Defining and Executing a Financial Marketing Process

Posted by Shane Stiles on Aug 17, 2017 1:21:11 PM

This guest post was written by Shane Stiles, president of Gate 39 Media.

Whether you’re a fund manager, investment advisor or broker, selling retail or institutional trading, or raising assets for a fund—marketing starts with a process. The goal of a well-defined marketing process is to generate leads that can then be converted to clients through the efforts of automated marketing and sales tactics.

Marketing Infrastructure

Before you begin to define your offers and campaigns, your marketing infrastructure – the engine for your marketing fuel – must be defined.

Your infrastructure is the engine through which you will feed content that informs, educates, and engages your audience. This infrastructure must also be able to report on how well your content is being received.

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips, Investment Banking Marketing, Asset Management Marketing

FCS Chicago Examines “Marketing to Financial Advisors”

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Jul 27, 2017 3:33:57 PM

Chicago’s historic Printers Row neighborhood has undergone massive changes over the past several decades. Many of the buildings that once housed print shops have now been converted to loft condos, and the printing companies that remain have dramatically adapted their facilities and business models to account for new digital technologies.

FCS_party_2017_social.pngThus, the setting was an appropriate one for the Financial Communications Society’s first-ever “Cocktails With Content” event, which looked at another business that has undergone massive changes recently: marketing to financial advisors.

The July 25 event, hosted at an art gallery in Palmer Printing, explored the challenges facing asset management, technology, and communications firms that are trying to market to financial advisors. Moderated by Frank Tirado, vice president at The Options Clearing Corporation, the panel comprised investment and marketing professionals from across the financial services industry:

FCS_panel_2017_social.pngTirado said that reaching financial advisors has become increasingly difficult as the marketing communications landscape has become more cluttered with content. “How do we reach them when we know they are being hit over and over again? How do we bring value to an advisor group that is looking to grow its practice?” Tirado asked the panel.

To answer these questions, the panel discussed topics related to how financial advisors can differentiate themselves, the types of thought leadership and content marketing that advisors find most valuable, and the biggest challenges advisors face in growing their practices.

Here are 10 of the most thought-provoking quotes from the discussion:

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips, Investment Banking Marketing, Asset Management Marketing

5 Keys to Incorporating Data in Financial Thought Leadership

Posted by Frank Kalman on Jul 27, 2017 3:31:11 PM

Financial services professionals are used to dealing with data. Numbers and analytics are at the center of everything you do. Whether you’re a portfolio manager discussing the latest consumer confidence or housing starts numbers in a quarterly investor letter, or a financial advisor educating clients about valuations in various asset classes, data is going to play a central role in your message.

But using data in white papers, blogs, and other forms of thought-leadership content comes with several important caveats. Scott Wentworth, the founder and head financial writer at Wentworth Financial Communications, recently appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloudcast to discuss some of them. (A link to the full podcast episode is listed below.)

If you don't have time to listen to the podcast, here is a rundown of five specific things financial marketers should consider when incorporating data in their content.   

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips, White Papers, Investment Banking Marketing, Asset Management Marketing

To Increase Financial Content ROI, Focus on Basic Math

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Jul 24, 2017 5:34:11 PM

Creating thought leadership and other forms of branded content has essentially become table stakes for financial services firms. Today, every brand is a publisher. In this crowded environment, how do you rise above the noise and create content that delivers a positive return on investment (ROI) for your firm?

When thinking about your content’s ROI, it’s easy to get bogged down with all sorts of metrics like conversion rate, net promoter score, and audience equivalency. While those metrics definitely serve a purpose, it’s important to remember that ROI, at its core, is a very basic fraction. The numerator is the impact that your content has on your target audience, whether through building brand awareness, driving engagement, or increasing leads. And the denominator is the cost—in terms of time, money, and energy—of creating that content.

Anyone who has passed fourth-grade math knows that there are two basic ways to increase the value of any fraction: 1) increase the numerator or 2) decrease the denominator. And with content ROI, it’s no different.

Let’s start by looking at the numerator. Based on our experience at Wentworth Financial Communications working with brands across the asset management, investment banking, and private equity industries, we have identified three primary ways to improve your financial content’s ROI by increasing the impact that it has on your target audience.

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips, Investment Banking Marketing, Asset Management Marketing

Financial Communications Society Examines "The State of Custom Content"

Posted by Frank Kalman on Jun 27, 2017 4:56:46 PM

While you may not be familiar with the phrase “custom content,” you probably have encountered custom content at least once (and probably numerous times) today. Custom content is one of the many terms—along with content marketing, brand journalism, branded content, thought leadership, and native advertising—used to describe certain types of marketing materials that companies create to promote their brands.

Where custom content differs from other forms of marketing is that custom content is all about using a narrative format, similar to what you are used to seeing in a newspaper or magazine, to tell a company’s story and articulate the company’s expertise. Some of the most common forms of custom content include white papers, newsletters, and blogs. But custom content has now evolved to also include rich-media formats such as video, podcasts, and even virtual reality.

