By: Deb Well
PAICR Board of Directors member and 2017 Annual Conference Co-chair
PAICR Member since 2006
“I don’t want to scare you all, but….” Lee Kowarski, DST Systems – PAICR Annual Conference Opening Keynote Speaker
We are being disrupted. And we will continue to be disrupted at an increasingly faster pace. And we need to embrace change, or else risk getting swept away or being made redundant or irrelevant.
That was just one of the very important messages delivered to the attendees of the PAICR Annual Conference in New York on November 13-14th.
Opening keynote speaker Lee Kowarski discussed industry consolidation, new competitive and disruptive entrants, technology adaptation, regulatory pressure, and changing advisor business models as just some of the catalysts of change reshaping the competitive landscape for asset managers. And he laid out the dramatic changes we all need to be thinking about to meet these challenges.
The distributor landscape is shrinking, asset managers are rationalizing their product lineups, and the future belongs to managers at opposing ends of the spectrum: those with broad product suites or specialized/niche players.
However, for the room full of asset management marketing professionals, there was an important piece of upbeat news – marketing is more important than ever before, and distribution teams are relying on them and becoming better partners than in the past.
All About Agile
Along with disruption, many of our conference sessions zeroed in on the concept of agile marketing – with both a big “A” and a little “a”.
Keynote speaker Andrea Fryrear of Agile Sherpas took on the big “A” Agile Marketing. One of her key takeaways was about starting small – both in terms of implementing Agile once you return from the conference, but also in terms of creating an Agile marketing plan. Build. Measure. Learn. Repeat. Start small and build up to scale. Most firms now plan big, with the risk of failing big. Starting small allows for learning from small failures with less risk and building small successes to bigger successes based on the knowledge gained from what you have measured and learnt.
Keynote speaker Robert Rose introduced another disruptive concept – what if you killed marketing as it is practiced today? He told the audience stories of several firms who have changed things up to look at marketing as a business model, rather than a functional cost center. They’ve re-invented their marketing as the function that invests in building audiences. Robert is the Chief Content Adviser for the Content Marketing Institute. Content Marketing has been THE buzzword in asset management over the last few years, so Robert’s talk was very timely, as well as the article on content marketing he contributed to our PAICR Blog before the conference.
Learn. Connect. Succeed
PAICR’s Annual conference has always stood as a great place for all attendees to learn about best practices in our industry for marketing and communication professionals and what they need to keep/make their firm more efficient and stay competitive. It is also a great way to connect with old contacts and meet new people, all of whom make up our incredibly supportive PAICR network that we can call on as a resource when needed. In taking this time to come together at the PAICR Annual Conference, we all walk away with the keys to help our firms succeed, and to be ready for the many changes that face us as asset management marketers as we go forward into 2018.
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