Today, in every sector, the customer experience is more important than ever before.
People want and expect service providers to deliver an experience that addresses their particular needs and solves their problems.
The funds sector is no different. Being able to deliver a quality investor experience is an important facet of running a successful firm.
But in the digital age, the experience that people want is one that is primarily digital. As the millennial generation comes of age, the days of relationship managers holding the most influence within a firm are waning. Millennials have much more input into their buying decisions and thus rely much less on what a company’s representatives may tell them.
Instead, the funds that find success in the future will be the ones that adopt new strategies for connecting and engaging with prospects digitally. Of course, there will always be a place for human interaction, as few major investment decisions will take place without it, but the process of converting potential investors into actual investors now starts and progresses online.
This means the investor experience has to be good across all your interaction with both prospects and clients.
And this can be made easier through the intelligent use of marketing automation. From finding new customers and cultivating relationships, to driving new opportunities and cross-selling to existing clients, the power of automation can help you every step of the way.
But you have to know how to implement and manage it properly. So, this white paper will help you get the best from your investor engagement and unlock the door to getting more from your marketing efforts — from traditional avenues like events to innovative digital experiences — so you can find and nurture prospects, close more sales, and boost AuM.
Give Your Investors What They Want
Automation gives you the ability to quickly analyse huge amounts of information in regards to prospective and existing investment.
And one of the biggest benefits of this is that you can see what people do and don’t like.
This also expands into your communication and distribution channels, as you can get an overview of which ones are providing the most engagement. It may be that most people are interacting with your content via your website, as opposed to social media and other formats. Or, perhaps email is the channel most favoured by investors.
This type of information enables you to improve the investor experience by giving people more of what they want in the way they want to receive it.
In short, automation means you no longer have to guess at what people find most useful – or rely on customer surveys – you can actually see what investors are engaging with most. And this makes it much easier to tweak things to provide the best experience.
Automation also gives you the ability to easily run marketing tests. For example, you could run a straight A/B test on a marketing email and quickly find out which one works best in regards to open rates. This is another way to learn how to best improve the investor experience, without simply guessing.
Make Communication Better
Perhaps one thing that annoys customers more than anything else is poor communication – and this applies across all sectors.
And in fund marketing, where you are looking after vast sums for your clients, good communication is an absolutely vital part of the investor experience.
And automation can help you improve it.
Perhaps the biggest factor in this regard is the ability of automation to create unified, cross-channel reporting. Develop a CRM that automatically collects and updates relevant information from across all communication channels – webchat, email, social media etc – and you have something that can guide all future communications by giving you a powerful insight into the likes, dislikes and engagement history of your clients and prospects.
ProFundCom, for instance, enables this through a lead deck that automatically gathers information from across a CRM to present key data about prospects and investors in one place – without having to jump between various spreadsheets and all the hassle that involves.
This is incredibly valuable in regard to communication.
For example, in sales terms it means that reps can immediately refer to a full engagement history before and during a call, so has insight into all that investor’s preferences. Also, having direct access to all this information in one place can be hugely beneficial on social media, where people are increasingly inclined to make complaints that everyone can see. But a swift investigation of a CRM can help you respond properly and effectively, which not only helps the client in question but also demonstrates the quality of your customer service to any potential investors who are reading the posts.
By improving your communication in this way you vastly improve the investor experience. Your investors and prospects never have to repeat themselves simply because they are talking to a different member of your team. Because, whoever they are talking to has all the relevant details in front of them on a screen.
Improve Your Event Marketing
Events remain a cornerstone of fund marketing – and rightly so. They represent a fantastic opportunity to connect with potential and existing investors face-to-face. And that personal touch can often make the difference between interest and an actual sale.
But all too often marketing teams overlook the importance of connecting with prospects ahead of time, so people don’t get enough warning of impending events that may be of interest to them. This is both bad for business – as potential sales can be lost – and harmful to the overall investor experience, as prospects may feel that they are being overlooked.
Automation can help massively in this regard. Firstly, you can set up automated emails to go out at a regular times leading up to the event – telling people the basics about location, time etc, but also the benefit of attending. What specific advice and information will they receive and how will it help them? You must answer this type of question to encourage attendance.
And through automatic data analysis, you can tap into engagement reports to find out which prospects on your database are most likely to attend each event – and target them accordingly.
You can also use other digital channels – web, social etc – to publicise each event and maximise attendance.
During the event, you can boost your marketing efforts by asking attendees to provide information using a form on a digital screen. This captures and automatically adds or updates these leads in your CRM, scores them, and can add them to appropriate marketing campaigns in real time. But you must ensure that each lead receives an automated email, which has been personalised using the information they provide. This establishes a first digital connection and improves the investor experience by showing people that you value their attendance and want to stay in touch.
Lastly, automation gives you the ability to easily thank people for attending. This is all too often overlooked , but an email just saying thank you for coming and inviting any questions is not only an easy thing to set up, but is an important aspect of investor experience – as it shows attendees that you recognise and appreciate the effort they made in coming to the event.
Boost Your Post-Sales Support
The holy grail for many fund marketers is investor acquisition. And obviously, this is important, because without acquiring new investors a fund would inevitably go under.
But a focus on acquiring new investors can sometimes lead to the neglect of a group of people who are even more valuable to you – your existing investors. But it is also vital to keep engaging with investors after the sale – to maintain relationships, gather information, and perhaps increase investment.
Someone who already trusts your firm and values your service is actually more likely to add new assets than those who are not yet investing. So, it makes sense that improving the investor experience for your current clients should be a major priority.
And automation can help hugely in this regard. Most obviously because you can automatically track engagement, to see what is resonating most with your investors – and what they don’t like. This allows you to personalise the investor experience and provide information you know people find useful, rather than sending everything out to all investors. This makes clients value your service more highly and will make them more likely to increase their investment.
What’s more, automatic tracking of investor engagement can also help you stop an impending redemption – as you can spot signs that an investor has stopped reading and interacting with your content, which suggests sales may need to get involved. A well-timed phone call from a rep can often stop redemption in its tracks.
Also, automation can help you spot when investors suddenly show an interest in one of your funds they don’t currently invest in – so alerting you to a potential cross-selling opportunity.
In the digital age, there are going to be winners and losers amongst marketing teams in the funds sector
The losers will be those that ignore the rise of digital and fail to grasp just how important a quality digital experience is to the new generation of investors. These marketing teams won’t change, as the mindset is that things are going just fine and that relying on digital marketing – rather than more traditional methods – could make them look bad. So, they stick to what is tried and tested .
But, as the older generation of investors fades away and a new one takes over, this attitude will cost them dear – as it fails to keep pace with what clients now expect from a firm.
The winners, by contrast, are marketing teams that fully grasp the opportunity that is presented by digital marketing and realise just how important it is to people. These teams will work hard to invest in and improve the investor experience and bring all data together into one central system, which can be easily accessed to provide a comprehensive snapshot of investor experience.
And the big winners will be the marketing teams that not only understand the importance of digital but are also ready to introduce automation to make all their processes quicker and more efficient through technology that enables personalised, end-to-end, multichannel customer journeys.
In turn, this massively improves the investor experience and leads to happier clients, which has the ultimate result of boosting assets under management.
If you want to find out how ProFundCom can help you use digital marketing to raise assets schedule a demo here