Agility and pilots: 4 key tips to anticipate trends, not react to them

Earlier this year, we hosted a panel with some of the most experienced and forward-thinking leaders in asset management discussing changes in user expectations and experience, and in the marketing and digital landscape.

Client wants are shifting constantly across asset management. But how do you keep up? And how do you know which new digital ‘trends’ to adopt and which to pass on?

The panel agreed that users expect more tailored, focused and seamless experiences, rather than broad brush attempts at personalization.

Our clients also want faster access to more relevant and easier-to-consume content. But does this mean jumping on TikTok? What about adopting voice technology; or artificial intelligence and machine learning to replicate personal support, enhance searches, or deliver investment insights? Is it worth investing time and effort in these new technologies?

(See our article earlier in the year for 5 reasons to try TikTok)

The short answer is yes. Digital transformation is here to stay and has accelerated over the last 18 months. One key aspect of transformation is to prepare for changing behaviors by developing skills that will be needed in future but don’t exist today.

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Skills, abilities, beliefs and the way people live are changing – this all feeds into customer expectations. Marketing, sales, digital and operational teams must adapt.

You must make it easy for all the groups you target to do business with your organization, or they will go elsewhere. This includes advisors, wealth managers, journalists, fund selectors, and current and future employees.

The best way to prove concepts and get internal buy-in to these innovations is by making your business more agile. With small pilots, proofs of concept, data driven insights, and leadership support, you can garner enough momentum to identify a series of measured risks, trial new ideas, and deliver things that delight your clients.

These pointers will help get your pilots off the ground.

Can you show scale?

Pilots are often about being tactical, delivering success quickly, and illustrating what impact your initiative could have if deployed at scale. But it’s important to understand how this will tie to your marketing, sales and technology roadmaps. If your pilot is successful, can ‘business as usual’ teams absorb and support it without adding significant resources?

What is the vision?

Are you clear about how the pilot will help the company and the overall experience in the long run? What problems will it solve and what are the deliverables? A vague and ambiguous string of jumbled up buzzwords won’t work. You need to provide clarity so people can understand exactly where it will help.

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Prioritization, prioritization, prioritization

You may have a great idea or found a problem you need to solve. You do all the due diligence, find the right vendor and design the solution. Within your function, it makes sense. Then other teams get involved and start throwing up blockers. Others in the company are unaware of your initiative, or the sales focus is elsewhere, so it is not aligned to technology priorities.

Alignment to long-term commercial business goals and technology is essential, so get the message out early, and seek open-minded supporters in teams. Assess the end state – what needs to be in place to get to where you want to be? What can you stop doing? Are you chasing lost revenue?

Leadership buy-in and understanding

Some pilots can solve problems that don’t exist yet. This can be a tough sell given that many of our teams are trying to find the resource to solve current problems. Senior buy-in can be especially difficult if a board has been tracking progress against long timelines in a legacy, ‘waterfall’ style approach.

Asset management leaders tend to draw comfort from this long-term focus on a series of clearly defined and rigid deliverables. But worlds change, technology and behaviors change, and digital and marketing leaders need to get leaders to think differently and be more agile. You must break the ‘waterfall’ mindset.

If you were behind the curve on, say, the mobile revolution, re-focus so you don’t miss the next big technological change. For example, what impact will voice search have?

In summary

The questions that keep forward-thinking marketers and strategists awake at night follow a similar theme. How can you help your business adapt to meet changing customer needs as a service provider and as an employer? What does it mean for the way you market your products and services in business-to-business or business-to-consumer settings?

For creative campaigns, you need to target commercial return on investment and follow an organizational brand strategy. How can you become more proactive and get buy-in and investment when your issue isn’t a problem yet? How do you stop chasing technology and start anticipating it? As a marketer, you face all these questions and Kurtosys is here to help.

At Kurtosys, we are proud of our fast, scalable and easy to use technology. We love solving our clients’ problems with smart applications of technology and creativity.

Are you struggling to keep up with changing trends? Do you need to automate difficult and costly processes, deliver critical data at pace, or update your user interfaces and website design?

If so, get in touch today. Talk to our team and arrange a demonstration of how our tools and services can add value to your digital transformation.

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