What we think

Fund buyers: 2015’s clever content adds value

November 2015

2015 has been the year of content marketing in the asset management industry. Asset managers have significantly raised their content game, not only publishing more comment and analysis but also improving its qualityhttp://www.clerkenwellconsultancy.com/2015-asset-management-content-marketing-top-50/.

Fortunately, it seems that the fund buyers who are their target audience have taken notice. They tell us that the most insightful blogs, commentaries and white papers improve their understanding of a manager, often influencing their fund selection decisions.

In a straw poll, fund analysts and selectors working for some of the UK’s bigger wealth managers told us that they valued truly insightful comment. But being information-rich, time poor, they tended to read only the best written, most intellectually stimulating.

“I feel the best of these really add a great deal of value,” explained one fund selector. “The pitch is excellent; the narrative is easy to read; there are lots of quotes from other sources.”

Asset management content marketing cited as being high quality included M&G’s Bond Vigilantes blog. But otherwise, the favoured insights came from boutiques, with Odey Asset Management, RWC Partners and Troy Asset Management all mentioned.

Four valued characteristics

If there were four common threads they were:

  1. Boutique-style content is best. Narratives should give insights into the views of the lead manager behind a fund, even if he/she is senior. Notably, this tends to be more common in boutiques than larger houses.
  1. Character and intellect should shine through. Fund buyers like good writing, rich in the fund manager’s insights, favoured quotes and anecdotes. This makes content more engaging and helps with understanding investment decisions.
  1. Thought pieces are interesting. Even if they are irregular, essays, articles or white papers on current issues are interesting and improve engagement with the manager.
  1. Topicality helps. Quick reactions to topical events are useful. They may trigger interest in an asset manager.

Summing up, one fund buyer told us: “The hook is if one manager’s content makes me feel better informed or more intellectually stimulated than any other, then that can only be a good thing.”