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Meeting the Challenge: Implementing Personalized Content Marketing with Limited Resources

Linda Pixley 25 July 2023

“Never. Ending.” That’s how one investment marketer describes the growing demand for content. Between articles, white papers, blogs, social posts, videos, and so much more, the demand for content in the financial services industry has never been greater.

Creating content for mass audiences—all investors or all advisors, for instance—is challenging enough. But the need for content grows exponentially for firms using a personalized content marketing approach.

We don’t mean simply personalized content, by the way. Almost every martech platform makes it easy to personalize certain aspects of content—such as using the recipient’s first name in an email.

Personalized content marketing, on the other hand, goes a step further. It involves creating unique, customized content for specific segments of an audience—based on criteria like demographics, psychographics, or past interactions with a brand.

Consumers expect content that’s relevant to them

Consumers don’t just welcome personalized content. Increasingly, they expect it.

According to a McKinsey & Company study, 71% of consumers now expect companies to deliver personalized interactions. When that doesn’t happen, 76% of consumers feel frustrated.

How exactly do consumers define personalization? More than 70% of consumers in the McKinsey & Company study said they expect the companies with which they do business to recognize them as an individual—not a transaction. And they want brands to demonstrate an investment in a relationship.

Specifically, consumers expect:

  • Relevant product/service recommendations (67%)
  • Messaging that’s tailored to their needs (66%)
  • Targeted promotions (65%)
  • Celebrations of milestones (61%)
  • Timely communications tied to key moments (59%)

This expectation for personalization isn’t confined to traditional consumer products. After all, who we are, our expectations of the companies we work with, and the way in which we want to receive information don’t change drastically—whether we’re shopping for a financial advisor or a new car.

A recent wealth management survey by Accenture, for example, found that 55% of investors who are currently engaged with a financial professional feel that the advice they receive is too generic. This reveals a substantial opportunity for investment management firms to differentiate themselves by providing personalized content that’s truly relevant and valuable to each client.

Leaders of wealth management firms seem to agree. In a 2019 survey of wealth-management executives by Forbes Insights and Temenos, an overwhelming 82 percent of respondents believed that those who increase personalization would succeed.

Bottom-line benefits of personalization

Those executives weren’t wrong. McKinsey & Company’s research found that “companies that excel at personalization generate 40% more revenue from those activities than average players. Across U.S. industries, shifting to top-quartile performance in personalization would generate over $1 trillion in value. Players who are leaders in personalization achieve outcomes by tailoring offerings and outreach to the right individual at the right moment with the right experiences.”

Implementing personalization with limited resources

Unfortunately, as the case for personalized content becomes clearer, there are often fewer resources available to produce that content. In fact, 75% of chief marketing officers (CMOs) say they face increased pressure to do more with less, according to the Gartner 2023 CMO Spend and Strategy Survey. As a result, many marketing teams are suffering. Labor was the single largest reported budgetary decrease across all major marketing resources, according to the study.

If you’re an investment marketer, this puts you in an unenviable position. How can you ramp up the quantity of the content your team produces while maintaining quality—especially at a time when you may have even fewer people to do it?

While there’s no easy fix, the best odds of success come from creating a content-development and -management process that generates the greatest possible efficiency and value from each piece of content while also making the most of available resources.

  • Develop a content repository. A centralized content repository, or content library, ensures that all your content assets are organized, accessible, and easy to manage. It helps streamline the process of content creation and distribution. And, critically, it makes it easier to repurpose and repackage content for various platforms, audiences, and topics.
  • Parse content. One of the most efficient ways to stretch content is by breaking it down into smaller, adaptable pieces. With this approach, you can significantly expand your content offerings without creating entirely new content. A whitepaper, for example, could also be used to develop a series of blog posts, an infographic, and social media posts. Taking this approach consistently—each time a significant new piece of content is created—will help you grow your content library and ensure consistent messaging.
  • Utilize partnerships. Most marketing departments are already operating at maximum capacity. And while many marketers, including ourselves, are exploring ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) content-generation tools like ChatGPT can improve content production processes, it might be some time before these technologies can meet investment marketing needs. In the meantime, finding an external content-creation partner—one with deep and broad investment knowledge and the resources to quickly adapt to your content needs—can help you deliver high-quality, personalized content without adding to staff.
  • Build in data, analytics, and continuous improvement. Understanding your audience’s needs and your content’s performance at meeting those needs is vital. Using analytics and data can help identify which content resonates with your audience, which formats and platforms deliver the best results, and what improvements could be made. This data-driven approach allows for continuous optimization and ensures your content strategy evolves with your audience’s needs and market trends.

Key takeaways

The case for personalized content marketing is easy to make. Consumers expect companies to recognize them as individuals and deliver tailored experiences. Delivering on those expectations—by getting the right messages to the right audiences at the right time—can increase engagement, conversions, and revenues.

That gives investment management firms a significant opportunity to differentiate themselves by providing personalized content that’s relevant and valuable to each client. Doing so, however, requires marketers to optimize content creation processes and leverage increasingly limited resources. With efficient cataloging and parsing of content, strategic content partnerships, and data-driven insights, investment marketers can navigate the challenges ahead and capitalize on the benefits of personalized content marketing.