Overall, marketing budgets at fund firms for 2002 are way down, according to analysts. Many firms maintain that marketing is one of last things they want to cut, but the downward trend in spending, which began in 2001, is continuing this year. Still, because firms started paring down their marketing initiatives in 2001, there is not a lot to drop in 2002. As a result, firms are likely to maintain their initiatives, but direct them to a smaller pool of potential investors.
"Marketing budgets are absolutely down from recent levels just about everywhere in the fund industry," said Jim Folwell, an analyst at Cerulli Associates. "But they're not really rolling out different initiatives for 2002. They're targeting those initiatives to narrower groups. I think we'll see them continue to do the things they've been doing--sponsorships, marketing materials, value-added wholesaling, sales tools--but they will save money by targeting them to fewer people."