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The Key Drivers In Digital Fund Marketing In The Next Decade – Part One

Published: 13 March, 2020

This is the first in a series of posts about the key issues that will drive digital fund marketing over the next ten years.

This post is about an issue that has long been neglected within the sector, but will become increasingly important over the next decade – brand.

The importance of brand has risen massively over the last twenty years thanks to the digital revolution. A handful of big brands – Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook etc – now are inherent to the lives of billions of people.

A brand is now a personal connection that brings together the whole purchasing process. These big tech companies know the worth of that and are using it to expand into new sectors all the time.

And it’s conceivable that within a handful of years the fund sector could itself be massively disrupted by the global giants. If that sounds a little excitable, then just consider what Amazon represented to the average consumer twenty years ago. The few that had heard of it knew it as a website for buying books. That was it. Fast forward two decades and it’s selling pretty much anything you need – all delivered to your door the next day. Not to mention providing you with music, films and live sport.

And a couple of decades or so ago few people knew what Google was, but it’s now so big that it’s part of the lexicon – you don’t tell someone to look something up any more. You just tell them to ‘Google it’. And it’s power is so great that you can buy many things without even leaving its platform.

Apple is also expanding – stretching its arms into streaming and beyond.

The reason these companies are able to move so quickly and decisively into new markets is through the power of their brands. These firms deliver – so, given Amazon can send you a new printer cartridge within a day, you don’t doubt its ability to, for example, provide a match day experience from the comfort of your own armchair when it comes to live football.

What’s the relevance of this to financial services?

Apple, Amazon and Google are all tipped to enter into the asset management sector. They don’t need to build an actual infrastructure, which is the beauty of their business model – they just need a fund in a marketplace. And they have vast customers bases to tap into.

So, how do you protect your own firm from this incursion?

The obvious answer is to fight fire with fire. Build up your own brand and make sure it’s as strong as possible and is synonymous with good advice and outstanding service. Also, think about a face for your brand, which so many of these big companies have. Think of Apple and you think of Steve Jobs, with Amazon it’s Jeff Bezos, and Facebook is synonymous with Mark Zuckerberg.

In short, in an age of big brands it is vital to strengthen your own. Do that and you protect yourself from disruption, as you will build a cohort of loyal investors who know and trust your brand, so are less likely to look elsewhere.

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