Sales content: a key pain point but easy win for wealth managers

The bad news: the wealth management industry has fallen a long way behind other sectors on content engagement and client satisfaction, and is demonstrably starting to pay the price.

The good news: there are easy wins poised to flip this trend and deliver a strong ROI for wealth managers without requiring seismic technological change or investment.

This is a key discovery in Accenture’s recent research report Future of Asia Wealth Management: Re-imagining Engagement. This is a fantastic piece of work which is definitely worth reading. Somewhat ironically for a document denouncing the practice of burying key messaging in lengthy pdfs, this report is 121 pages long though, so we have put together this summary adding illustrations of how the findings can be applied in the market.

Ambitions for growth

Wealth managers in Asia have company growth firmly on their minds, with goals to increase AUM by 1.6x and grow revenue by 1.4x. Clients naturally lie at the heart of this strategy:

“In short, the happier the client, the greater the share of AUM allocated.”

Retaining existing clients, increasing share of wallet and winning clients from competitors are key battlefields. Organisations know that they need to win and engage clients, so are hiring large numbers of relationship managers (RMs) to accommodate.

This puts RMs in a pivotal role, with firms thoroughly reliant on them to meet their growth targets. This is encouraging in that clients have made it clear that they place high value on their RM, stating that they are the most important person in the firm to them. However, there are significant blockers which make Accenture question whether these aspirations are overly ambitious.

Stretch goals, with change needed to achieve them

The report highlights that client experience is central to growth, and RMs are the key to delivering happy clients. This is where the challenges start emerging, as clients and RMs alike are reporting dissatisfaction to various levels.

There are three key pain-points around client satisfaction which wealth managers need to address:

1. Sales content is weak. 20 years ago there was complete reliance on lengthy pdf documents fired across as email attachments which were weak on design and saturated with technical jargon. Skip forward to today and for most firms, nothing has changed. In a world where social media dominates, attention spans are short and competition for audience attention is higher than ever, wealth managers have fallen far behind. Prospects and clients aren’t engaging with the content, while RMs rarely see it as a valuable sales asset.

2. RMs struggle to find content let alone share it. There are two sides to why this is. RMs’ inboxes get hit hard by investment teams sharing content. They may receive dozens of emails with pdf attachments daily, all different lengths and formats. There is no user-friendly content library or way to manage this content, so much of it ends up going unread in inboxes without ever being shared externally. This builds on wider issues where RMs’ time is swallowed up by low value-add activities like onboarding and compliance which eats away at the time they can invest with clients growing business.

3. There is no analytical data. When content is shared, there is no way to measure how the recipient engaged with it. This means that follow up, when it happens, is done blindly. This creates issues at multiple levels: RMs have no idea whether the content they are sharing is resonating with recipients. Team leaders have no idea whether the correct content is being shared with clients. Finally, research and content creation teams have no way to see what subject matter is actually adding value by driving engagement. Across the board, there simply isn’t the data needed to optimise or measure ROI.

Why are these challenges so critical?

The short answer is revenue growth. Content lies at the heart of client experience, which in turn drives revenue growth. Take away a constant stream of good content and the role RMs play in generating business becomes significantly more difficult.

To exacerbate this issue, the report highlights the frustration from RMs at being put under increasing pressure while not being given the tools needed to deliver.

Good content is a core requirement here, as well as smart tools that can reduce low-value admin tasks such as compliance, onboarding and content distribution.

Key stat: One of the interesting findings regarding content and RM engagement is that 54% of clients perceive market updates from their RM as highly valuable, vs 26% perception from RMs and only 13% from CXOs. Put another way, sharing market updates with clients is over twice as valuable to clients as RMs realise and over 4X what their CXOs appreciate!

One of the trends that should make wealth managers sit up is that a staggering 92% of RMs thing digital tools are a decision driver to join a new firm, while 47% say they would leave a firm due to poor digital tools.

With hiring and retaining top talent an essential foundation in a wealth manager’s overall strategy, this piles on extra pressure which in turn links with revenue targets.

Clients also place high value on their RM, a fact recognised but most firms, which further heightens this issue. When a good RM decides to change firms, their clients will often follow.

Transformation is easier than many realise

Interestingly, the report found that most wealth managers were aware they had a problem around content, client engagement and empowering their RMs, yet there was less understanding on how to deal with these issues.

