The latest Pridham report repeatedly comes back to the influence of marketing. Not only am I personally delighted to see marketing attributed so squarely to the growth in assets, but there were three key messages that I was reminded of in reading this article:
- You’ve got to be in it for the long term. Baillie Gifford started raising the profile of their brand and marketing their strategies five years ago and they are reaping the benefit now. For senior management that expect to spend one quarter and see the results the next, this is a great example of the type of commitment that is needed in marketing rather than a stop/start approach to investing in your brand and business.
- Retention strategies are just as important as acquisition. We spend so much time and energy focusing on acquiring assets and considerably less time looking at how we retain it. As your book of business matures, there is always going to be natural attrition and it’s our job to think about how we keep customers loyal, patient and not distracted by the latest investment fad or fashion.
- There’s still room for the boutiques. Whilst the boutique names don’t feature as often in the top ten gross flows for the quarter, it is great to the likes of Miton and Marlborough creep in to the top ten of net flows. It is all hard earned. Without the same sort of budget levers, boutiques are much more dependent on insightful communication strategies, accessibility to key managers, brand personality and of course the success and popularity of a narrower product range.