The world of wealth and asset management is increasingly being disrupted by technological innovation. The rise of ‘robot-advisers’ and a whole host of new digital entrants means the battle for client mind and wallet share is now no longer limited to traditional industry incumbents. 

Alongside these competitive challenges are changes in demographic. The average age of wealth management clients is falling, and a new generation of younger investors is emerging. This tech-savvy and more progressive generation of investors does much of its own investment research. They are now able to educate themselves in investment decision-making through rapid technology advancements. 

51% of investors admitted to being “dissatisfied” with their advisor’s ability to meet their needs. 

These demographic changes have led to a notable discomfiture amongst clients who – emboldened in the digital era – are more vocal than ever about their disdain towards wealth and asset managers. In Salesforce’s 2015 Wealth Management report, 51% of investors admitted to being “dissatisfied” with their advisor’s ability to meet their needs. Deloitte’s 2014 Digital Disruption report was able to surface some of the reasons: for some it’s a lack of trust – a belief that advisors are putting their own interests ahead of their client, others felt that their advisor was not offering the right options tailored to their unique context, and others found that they enjoyed managing their own investments themselves. 

Yet against this tumultuous backdrop one thing remains constant for wealth and asset managers: the need to build and maintain trust and authority with current and future clients. 

Content: the new battleground for differentiation 

Now, more than ever, content is the conduit through which these values are engendered. Whether it is a thought leadership blog series, a more substantial white paper, or indeed a financial product itself – high net worth individuals and institutional wealth clients are hungry for information and insights which will better inform their investment choices. 

This resonates deeply with us at Optimizely, where we are focused on enabling finance services and asset management companies to understand their audience’s emerging needs and interests based on the content they consume. favorite maxim of ours is You Are What You Read.” Quite simply, the content you choose to read is highly indicative of your most pressing tastes and preferences. Most profoundly, our content choices are highly predictive of what we’re likely to buy, say or share next. 

This approach to content excels when deployed in firms with enduring client relationships that must use thought leadership to activate relevant opportunities to converse or that must identify their client’s unspoken interests to advise or upsell to them. 

What is content intelligence?  

Content intelligence is the term given to the technology that enables financial services marketers, researchers and client-facing advisors experts to derive actionable insight from the content that their clients consume. 

Content intelligence automatically ‘reads’ your content and adds descriptive metadata to it. You’ve often seen such metadata on the files on your computer, e.g. author name, file type, date modified, etc., but content intelligence goes even further. Additional metadata might include the people, places, issues, themes and concepts mentioned within each piece of content. In and of itself, adding richer data to thought leadership content is useful—if only to help you group and find content. Indeed, in our recent discussion with the CTO of the Financial Times, he forthrightly stated that when it comes to delivering business value “the metadata around your content is as important as the content itself.” 

However, it’s even more useful when this same metadata is impressed upon readers as they engage or share each piece of content. Think of it like ‘social listening’ but instead of monitoring your audience based on what they’re saying on social media, you’re monitoring their content choices. It’s ‘content listening’—your audience isn’t what it tweets, it’s what it reads. 

Practical application of content intelligence for asset managers 

The risk of talking about any novel technology—particularly to savvy wealth managers with a radar for BS—is that it can seem too abstract or fantastical to be useful. Not so with Optimizely's Recommendations, where the applications in an asset management context are many. 

  • Identify the most engaging thought leadership topics: Many wealth and asset management firms have client portals which are rich in content. Yet, often it’s not until post launch that you know whether your content is working. Recommendations will immediately identify the content topics in your content hub that are driving the most engagement and which topics are not resonating with the incoming audience. 
  • Personalize the content that is displayed to clients: Wealth and asset management firms have acres of content but limited space to show it. Clients do not have the time or inclination to wade through it all to find the piece that meets their current interests. Recommendations identifies the interests of your clients based on their reading arc and can automatically show the best piece(s) of content on your website, in a mobile app, or in an email. 
  • Audit content on your own site: Nobody likes the laborious task of doing a content audit. Recommendations does a real-time content audit, which updates every minute throughout every day, tracking every new piece of content, identifying what is working and what isn’t, and revealing gaps in content coverage that you should fill. 
  • Understand each client’s emerging topics of interest: You can’t advise or communicate with each of your clients every day, so how can you continue to learn about them even when you’re not speaking to them? Recommendations allows you to see not only their favorite topics but also topics that will likely be of interest soon. This means that you can know their most pressing needs and interests before you pick up the phone. 
  • Differentiate your thought leadership from competitors: Recommendations can be used to identify what the industry (at large) is talking about and how your efforts compare against a competitor (in particular). This opens opportunities to cover and own new topics for thought leadership, as well as identifying areas of interest that you should be covering in your thought leadership. 

Try Recommendations for wealth and asset managers 

Traditionally, advisors acted as the gatekeeper to unique value-add content. Now to compete, wealth firms are providing direct access to the content via sophisticated online toolkits. Exposing the information to their clients is driving an evolution of the traditional advisor value proposition. 

However, as with other industries and sectors that are using content to attract, engage and convert an audience, wealth and asset managers have missed the crucial realization that content doesn’t just impart insights to clients and prospects, it can help advisors capture insights on their clients, too. All thanks to Optimizely's Recommendations – the next big innovation in wealth and asset management. 

Learn more about Optimizely's Recommendations!

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