Are You Measuring Customers' Influence, Value and Opportunity (IVO)?


Wednesday, August 24, 2022 | By Noah Levin, Business Strategy Consultant

Are You Measuring Customers' Influence, Value and Opportunity (IVO)?

Identifying and prioritizing the relationships that are most likely to help your organization reach its goals requires a comprehensive understanding of your customer. Acquiring this level of understanding enables firms to distill every advisor relationship down to three core components: influence, value and opportunity (IVO). Our “Knowing Your Customer through Data” whitepaper outlines how firms can gain a better understanding of their customers and achieve positive results for their business by developing a data strategy. Here, we highlight the three pillars of SS&C's data-driven IVO framework for segmentation, the most commonly used and sought-after data points associated with each (as stated by business intelligence professionals at leading asset managers), and the hurdles asset managers may encounter in acquiring, interpreting and incorporating these data inputs.

In an increasingly competitive and cost-sensitive environment, we believe that to segment advisors appropriately firms must go beyond gross sales metrics—particularly for prospects. Our 2021 whitepaper “Cost Effectively Growing Assets” suggested that, "Ideally, firms should build their segmentation models using operational, life-stage and behavioral attributes and data points. Operational segmentation enables firms to elevate or downgrade targeting and coverage efforts for advisors based on the influence, value and opportunity they represent to the firm." Measuring each advisor's IVO supplies your firm with key information it needs to recognize and focus on the right (most strategically important) relationships efficiently and effectively.

Influence: the advisors who can actually be influenced to use your products (i.e., advisors who have the authority to choose the products they buy, instead of using home-office models)

  • Advisor Profile Data (including Teams) focused on understanding the relationships between advisors, analysts and support personnel to identify team structure and decision-makers is the #2 data point used by business intelligence professionals to enhance customer knowledge.
  • Platform Opportunity (Discretion & Model Use) is one of the most desired data points that business intelligence professionals want for the future.
  • Of the three components, influence data points are typically the most difficult to interpret because they may require labor-intensive analysis—to apply, as data formats often need to be standardized, and to obtain, as they can carry prohibitive price tags.

Value: the advisors who offer a strategic value for growth, retention and profitability (i.e., advisors who are most likely to become the firm’s best long-term customers)

  • Asset & Transaction Data (internal & external) is the #1 data point used by business intelligence professionals to enhance customer knowledge today.
  • Competitor Data/Receptivity to New Managers is one of the most desired data points that business intelligence professionals want for the future.
  • Of the three components, Value data points are the easiest to acquire, interpret and integrate because they are pulled mostly from asset & transaction data.

Opportunity: the advisors who present a distinct opportunity because your competitive solutions meet their needs (i.e., advisors who have a history of buying products in strategies, categories and vehicles where you have a competitive advantage)

  • Product Opportunity (asset class & vehicle) is the #3 data point used by business intelligence professionals to enhance customer knowledge today.
  • Use of non-mutual fund vehicles (e.g. ETFs, SMAs, and Alternatives) is one of the most desired data points that business intelligence professionals want for the future.
  • Opportunity data points are generally available; however, data inequalities, which are common, can limit the depth and breadth to which the data is incorporated and make interpreting the data difficult.

The ocean of data now accessible to firms facilitates their ability to gain a thorough understanding of the customer and optimize distribution efforts like never before. However, this increasingly massive and complex pool of data requires a commensurate level of investment and organizational buy-in from firms if they wish to leverage said data into positive tangible outcomes. The IVO framework can be a valuable tool used in segmentation efforts, but it relies on firms’ ability to obtain and utilize the right data.

As sophisticated advisor segmentation and engagement strategies are becoming the norm for industry leaders, firms that fail to pursue enhanced Business Intelligence programs—or at the very least clearly defined data strategies—run the risk of deploying resources inefficiently, missing out on opportunities, and getting left behind.

For more detail on this topic, read our “Knowing Your Customer through Data” whitepaper which provides a roadmap for creating a data strategy.



Asset Management, Research, Analytics, and Consulting, Wealth Management


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