Peregrine’s new report is coming out next week. Here’s a sneak peek at what’s inside….
The Value of Integrated Marketing
Integrated marketing offers asset managers significant benefits in terms of both efficiency and efficacy, leveraging content across multiple channels to maximise their target audience’s time, attention, and engagement. Although many managers recognize that integrated marketing is the right approach for the digital age, there is still no real consensus as to what constitutes best practice. There needs to be more understanding of how all these tools work together.
The challenge for communicators now is how to identify, track and optimize the core constituents of effective integrated marketing communications.
Identifying the Key Metrics
Peregrine has identified six core metrics that we believe asset managers should be using to assess the performance of their integrated marketing:
- Messaging Effectiveness
- Brand Awareness
- Google Page 1 Strength
- Media Sentiment
- Social Media Presence
- Website Effectiveness.
Peregrine recently conducted a study into how 100 asset managers performed across these six key metrics, analysing more than 7000 data points. Each of these six metrics offers a distinct insight into each connected facet of a firm’s marketing activity, giving vital information about how each part of the piece fits together.
Messaging effectiveness is a measurement of how well an asset manager’s marketing output is resonating with its audience. Firms with strong messaging effectiveness scores are likely to score highly across all the other metrics as well.
Interestingly, our research recorded an average decrease of 31% over the past year in organic search traffic for the asset managers studied and only 24% of them had seen an increase in the volume of search interest. This contrast between the effectiveness of firms’ messaging and the lack of interest from investors searching for managers underlines the importance of getting marketing right. Effective messaging that resonates with the target audience and clearly communicates a firm’s core capabilities is crucial.
The asset managers that performed the best in this area shared several key characteristics: a clear identity, a progressive corporate story, a set of defined core capabilities, and a visual, social, and media presence that reflects all these qualities.
Of all the six metrics, brand awareness (measured by the number of backlinks leading to a firm’s website) correlates most closely with an asset manager’s size (measured by its assets under management). This demonstrates a connection between how well a firm has marketed itself in the past and its size now.
A strong Brand Awareness score represents how well a firm has performed in the past but is no guarantor of a strong future performance. In fact, 26% of the bottom 50 firms in Peregrine’s study have above-average brand awareness scores. In contrast, 25% of the firms ranked in the top 20 overall would not appear in the top third for brand awareness.
Peregrine’s research shows that many firms are resting on their laurels and are failing to leverage their strong Brand Awareness across their integrated marketing communications (IMC) activity.
Google Page 1
Only 20% of the asset managers included in Peregrine’s study have an excellent Google Page 1 score. A similar amount 22%, score poorly in this area. Few firms have grasped the importance of a strong Google Page 1 score.
Worryingly, 12% of managers suffer from negative coverage. Managers need to improve the way they appear in Google search results as part of their integrated marketing strategy.
Of the top 20 overall scorers in Peregrine’s study, the majority have above-average media sentiment scores. This trend is reversed for the bottom 20 firms in the study, suggesting a connection between how much positive media engagement a firm can generate and how proactive its marketing is in general.
The analysis shows how critical it is to consider each metric in the context of the broader picture of each firm’s results. Positive media sentiment needs to be allied with a strong Messaging Effectiveness score to ensure that the positive messages are ‘cutting through’.
Social Media Presence
Asset managers need to engage with social media and share high quality educational or multimedia content across the three primary B2B social media channels, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.
The average manager is active across two social media channels, sharing high quality educational or video content across both, but is only active regularly on one channel.
Performing well in any one category in our study will reap benefits in other categories – such is the nature of IMC – and social media is no exception. For example, an engaged presence across LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube will automatically improve a firm’s Google Page 1 score and search engine optimization.
The data shows that firms have improved some elements of their website performance since Peregrine’s last report in 2017. The average time visitors spend on the firms’ websites has increased by approximately a minute, an increase of two-thirds. This implies that firms have increased the amount of engaging content hosted on their websites, keeping their users there longer.
However, the average number of pages viewed and bounce rate scores have worsened, suggesting that firms need to think more carefully about the user interface and customer journey of their websites.
This is a critical point, as any leakage once users click onto the website will be directly reducing the impact of all the preceding activity – whether social media or press outreach.
Tracking Success: the Best Practice Group
One of the principal purposes of Peregrine’s research has been to develop an objective standard by which IMC best practice can be measured, outlined and optimised. The ability to track IMC performance is game-changing for companies, enabling budgets to be allocated most efficiently and the most effective practices prioritized.
Having ranked 100 asset management firms by their IMC performance, Peregrine has been able to define a top 20 Best Practice Group. This group will form the basis of continuing research into IMC best practice, but has already resulted in valuable insights, including;
- Messaging underpins everything. Unless there is a consistent set of messages and a consistent brand, integrated marketing communications can’t function effectively
- A proactive, clearly messaged communications campaign will yield a higher ratio of positive coverage
- Social media best practice is relatively clearly defined: share high quality, educational content across the core social media channels
- When it comes to website optimisation, simply hosting engaging thought leadership and videos is not enough — it’s critical to build a true user journey into the interface
- A strong Google Page 1 is a vital asset, but must be thought of in conjunction with social and traditional media outreach to ensure positive third-party validations
Based in London and New York, Peregrine Communications provides communications, marketing, and design solutions to the global financial services industry. Its clients range from start-ups to companies with AUM of US$65 billion. The firm aims to help them find the most effective way to tell their stories.
Check back here for the full report next week or pick up a copy at TSAM Boston on Thursday 15 November.