“Successful firms have adopted a relatively similar marketing strategy,” said Amy Strong, research analyst at FRC and co-author of the study. “This may be in large part due to the fact that firms have tried many different marketing strategies, and it is also in part because firms are quick to adopt the successful strategies of their peers. This is particularly true for larger firms.”
Yet, FRC looked for and gave high marks for “overall differentiation,” Strong said. For example, Fidelity continues to provide strong support directly to clients, including advisers. “They also call advisers who place business with the firm regularly and generate client-friendly marketing pieces, which the majority of advisers noted as the No. 1 feature firms should add to their adviser-oriented websites going forward.”
FRC also found that most advisers prefer to receive marketing and collateral sales support materials from wholesalers in person, rather than through the mail, e-mail, intranet or website. Nonetheless, most mutual fund companies increased the amount of materials mailed to advisers over the past year.
Advisers revealed a recurring theme of “abandonment,” citing that asset manager support has dwindled, and that marketing materials are not adequately addressing their needs. FRC believes direct wholesaler interactions are the key to understanding and delivering on these adviser needs.
Advisers also said they would like websites devoted to them to portray a better understanding of market dynamics and investment options appropriate for current economic conditions.
The Top 10 Asset Manager Marketers:
- American Funds
- Franklin Templeton Investments
- Fidelity/Fidelity Advisors
- iShares/Barclays Global Investors
- John Hancock
- Prudential/American Skandia
- The Hartford
- JPMorgan Asset Management