Custom content has become so prevalent and so important in the financial services industry that the Financial Communications Society hosted a luncheon on June 21 to examine “The State of Custom Content.” Wentworth Financial Communications CEO and head financial writer Scott Wentworth provided the keynote address for the event at Chicago’s Union League Club. The luncheon attended by approximately 80 marketing professionals from the asset management, insurance, investment banking, exchange and trading, and media industries.

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips, Investment Banking Marketing, Asset Management Marketing

Three Financial Writing Lessons My Dad Taught Me

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Jun 1, 2017 9:15:40 AM

I have been influenced in many wonderful ways by my dad, both personally and professionally. While it’s not uncommon for a son to say that his dad was a big influence on his career, in my case it is a bit unusual given how different my dad’s career is than mine.   

My dad, Steve Wentworth, is a corn and soybean farmer in Central Illinois. Like me, he is the owner of a small business, but the fields that we work in (pun intended) are very different. His farming business is capital-intensive and somewhat dangerous, requires in-depth mechanical skills and scientific knowledge, and creates a commoditized product. My business—leading a team of financial writers who work with clients in the asset management, investment banking, private equity, and consulting industries—is basically the opposite of those things.

Despite these differences, my dad has had a profound impact on my career as a financial writer. Here are three of the most important lessons about financial writing that I learned from my dad:

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips

Three Financial Writing Lessons My Mom Taught Me

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Jun 1, 2017 9:03:10 AM

Everyone knows how special moms are and everything they do for us. In addition to all of the normal “mom stuff” that my mom, Pam Wentworth, has done for me, she also has played a huge role in shaping my career as a financial writer.

In her career, Pam, who retired in 2016, was a high school math teacher and the business manager at the church my parents attend in Decatur, Illinois. While those careers may not seem directly related to financial writing, my mom has been a major influence in my career.

Here are three of the most important lessons about financial writing that I learned from my mom:

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips

PAICR Content-Creation Roundtable: Telling Your Alpha Story

Posted by Scott Wentworth on May 25, 2017 7:01:35 AM

In a bygone era when the value of active investment managers was accepted as a matter of fact, asset management firms could focus their marketing efforts on the quality of their firm. As a result, most marketing materials tended to center on the four Ps: people, process, philosophy, and performance.

But in today’s investment landscape—one that is defined by continued outflows from active to passive strategies and investors who are increasingly skeptical of active management—asset managers can’t afford to simply describe why their portfolio managers are great at capturing alpha. Rather, asset management marketers need to explain why alpha exists in a specific corner of the market and explain how their portfolio managers are going to capture that alpha for investors.

In other words, asset management marketers need to become better at telling their alpha story. And that is the topic I discussed as the keynote speaker at PAICR’s May 23 Regional Roundtable.

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, Financial Writing Tips

Seeking Alpha's Senior Editor: Financial Content Must Be Relevant

Posted by Scott Wentworth on May 11, 2017 9:21:04 AM

If you think your inbox gets filled with a bunch of articles about investment strategies and other wealth management content, you should try being Gil Weinreich. As the senior editor for Seeking Alpha's financial advisor content, Gil's job is to sort through the thousands of articles that get submitted to Seeking Alpha from outside contributors and select the ones that will provide the most value for financial advisors.

For marketers at institutional asset managers, mutual fund companies, wirehouses, and other companies looking to create content that reaches a large number of financial advisors, Gil is a great person to know. Seeking Alpha has become one of the largest platforms for contributed content on all things investment-related, and Gil is charged with building the site’s Financial Advisor Center, which launched in February 2017.

“Seeking Alpha's Financial Advisor Center aims to tackle this important constituency's key issues, including wealth management, retirement advice, building a business and industry news,” Gil wrote in an article announcing the site. Gil joined Seeking Alpha in 2016 after spending 18 years as editor-in-chief at Research Magazine and ThinkAdvisor.

Gil said that he views his job as being a "curator" more than being an editor in the traditional sense. In addition to deciding which articles go on the site, each morning Gil publishes his "Financial Advisors' Daily Digest,” which includes summaries of and links to some of the best articles he has encountered.

Gil Weinreich on Three Key Trends Facing Financial Advisors

I recently attended an event hosted by Seeking Alpha in Chicago where Gil shared his thoughts on some of the biggest challenges facing the wealth management industry and how financial advisors can meet these challenges.

Read More

Topics: Financial Writing Tips

PODCAST: 3 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating Data-Driven White Papers

Posted by Scott Wentworth on Apr 19, 2017 1:26:35 PM

It's impossible to write a compelling financial white paper without data to quantify and validate your investment thesis. But unless you're smart about how you incorporate that data, the numbers can actually detract from the overall impact of your white paper. 

Read More

Topics: Financial Advisor Marketing, White Papers