In life, be it love, business, or sports, timing is everything.
For the marketing / client service manager of an asset management firm, uncertainty is among the biggest challenges surrounding the timing of content delivery.
I can personally attest to this difficulty, having built my business exclusively through cold calling for the first few years. I was often surprised how a competent and rational professional could make two arguably objective decisions, diametrically opposed to one another, using the exact same information and in the same general context.
I realized that in my interactions, the independent variables were my message and delivery system – those things never appreciably changed. The dependent variable was the ebb and flow of my prospect’s work day or work week. That, however, often changed considerably.
Over time, I found my message better received if, within the previous two weeks, my contact had been in a meeting where marketing and client communications strategy were being evaluated. The predictable obstacle for me was a complete unawareness if and when those sorts of meetings would occur.
What was of more regular concern was the challenge of simply getting the prospect on the phone. I often wondered how many times a prospect heard my voicemail, made a note to call me back to discuss things, but never did because it became subsumed by the daily responsibilities that required immediate attention.
My experience relates, I think, to some of the same issues faced by marketing and client service managers for asset management firms; namely that no matter how well you may “know” your clients, there are some pretty big areas of blindness that can effectively undermine all the advantages you may have.
I have little doubt that as it pertains to investment objectives, risk tolerance, and perhaps even messaging, managers could very well have an accurate understanding of clients and prospects.
But how many marketing managers for asset management firms can say with any certainty what is the preferred delivery vessel for the message? Snail mail? E-newsletter? Video? Twitter? LinkedIn? Google+? Facebook? E-books? Blogs? Just one of the above? If more than one, which combinations are preferred?
And when is that message going to be best received? Monday morning? Thursday at lunch? Saturday morning at a pee-wee soccer game? Even the best, most well-connected marketing manager really has no idea how individual clients and prospects prefer to consume content.
That’s a pretty important caveat because not only is this a matter of convenience and personal preference that varies from person to person, but it often can vary from moment to moment for a given individual. How does a strategy account for that?
Recall, that an active content marketing strategy and related social media marketing strategy helps asset management firms establish an advantage over their peers by creating a varied, sustained set of contact outlets, “touchpoints,” with their clients and prospects.
In the example above, snail mail, e-newsletters, video, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook, e-books, and blogs each account for one touchpoint. In concert, using a varied combination of touchpoints help to mitigate two difficulties:
First, it helps resolve the issue marketing and client service managers face in delivering the message when it will be best received.
Second, and of arguable greater importance, it helps your audience actually find your message in an era of information overload. How often are things “lost” in your email inbox or mail room? Links to interesting articles missed on Twitter? Is your LinkedIn feed getting more and more busy?
It is easy for your audience to miss something, even if they are expecting it. Establishing multiple touchpoints provides your audience a way to find your content, even if they aren’t specifically looking for it. It also helps to remind them about things they may have bookmarked for a later look, but had forgotten.
That’s why multiple, consistently available touchpoints are so important for marketing and client service managers for asset management firms.