Europe and its advance could represent a threat for active managers, with robo-advice propositions now extending beyond the low-cost ETF space.

Mauro Baretta’s research suggests that opinion on robo-advice is divided. Some view it as a risk, others as a welcome shake up of the industry and a source of new opportunities.

I think that the advent of a robo-advice model as a means of reducing costs is an interesting phenomenon, and I hope that it develops sufficiently to establish itself across the advice spectrum

Regardless of its reception, both robo-advice and the broader digital revolution that it stems from threaten to continue disrupting businesses and influencing the operating strategies of many traditional financial firms.

That should not be ignored.

If you’d like to explore topics around the digital revolution a little further, why not attend the Investment Marketing and Social Media Conference taking place on Friday 18 November at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower, London.

This event will offer practical and insightful guidance to asset management marketers on how they can exploit social media and turn it into a highly valued communication channel for their brands.