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The Official Blog of Acuity Knowledge Partners

Ace your digital crisis communication

Published on May 28, 2020 by Faahika Fakir

The recent unprecedented crisis seems to have impacted organisational effectiveness significantly. While companies strive to sustain operations, they are left with a reduced window of time to respond, creating the need to select the most suited platform to share information and a credible, dedicated team to accelerate communication.

The ongoing crisis

The severity of the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically for the financial services industry that has witnessed all-time-low market performance, has compelled leaders to revisit their strategies on contingency plans and business continuity.

The current market volatility is expected to continue for a few months, possibly years, emphasising the need to make agile, innovative decisions and, most importantly, disseminate information to all stakeholders in a swift and transparent manner.

Acceleration, innovation and transparency

As the COVID-19 situation changes rapidly, it is critical to share real-time and easily accessible information quicker. Traditional print-media marketing does not enable this form of communication, directing many corporates towards digitisation. Digital media not only enables accelerated content publishing; it also encourages marketers to be creative and innovative on the form of content.

Cancellation or continuation?

Town halls, conferences, in-room briefings and large-scale events have traditionally been the backbone of asset management marketing efforts to meet up with advisers and investors to explore new investment opportunities and enhancements in technology and discuss other related topics. With the onset of COVID-19, and in-person meetings being curtailed, such pre-planned events have had to be put on hold or even cancelled. For a relationship-driven sector such as asset management, it is of utmost importance that trust continues to be built among the retail and institutional audiences, forcing marketers to look at alternatives. The pioneers in the business have already adapted and embraced technology to continue with their marketing efforts by converting such events into webinars, video conferences, podcasts, secure chats and social media live streaming. Here are some examples:

Source: J.P Morgan

Source: BNY Mellon

Choosing the best platform

Unlike traditional marketing, digital marketing offers multiple platforms that can be adapted to suit the purpose of messaging. While the options are many, it is vital, especially during a crisis situation, to opt for the most convenient yet most engaging platform that conveys the end message to the user. Simplicity is key.

Personalisation and faster response:

While meeting up with advisers and investors individually or physically sending them a note of empathy in a time of crisis would be impractical, marketers could still maintain the relationships built over the years, or renew them, through email. Personalised messaging can be utilised for trust building by sharing content that provides reassurance of business continuity.

Using marketing automation tools enables larger audiences to be segmented based on interest and engagement level automatically, enabling marketers to target distribution of content on market performance and its impact on investments, hosted events, and strategic alterations much faster.

Examples of how email marketing can be utilised in a time of crisis:

Readability and accessibility:

Keeping retailers, individuals and institutions informed of the current situation and providing real-time updates have become a challenge for many marketers in the asset management sector. While the majority are in lockdown and continue to work from home, time spent on the internet has increased significantly, attracting more visitors to the web and making websites a useful platform to upload comprehensive content on the COVID-19 pandemic. Most websites are mobile-responsive and follow a single-column vertical-scrolling layout, enabling easy access and readability.

Dedicating a standalone page/portal that covers content related to COVID-19 and providing access through the main navigation would improve visibility, as illustrated below.

Source: J.P. Morgan

Furthermore, displaying the content in an organised format by categorising based on type (audio/video/article), topic, frequency, date and author would contribute to an enhanced user experience, as depicted in the following snapshot.

Source: Goldman Sachs

Content amplification:

During a crisis situation, strategies drift to a service over sales approach, creating the need to educate on safety and measures taken as a corporate to ease the financial instability. Social media, if used effectively, can reach a wider audience through likes, follows and shares, and create visibility and long-lasting trust for the brand.

Creative illustration of content:

A wealth of insight and research on current market conditions could be overwhelming to a user if not presented in an attention-grabbing format.

Infographics is a great way of depicting larger volumes of data and analysis concisely. They can be created on both image and web formats, and help digest facts and figures easily. Here’s how Schroders creatively showcased the economic impact of COVID-19 and its outlook for US profits.

Source: Schroders

Effective communication in times of crisis is crucial. The flexibility and reach digital media allows makes it the most viable platform to manage communications; the challenge, however, is to have a team capable of curating and publishing information in a consistent and uniform manner on multiple digital platforms in shorter time spans, while fulfilling compliance and regulatory obligations.

Why us?

The following are a few of the many reasons why we lead digital marketing operations for asset managers:

A decade of producing successful digital marketing campaigns

We, at Acuity Knowledge Partners, have over 10 years of industrial experience in assisting asset managers to take on complete ownership of implementing digital marketing strategies that have undoubtedly helped in achieving lead generation, retention and conversion goals.

Our clients have appreciated partnering with us, as evidenced by what some of them have to say.

“Thank you! Good news. The number of eyeballs on our blog has increased dramatically. We went from a couple of hundreds viewers to several thousand. So Thank you!!” – Digital Marketing Manager of a US-based asset management company

I LOVE this!!! Love the cover image, love how you illustrated the different wealth percentages by filling up the body outlines, love how you created a callout box for the quote, etc. Thank you for your great work!– Senior Digital Strategist of a top-10 US-based asset management company

A central hub of skilled digital marketers with asset management domain expertise

One common concern for most marketers is non-availability of a centralised team capable of producing marketing material, publishing content on the web and social media, and using marketing automation for drip marketing campaigns backed by reporting on user engagement that also understands the business. We take pride in our highly skilled team that is capable of handling multi-channel digital marketing campaigns and has in-depth knowledge of the asset management industry.

Ability to execute extensive data-driven marketing campaigns

Although a large number of leads may be generated, conversions often do not meet expectations. The right use of technology enables marketers to overcome this by creating highly personalised content to produce quality leads. We are experienced in integrating various customer relationship management (CRM), content management system (CMS) and social media platforms, and marketing automation and analytics tools, enabling us to conduct data-centric marketing campaigns.

Minimal training and transition effort

Tools used for fund performance data storage, content management, marketing automation, social media integration, marketing material repositories, compliance management, analytics and creative design vary from client to client. We have hands-on experience in working with most of the industry’s leading tools, enabling us to adapt to any new platform with minimal training and supervision.

Flexible account engagement models

Our engagement models range from dedicated full-time employee (FTE) resources, pooled resources or even a hybrid approach for projectised models, supporting clients in the UK, US and APAC time zones.

Let us carry your operational burden of digital communication to keep your stakeholders informed and maintain your competitive edge while you focus on rebuilding your business.

Access the complete list of our digital marketing service offerings via our website.

Sources:

https://am.jpmorgan.com/us/en/asset-management/gim/adv/home

https://www.goldmansachs.com/insights/topics/covid-19.html

https://www.schroders.com/en/bm/asset-management/insights/economic-views/economic-infographic-a-snapshot-of-the-global-economy-in-april-2020/


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About the Author

Assistant Director, Fund Marketing Services

Faahika Fakir has 8 years of work experience. At Acuity, she heads delivery of several client accounts. She specialises in digital marketing sectors such as marketing automation, content management, and web analytics, and in account management, client engagement and project management of mid-size to large teams that provide end-to-end support to global asset managers on a variety of digital marketing activities.She holds a Bachelors in Computing and is a qualified Project Management Professional.

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