Today, as we become more and more digitalised, data informs and shapes our decisions more than we know. 87% of buying decisions begin with research conducted online. Billions of people contribute to the data footprint, as a result the dissemination and circulation of data on the internet has tested its integrity.
We’ve highlighted 5 ways fund managers can enhance the credibility of your fund, online:
No. 1 – Data accuracy
One of the first measures an investor or fund selector makes before investing is to conduct due diligence. This includes researching and extracting all the relevant and available fund information regarding a prospective investment. The accuracy of fund data is key, as the potential risk of getting it wrong could result in financial losses. The sheer amount of online resources today edge investors towards sources that they deem trustworthy, has a strong track record of delivering objective and independent information or have been referred to them by a trusted person. While the extent of this research effort varies from individual to individual, you can’t deny that the quality and accuracy of your fund information, where you place your information and how it compares against your peers may have a lasting impression of your fund’s proposition.
No. 2 - Showcase your brand
Our financial system and society in general, relies on trust to perform effectively. The key here is to not only maximise brand awareness, but promote your brand consistently to existing and prospective investors to build trust. The greater uniformity in your brand, the greater dependability and reliability it represents – which is critical when marketing and distributing funds. Ensuring you offer transparency to investors and easing accessibility of your latest fund information through multiple channels (likely enabled by supporting dissemination services), reinforced by a proactive and clear brand message, provides investors the assurance they need to entrust you with their investments. This means being consistent, present and visible in key online spaces where investors consider themselves to receive reliable and insightful information.
BlackRock is a great example of great brand-consistency through simplicity. It currently stands as the world’s largest asset manager and is one of the world’s largest financial institutions with an AUM of over £5.244 trillion. Their purpose and goals are clear and are reinforced through their deliverables and transparency with investors. Their company was founded upon the principles of transparently acknowledging the inevitable risk investors face; understanding it and offering solutions to manage it. This is still consistent through their brand today and their industry standing speaks for itself.
No. 3 – Don’t shy away from accolades
The rise of ESG has definitely shifted investor mindsets and the notion that shareholder value is everything is perhaps weakened. Whilst it may no longer be everything, it most certainly still counts. Strong fund performance, especially in volatile markets, is a quantifiable metric and should be lauded when achieved. Likewise, Marketing and Communications Teams spend a great amount of time and resources in submitting applications for awards, labels and ratings in an effort to make the benefits of investment somewhat more tangible and visible.
“Now more than ever, in these unprecedented times, quantitative ratings provide a vital way in which investors can compare and contrast past performance. As the Crown ratings consider only those funds with a three-year or longer history, investors can see how these funds have fared in different market regimes, providing a more transparent view, which is something that FE fundinfo actively seeks to offer when it comes to informing investment decisions."
Charles Younes, Research Manager
In order to strengthen the reliability and trustworthiness of your brand, receiving various accolades from independent organisations can materially help support the promotion of your fund. Yet, surprisingly the promotional activity ends after a win. Don’t hide it, share it and promote it regularly. On your documents, your website, your socials - make it visible. These small visual logos of industry credibility are simple, easy to recognise and should not be limited to the immediate time of winning. They are a constant reminder of achievements, even if the mark was at a certain point in time.
No. 4 – Putting your people forward
Your brand is driven by the success of your funds and the people managing these funds. Promoting their expertise and insight in a public forum not only personifies the brand but in turn reflects positively on your brand’s credibility. For example, the FE fundinfo Alpha Manager Awards distinguishes the top 10% of UK fund managers– receiving this accolade truly highlights a managers success in comparison to their peer group over time. Find out more about our unbiased and independent Ratings here or take a look at the latest rebalance results.
No. 5 – Leverage wider networks
Establishing a loyal client base outside of your regular channels is a challenge, but if done effectively it has invaluable returns. The greater the brand awareness through visibility, the greater the impact of indirect leverage such as; word-of-mouth and industry recognition. Fund marketers and distributors are now being urged to think creatively about fund distribution – most notably, platforms and partnerships.
Leveraging partnerships as a strategy for growth has been around for a while, however have become all the more powerful as organisations face off into an economy that values knowledge sharing, collaboration and bringing in new capabilities for mutual benefits to be realised. It allows for open discussion and the ability to tap into a whole new network. Particularly powerful when entering a new space whether it be a new market or territory. Spending the time on finding the right partner is worth it if you happen to find an engine that does distribution for you.
Another way to expand beyond your existing network of contacts is by utilising all possible platforms that are already positioned and engaged with your target audience, including those that are widely used for investment research. Trustnet, FE Analytics, fundinfo.com and yourSRI.com have seen more than 8.9 million fund searches in the past year.
Our platforms aim to improve the investor experience from fund selection, right through to analysis and portfolio management. We offer a gateway for fund managers to connect directly with investors and fund selectors, whilst providing a global stage for them to access accurate and compliant fund information.
Contacts us to find out more about our fund ratings, marketing, dissemination and digital solutions.