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Contrary to popular belief, most institutional investors are not bombarded with a large volume of marketing collateral, so getting their attention should be easier than getting financial advisors’ attention in theory. However, in practice, it’s even more challenging for asset managers to reach this coveted audience.
The most immediate hurdle: institutional investors admit that materials from unfamiliar providers are easily and often discarded. Yet all is not lost for aspiring asset managers. Unsolicited content has a higher chance of being reviewed if the topic speaks to a current business need or if it’s introduced from a trusted source. Even during the RFP process—in which the sole focus is to consider a range of managers for a specific mandate—institutions are not conducting their own research. Instead, they are relying on consultant recommendations. That said, this decision point represents a rare time when institutions are willing to learn about a new manager and develop initial brand favorability for the future.
While traditional marketing and thought leadership do play an important role, one of the best opportunities to get on institutional investors’ radar is through relationships. Ideas and recommendations are taken much more seriously from trusted sources such as consultants, board/committee members and industry-specific networking groups compared with direct manager outreach. In order to maximize the impact and reach of their marketing efforts, asset managers would be wise to harness the power of these influential partners by strengthening consultant relations and hosting or sponsoring peer-to-peer events.
These and other important findings are detailed in our newly released Cutting Through the Institutional Marketing Clutter™ study. In March and April, Cogent Reports conducted a series of focus groups and one-on-one interviews with 35 institutional investors segmented by defined contribution (DC), defined benefit (DB) and endowment/foundation (E&F) status, and 10 institutional investment consultants. The groups were held in New York, Dallas and San Francisco to help providers understand how to maximize their reach and the impact of their marketing efforts.
Review an overview for more information on the full report.