To provide our clients with high quality tailored consulting and research, we need to know the financial services industry and our clients. To build lasting and profitable relationships, we dedicate ourselves to staying not just current on, but ahead of industry trends. This blog is intended to share our industry insights and, at the same time, to capture feedback from our readers.

Target Brand Engagement with LinkedIn Showcase Pages

The majority of asset managers continue to ignore LinkedIn, despite the many excellent opportunities the site offers for connecting and engaging with financial advisors. That’s what the research I have been conducting for an upcoming study on social media reveals. Despite the fact that the vast majority of advisors on social media use LinkedIn to build their brand, research new clients and participate in professional groups, just a handful of asset managers have built out company pages and hosted LinkedIn Groups.

So, LinkedIn’s recent announcement that Products and Services pages will go away is good news for asset managers since most of them were not using them anyway. But it should spur firms to take advantage of LinkedIn’s new Showcase pages to profile their expertise in providing solutions to customer needs.

Profile the Firm’s Solutions for Targeted Audiences

As we wrote about recently in e-Business Compass, Showcase Pages provide asset managers with... [read more]

What FAs Look for in External Wholesalers

kasina’s Advisor Insights data indicates that for the past four years, approximately one third of financial advisors are strong supporters of the external wholesalers that they meet with (as evidenced by the fact that they are highly likely to recommend that wholesaler to a colleague). However, less than 30% of these advisors anticipated doing more business with a given wholesaler’s firm. In order to grow their business, asset managers need to create an environment where they don’t have to primarily depend on new advisors for growth. Improving wholesaler interactions is one means to this end.

kasina’s latest Advisor Insights survey asked over 2,000 advisors across all channels about their desired wholesaler characteristics. While there were several characteristics that advisors seek (and look to avoid), two that caught my attention were a desire for “product knowledge” and a frustration with “lack of contact.”

Advisors choose to do business with wholesalers who possess... [read more]

Slow Media

Most people these days are familiar with the Slow Food movement.  From its beginnings as a protest against the opening of a McDonald’s restaurant in Rome back in the mid-1980s, the Slow Food organization now has over 100,000 members and branches in over 150 countries.  Now, according to some marketing pundits, we are about to see a similar trend take off in the content publishing space – Slow Media.

What, you may ask, is Slow Media, and why is it being touted as a trend to watch?  In recent years, the pace of content creation – and content consumption – has grown ever more rapid, with 140-character tweets and 6-second video clips now accepted as the norm for much online communication.  Simply put, just as Slow Food emerged as a reaction to the perceived blandness and homogeneity of the fast food industry, Slow Media represents a reaction to the perceived... [read more]

Considerations for Developing Unconstrained Bond Funds

The March 2014 issue of kasina’s Product Strategy Compass includes data and commentary on the very hot category of unconstrained bond funds.  The broad appeal for these funds is that they offer investors the benefits of traditional bond investing (capital preservation and low correlation with the equity markets) with greater flexibility in selecting investments across sectors while controlling inherent fixed-income risks.  Under the unconstrained umbrella managers have the ability to control duration and limit interest rate risk while adding alpha by using a broad array of tools and techniques.  As a result, we’ve seen investors flocking to unconstrained bond strategies as a way of providing income in an environment where the timing and magnitude of interest rate increases has proven difficult to predict.

Estimated Nontraditional Bond Fund Net Flows (Morningstar)

So it is with no surprise that these products have been a rare bright spot among fixed-income funds in attracting money... [read more]

Bringing Segments to Life

Segmenting clients and providing segments with a unique experience is a terrific way to allocate firms’ scarce resources.  But many firms struggle to implement the segmentation.  Here are our thoughts on how to make segments meaningful, pragmatic, and ultimately successful.

1. Define the segment

A segment generally categorizes people with similar characteristics.  The implication is that similar people will make similar choices.  Consider the following questions when defining segments:

– What major characteristics define it?  Marketers must be careful not to define segments using data that is hard to find.
– Does the data that describes the segment tell a pragmatic story?  Describe the segment so that one can visualize the people in it.

2. Name them

Naming segments is not as easy as one would hope it would be.  Names of segments must:

– Succinctly capture the story behind the segment
– Describes the type of person(s) who will fit in this... [read more]


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