Covid-19 prompts more than half of asset management firms to accelerate adoption of digital marketing technology

A research report commissioned by SDL, the intelligent language and content company, reveals that more than half (52 per cent) of European asset management firms have implemented client engagement, and digital marketing and communications technology, sooner than anticipated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The pan-European research, conducted by WBR Insights, also discovered that almost a third (32 per cent) of firms admitted experiencing technical problems while implementing new digital technology during the pandemic.

“There is no doubt that the pandemic focused hearts and minds on the protection of clients and their investments,” says Christophe Djaouani, EVP Regulated Industries, SDL. “It’s been a wake up moment for the industry, and they know they need to implement more robust client engagement and communications technology if they want to stay ahead of the increasing demands of anxious clients.”

Asset management firms also plan to embrace digital marketing communications much more with nearly half (48 per cent) expecting to implement their initiatives across all their available digital channels this year, according to the research. Almost a third (27 per cent) admit that ROI is the key driver that led their firm to adopt digital communications to meet their clients’ needs.

Despite an accelerated push towards a digital marketing strategy in the onset of Covid-19, almost three quarters of firms felt they were either behind the curve (31 per cent) or failing to break away from the pack (43 per cent) when it comes to digital client engagement. Over half (55 per cent) felt legacy IT systems were an issue impacting the implementation of new technology.

To help improve digital marketing and client communications, firms are turning to Machine Learning (48 per cent) and Natural Language Processing (45 per cent) technologies. However, there is also a notable move towards AI. A fifth (20 per cent) already use AI technology and 37 per cent intend to adopt AI within the next 12 months, with a further 41 per cent expressing an interest in AI technology—albeit without firm implementation plans in place.

Djaouani says: “Perhaps unsurprisingly, Machine Learning technology is ahead of more experimental Artificial Intelligence systems. However, there is a strong indication that AI is destined for the mainstream in the next year. With a fifth of firms already using AI and over a third with plans to implement it within 12 months, it suggests that technology is viewed positively as a key element in the operational response to the pandemic and going forward.”