Digital distribution experience: where operations meet sales and marketing


Friday, March 5, 2021 | By Mike Cogburn, Consulting and Innovation, Digital Services

Digital distribution experience: where operations meet sales and marketing

We are evolving to help you retain and grow more assets

This is an exciting time to be part of SS&C, both for employees and our clients—especially for the wealth management and asset management sides of the financial services industry. Our traditional business of record keeping and transfer agency-related services is quickly evolving as we recognize our clients’ work every day to grow and retain assets. We want to partner with them (you) to do just that, as we future-proof our offerings and honor our commitment to the industry. We will do so while keeping modern and secure digital capabilities at the forefront.

Investor and advisor expectations continue to accelerate

We know our clients are marketing and selling to investors and advisors at the same time they are servicing them. We also appreciate the expectations for digital experiences, regardless of the audience, continue to increase. After all, investors and advisors are people too. People who are now spending more time on video conferences from their PCs and phones; people who are experiencing how well Uber, Amazon and Facebook know who they are and anticipate their needs; and people who have daily questions answered by smart-speaking virtual assistants. Recent research conducted by SS&C in association with Horsesmouth tells us that 90 percent of advisors’ clients are more hands-on with investment decisions than just three years ago. Similar research has told us for years that advisors expect the majority of their interactions with asset managers to be entirely digital—and 80 percent of advisors equate the quality of an asset manager’s digital experience with their perception of the firm’s overall capabilities. It is critical to account for these advisors’ increasing expectations. This industry has lagged in doing that historically, but getting this right will differentiate your brand in a crowded industry.

Technology innovation must meet these expectations

Aside from an innovative roadmap and lots of creative ideas, we must work together to implement new technologies to bring intelligent and valuable digital experiences to life. We are off to a great start and continue to move fast.

Beyond helping our clients go paperless with historically burdensome paper tasks —like onboarding new clients, retirement plans or opening accounts—we are exploring new concepts for the digital experience. Building platforms to help marketing and sales by analyzing and applying more user data (think demographic, behavioral and transactional) is at the forefront of this effort.

We are working closely with such teams at asset and wealth management firms to bring the digital experiences full circle from service and ops to full-on distribution. After all, the idea that an advisor or investor logging into a portal is unrelated to the firm’s marketing or distribution is missing the point. In these moments, we have their attention in the most important decision-making moments that exist. We need to take advantage of this and influence them in thoughtful and meaningful ways to ensure we can put our clients are in the best position to retain or grow assets—whether on the wealth management or asset management side of the equation. We have the ability to help advisors and investors by alerting them to important tasks that need their attention, based on what we already know about them. We can help them make decisions as well, and we can connect asset manager resources appropriately at the same time—through interactive tools, content or people.

What’s different for us?

We are connecting distribution efforts within the digital space. Our business has traditionally faced off with our clients’ operations teams. We have led the industry with traditional operations, service and reporting products and services. We have done this through client call center and mail services as well as reporting and digital transactional portals. As our industry evolves, modernizes and innovates—primarily investing in the digital experiences for advisors and investors—we have a keen eye on product evolution to aid clients beyond operations and service.

Digital experience matters to your brand more than ever

So as your customers expect to accomplish more and to receive more digital communication, we are discovering, experimenting with and prototyping the possibilities, as well as implementing new solutions. We understand personalized experiences create closer relationships and brand loyalty. And, we understand interactive tools grow such loyalty. These tools teach and allow for transacting in the moment so investors learn what they need to do, and are nudged at the right time to keep assets at the firm or even to bring more in. We understand that making it easy to do business matters more than ever, and digital experiences leave important impressions of your brand.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss our latest thinking, provide feedback or partner in building a sophisticated digital experience.



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