Encouragingly, although the report highlights some fundamental issues in wealth management, the good news is that it is very positive about the speed at which firms can pivot and improve in these areas.

This optimism is built on several factors:

  1. New technologies are emerging which can support RMs and enable them to focus more time on high value-add activities with clients.
  2. New technologies are emerging which can support RMs and enable them to focus more time on high value-add activities with clients.
  3. There are big opportunities for transformation which can be untapped without needing wholesale alterations to the existing tech stack - firms can iterate without heavy investment of time or resources.

Combined, the message is that there are low hanging fruits in the market where opening up channels often needs relatively low investment but holds the potential to deliver substantial returns both short and long term:

"The good news is that firms can take incremental steps to deliver quick wins, without requiring massive digital transformations, even if the end-state ambition is to have seamless integration of the latest next-gen content tooling into RM cockpits and other client and employee applications. In the current period of compressed transformation budgets, the potential speed to ROI for improving content distribution versus other digital projects can be compelling, and is potentially one of the most efficient uses of transformation-spend given its relatively low cost, immediate visibility improvement to team engagement and morale (and RM-hiring goals), and client engagement."

Some practical examples of change in wealth management

What do these kinds of solutions look like in action?

The report highlights a range of low-value activities crying out for change such as wider use of mobile apps, streamlined onboarding and automation in compliance, with a lot of emphasis placed on content:

"The lesson for firms? Focus more strongly on content engagement, starting with quick-win innovations. Clients will appreciate it, as will RMs and other key staff."

At GoUpscale our focus is very much around sales and content engagement, which gives us the perfect platform to illustrate the art of the possible around content when it comes to Accenture’s original three pain points:

Challenge 1: weak sales content

This is one that firms of all sizes can deal with relatively easily. The source of the problem isn’t that there isn’t any content - there is loads, it is just locked away in dry, lengthy material from custodian banks such as factsheets and market updates.

Rethinking the formatting of this content pays dividends here. Break it down into shorter-form content in more digestible chunks, and look at how you can use design to make it stand out. Bring in dynamic features like video and be mindful of the channels your audience likes consume content from.

GenAI is making inroads in this space, making highly engaging content far more readily accessible to wealth managers whereas once this would have been a manual and laborious task.

Our solution: we’ve built smart GenAI tools specifically for wealth managers to make their content engaging, as well as our Design Studio team of industry specialists to help take the creative pressure off firms. The big blocker for wealth managers is generally the time for stakeholders to invest in content generation, so our approach is tailored to cutting this down without inviting the overheads of an agency. Ask us about it.

Challenge 2: RMs struggle to share content

Accessing content is such a big blocker for wealth managers that rarely gets the attention it needs.

This is an easy trap to fall into when over-reliance on email and Sharepoint means the flow of content within an organisation is slow, inefficient and overwhelming.

The solution is to create a hub where content can be easily accessed by front office teams and be centrally managed to ensure the right assets are being elevated. Then using smart recommendations on what content to share twinned with easy ways to share it with clients is a game changer for RMs.

A smart content catalogue streamlines all these processes while also capturing analytical data at every step, which brings us neatly onto challenge number 3...

Challenge 3: There is no analytical data

When you share content, you should be aiming to track at three different levels.

First, the end audience. Are they opening files? Are they watching videos? Is their dwell time long enough? What topics are resonating? How frequently are they consuming your content?

Client experience is directly linked to revenue growth as the report highlights, and the data is also a motivator for RMs - being able to see the impact of your activity in real time helps incentivise outreach.

The front office is the second level where analytical data is essential. Team leaders and content creators need to ensure that the right content is being distributed and react swiftly if any important material is not finding its way to clients. It also eradicates the need to manually gather information for performance reports and host time consuming weekly sales meetings with the team, which are laborious tasks.

Finally, the engagement data gives researchers and content creators the information they need to optimise their content. This simply isn’t possible without the data to go off, and means you can fundamentally improve the quality of your content. This helps at every level: RMs have more confidence in the content and are more likely to share it while audiences are more likely to engage with it positively, ultimately resulting in revenue growth.

Our solution: Smarthub is an AI-driven content catalogue designed to help front office teams access content at scale, and Smartshare which is a frictionless way for them to share this content generating rich analytical insights every step of the way. Talk to us to learn more.

More engagement with content drives more and better revenue. GoUpscale has solutions from bite-sized to more substantive organisations - talk to us if you are interested in learning more.