October 31, 2014

UMB: How to avoid JEOPARDY with your funds

"Build it and they will come" is not a strategy that often works for investment products. That's why the strategy and execution behind product development, distribution, sales and marketing, along with the use of technology are so important.

That was one of the messages SunStar's Dan Sondhelm and FUSE's Neil Bathon shared recently at the UMB Fund Services conference. The session used a JEOPARDY game format to engage and educate the audience about distribution topics.

Following each question, Bathon and Sondhelm shared insight around the issue and audience members provided their views.

"Thoughtful marketing and public relations can have a big impact on the understanding of a manager's investment strategy in the marketplace, and in turn, the overall growth of their firm," says Camille Clemons who works with advisors that are considering a relationship with UMB.  "This is why we built our client conference around the topics of marketing, branding and distribution."

Sondhelm and Bathon partnered for an interactive presentation that helped UMB clients think differently about how to approach their marketing strategy. "They explained the importance of a focused message, shared distinctive ways to use portfolio managers for engagement and opined about the importance of creating a website that tells a story," said Clemons. "A firm must be truly committed to a consistent marketing message."

Some of the more popular discussions were around the areas of big data, working with platforms, use of technology in marketing, content marketing and thought leadership, developing a firm's story and positioning and product trends such as active ETFs and alternatives.

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