Market Strategies International


Cogent Reports: Thought Leadership Offers Best Chance of “Going Viral” Among Financial Advisors

Top 10 Financial Providers for Thought Leadership Activity

Thought leadership is a big differentiator when it comes to emailing financial advisors. While advisors prefer email over all other forms of communication, emails comprise the majority of financial provider outreach from asset managers and product manufacturers, making standing out in a crowded inbox a formidable challenge. Thought leadership, especially when focused on how to increase client satisfaction or generate in-retirement income, offers firms the potential to break through the clutter and position themselves as a trusted leader in the industry. These and other findings are included in Advisor Touchpoints™, a Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International.

According to the study, First Trust, BlackRock, American Funds, iShares and Guggenheim Investments are the most successful in getting advisors to read their thought leadership material. In addition, materials produced by First Trust, J.P. Morgan and American Funds have the greatest potential of going viral within the industry, as advisors are most likely to share materials from these providers with colleagues or clients.

“We know from our recent qualitative work that advisors want more thought leadership and market commentary rather than product-specific updates,” said Sonia Sharigian, product director at Market Strategies and author of the report. “In our latest quantitative survey, we are seeing an even stronger emphasis on thought leadership, with advisors asking providers to offer more robust and expansive thought leadership libraries online, particularly among producers with larger books of business.”

Thought leadership topics that appeal most to advisors are how to increase client satisfaction and how to generate in-retirement income. However, differences emerge by channel, AUM level and advisor tenure. For example, Bank producers have the heartiest appetites for a range of thought leadership and RIAs show narrower interest.

“With emails serving as a pervasive type of marketing touch, providers need to figure out a compelling way to differentiate themselves by capitalizing on their strengths,” added Meredith Lloyd Rice, vice president at Market Strategies. “Providers such as First Trust, J.P. Morgan and American Funds are striking the right balance in terms of producing materials that are shared with clients and colleagues, which is something all marketers aspire to.”

Top 10 Providers for Thought Leadership Activity




Readership & Sharing


First Trust

First Trust


BlackRock Funds

J.P. Morgan Funds


American Funds

American Funds



Guggenheim Investments


Guggenheim Investments



Fidelity Investments

Franklin Templeton Funds


J.P. Morgan Funds



Franklin Templeton Funds

BlackRock Funds


State Street/SPDR

MFS Investment Management




 Source: Market Strategies International. Cogent Reports™. Advisor Touchpoints™. August 2017.

About Advisor Touchpoints

Cogent Reports conducted an online survey of a representative cross section of 1,078 advisors in April through June 2017. Survey participants are required to have an active book of business of at least $5 million and offer investment advice or planning services to individual investors on a fee or transactional basis. In determining the sampling frame for this study, Cogent Reports ensures data are representative of the advisor population. Strict quotas are set during the data collection period, and post-fielding statistical weighting (where necessary) is applied. The data have a margin of error of ±2.98% at the 95% confidence level. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of any survey questions upon request.

 For more information on the report, review an overview.

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