ROUNDTABLE: The challenges of delivering asset management content at scale

Alex Sword


The Financial Services Forum

Our recent breakfast roundtable, in partnership with Paragon DCX, brought together marketers from investment management companies to explore the challenges and opportunities of connected content strategies.

The event kicked off with a brief intro from the event sponsors, Andy Farmer, Chief Strategy Officer and Keith Nation, Chief Technology Officer at Paragon DCX.

FSF Editor Alex Sword highlighted some findings from a survey of the attendees. Attendees were asked what their biggest challenge was in creating and distributing content at scale, with CMS problems being cited by 80% of respondents. Regulation and compliance were also cited by 80%.

Interestingly, only 40% of respondents had a digital asset management (DAM) system in place.

One attendee raised the problem of a lack of cooperation between sales and marketing teams. The goal for many asset managers is to move towards being able to not only serve relevant content but also share data with sales teams about how that content is accessed.

The issue is that maintaining effective data records requires salespeople to share their contacts, which they are often reluctant to do when the strength of one’s contacts is still considered a key personal asset. It may also be that salespeople are reluctant to put the time and effort into inputting CRM data where they don’t see the value, while many still think of marketing as a service function of sales.

“Salespeople are busy and when they don’t understand something they feel it’s a waste of their time,” said one attendee.

To overcome this, one attendee said, cultural change needs to happen and marketers must learn to speak the language of sales and contextualise their projects in terms of hard metrics. For example, sales may not understand terminology such as marketing qualified leads.

One attendee said that the best course can be to work with specific salespeople who do understand the value of marketing in order to achieve demonstrable wins.

Another part of the solution is data. Salespeople may lack the time to follow up with contacts on a one-to-one level, but marketers can turn this into a marketing journey and use specific data to move people up the funnel.

Roughly one year on from the release of ChatGPT and the recognition of the huge potential disruption it offers to content creation, it was inevitable the topic of AI would come up in the discussion.

Interestingly, despite the hype, 80% of respondents to thesurvey were not using it in any way. This was despite one attendee saying that they were panicking about AI, fearing that their firm was missing out on the insights about customers that competitors could see and come up with a product faster than they can.

There were several reasons why the opportunity wasn’t being successfully seized. One was compliance with regulation – many organisations are concerned about sharing data outside of their organisation with tools like ChatGPT, with one asset manager having introduced a full ban on its use.

This is why some organisations were looking into hybrid cloud models for AI, where some heavy computation tasks take place in the public cloud while key data is kept on premise.

There is also in-built human resistance, with creative teams reluctant to introduce AI into the mix due to concerns over their own jobs being obsolete.

Schroders was highlighted as an example of an asset manager which was already using AI effectively, having begun trialling it in early 2023.

Considering how often these discussions tend to focus on technology, is technology the actual solution or is it more about people and processes?

“It’s always the way it’s used rather than the technology itself,” DCX’s Keith said. “We have to challenge the [organisation’s] holistic thinking around it.”

Coming back to the CMS discussion earlier, one attendee noted that the challenge is often that platforms and tags are created by people who then leave the company. This means that often people are running web estates that they don’t really understand. HSBC was highlighted by one attendee as an example of a firm that had successfully rebuilt its page structure around customer interest.

In trying to tackle the complexity of content technology, DCX’s Andy advised attendees as a starting point to audit their web estates and determine what they can lose and keep.

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