Why asset manager content is stuck in a rut
New research found global fund managers stick to safe and traditional asset classes in their content and largely ignore the “sexy topics” created by new and rapidly rising asset classes that take institutional investors out of their comfort zone.
The research report from The Dubs as the publisher of The Financial Marketer was made in partnership with global financial native ad platform Dianomi.
More than 10 million Google searches were analysed by The Dubs across nine asset classes and married with data insights from across Dianomi’s global native ad network.
The report found while investors were actively searching for content on hot topics like ETFs and cryptocurrencies asset managers don’t share the same enthusiasm. ETFs pulled 25.25% of Google searches but only accounted for 6.06% of content published by asset managers.
ETFs pulled 25.25% of Google searches but only accounted for 6.06% of content published by asset managers.
Likewise, the upstart brat of the investment industry cryptocurrency drew 18.25% of search volume but was ignored with only 2.96% of content coverage.
On the flipside, the greatest focus for asset manager content was equities with 28.65% devoted to the asset class. Close to double the demand from search volume at 15.77%, this is an over-index of this stalwart asset class. And the investment topics of retirement planning and fixed income each accounted for 14.25% of content produced while garnering only 1.7% and 0.7% of investor interest through search.
Getting the vibe of the industry
“The dominant marketing and distribution models of traditional fund managers globally has been set up to focus on intermediary and institutional audiences,” says the co-founder and chief commercial officer of ETF provider BetaShares, Ilan Israelstam.
“It would appear to me that by the very topics (The Dubs / Dianomi) research indicates is being written about, much of the writing is being done for this audience.”
Israelstam adds, in his opinion, unlisted active fund managers aim to demonstrate an ability to outperform passive ETFs benchmarks, and as such authoring ETF content would be seen to be “swimming with the tide”.
Meanwhile, the head of global and business development at Mirae Asset Global Investments, Blair Abbott says, “traditional still outweighs ETFs overall content wise”.
“In general, ETF houses don’t have the same roster of portfolio managers or analysts to pull ideas and thoughts from. This is why it’s vital ETF providers look to seed and bolster their content creation via research staff and/or other means,” he explains.
Abbott also says many asset managers were reluctant to cover hot fringe issues that take them out of their comfort zone.
“Crypto is a hot and marvelous story that will no doubt continue to evolve, but many managers simply didn’t have enough skin in the game to feel comfortable expressing their thoughts on it in the earlier stages. There was much uncertainty surrounding the topic, maybe driving a lot of initial hesitancy. Though we have seen this change as more managers commit to blockchain-related products and capabilities.”
The research further supported there is a paradigm shift in how people invest but also in how they educate themselves and digest information, explains Abbott.
“As the investor and asset management ecosystem evolves, brand will become more and more vital, thus innovative and quality content creation becomes key to investor awareness, interest, purchase and loyalty,’’ he says.
“The caveat is that it comes at a cost, as quality content is a resource-intensive endeavour.”
The chief operating officer of the report sponsor Dianomi, Raphael Queisser, says the native advertiser has seen marketplace interest in investing grow substantially during the past 18 months.
“Our report shows the areas investors are actively searching for and there’s a clear information gap to be capitalised on regardless of asset managers product mix,” he says.
“While some asset managers aren’t necessarily going to recommend cryptocurrencies, our viewpoint across the world’s premium financial publishers demonstrates a clear commercial opportunity to allocate more content across a wider range of asset classes to match demand.” Download the special research report here.