Service, Brand Are Key in Asset Manager Choice

Strong client service, a useful website and recognizable brand are the most important factors for advisers when choosing an asset manager.

According to the research firm Cerulli Associates in Boston, the most important attribute out of 11 factors is strong client service. “The second-most important factor is a recognizable brand (34%), followed by a useful website (34%),” said Pamela DeBolt, senior analyst at Cerulli.

Advisers and asset managers are increasingly brand-aware. “In fact, brand is a firmwide focus for many companies this year,” DeBolt said. “Many experts believe that consistent messaging over a period of a few years is required to make a significant impact on brand awareness.” 

However, resources for brand initiatives are not keeping pace with the perceived importance of this area, according to surveys by Cerulli. “Marketing’s most significant challenge is lack of financial commitment to advertising, brand initiatives and website enhancements,” DeBolt said.

Building a brand requires long-term, strategic planning, and Cerulli encourages asset managers to think creatively when developing and executing branding and advertising campaigns. Since marketers’ biggest challenge is lack of financial resources, Cerulli suggests firms utilize unconventional, less-expensive ways to promote their capabilities, such as online advertising. Cerulli’s research found nearly two-thirds of asset managers expect to increase their Internet advertising.

Marketing and branding challenges, enhancing and expanding distribution efforts, and projections for product development in 2013 are examined in the January issue of the U.S. Asset Management Edition of The Cerulli Edge.

More information is available here.