Our outlook on investment industry communications trends in 2024 continues today with some digital marketing perspectives from Pat Allen, head of LG Digital. Also, see Jody Lowe‘s comments on what she sees ahead for public relations professionals this year.  

A new year—those 12 months stretching out in front of us—is a natural occasion to make a new plan, to commit with new conviction, to make a strong start on what will become The Best Year Ever.  

Granted, it rarely works out that way for investment communications teams who spend most of January tying the bow on year-end and quarter-end communications. So, since we may have more time to be future-focused this month than you, we’ll offer the following thoughts on what 2024 may bring.    

The development of more skills to meet the moment. “We’re all prompt engineers now,” it was proclaimed in 2023 as AI dominated the conversation. In fact, many marketers took the charge seriously and sought formal training on how to effectively communicate with computers. Good for you! 

We see a more nuanced skill in high demand this year and into the future. For the lack of a better term, let’s call it a “crystallizer.”  

If you work in the investment industry, you know the seriousness of the communications, the importance of full explanations for fear of confusing or misleading, the need for room to provide full context, the Compliance considerations.  

And, if you’re a marketer in the investment industry, you know the tide is turning toward pithy, even entertaining, often video, information bites such as what’s delivered via YouTube shorts and TikTok (for some otherwise interested parties, you’re either on TikTok or you’re nobody—see this 2023 post and this). Whitepapers and 2,000-word posts are for after your teaser gets someone engaged.  

Crystallizing is similar to the skill employed when you reduce the point of an email to a subject line, but then again different. To do in 2024: develop the crystallization muscle on your team.  

Emphasis on brand-building now more than ever. In a world where Google’s AI-powered search generative experience is designed to scrape the best of your keyword-relevant content, firms need to continue and accelerate support for their brand. Your work needs to be focused on building awareness of your firm, your unique thought leaders, your differentiated messaging. The goal: for more searchers to search for you. 

This represents a bit of a twist if you’ve previously been focused more on non-branded searches and taken the branded searches for granted. Our recommendation: set a KPI for your branded search volume and monitor its upward trend. That will be important to report on.  

More hoop-jumping for incremental visibility on social platforms. Of course, we want more social views for brand and individual accounts. In 2023, this led to both LinkedIn and X (formerly known as Twitter) offering a boost in views to verified accounts willing to go through a process that involves the submission of government-issued IDs. For some, including me, this is a bridge too far.  

For as long as they offer the value of a community you can’t create for yourself, it’s a sure bet that the social network engineers are cooking up more ways to extract more from us, whether in the form of platform-hosted content or personal information, in the new year. 

Asset manager websites deliver on their promise as digital experience platforms advisors like to use. Here’s hoping (see recent post).  

Fighting the good fight on email deliverability. We wish we could predict that things will get better this year. Struggles getting emails into inboxes do more than confound email measurement, they prevent your clients and prospects from benefitting from your valuable messages.  

Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (iOS 15), Google’s new requirements for bulk senders (to the extent your lists include gmail addresses) combined with the screening applied when your email hits corporate servers all are designed to protect receivers from information they don’t value. That’s not what you’re sending but you can expect your work to be increasingly caught up in the sweep.  

Your best defense in 2024? Commit to executing on strategies that have been recommended for a while now—ask and store your contacts’ preferences in your CRM, use the data for segmentation, use gated content to pursue permissions, deliver personalized/customized content, pay attention to the interest paid, and keep testing and trying. Email can be an effective channel—yes, clients and prospects value relevant, timely updates and they take action based on the prompts! Never surrender. 

Asking more from webcasts. “Everyone’s tired of them”—and yet we see no let-up in the number of firms using webcasts. How about tweaking something this year? If you’ve been restraining yourselves and asking just the minimum on your webcast registration firms, add a few more form fields and see what happens. We predict there will be little to no abandonment. And, you’ll benefit from added insights to use to more relevantly engage with your registrants. 

To and through on taxes. Always a pain point, taxes—specifically the implications and ideally tax efficiency—related to investments will be front and center this year. But this can’t be a case of dusting off the old chestnuts. If there ever was a use case for “to and through” communicating, it’s tax topics—financial intermediaries need your help with accurate, complete, compliant and yet impactful materials. Content and digital marketing collaborations could deliver big on this front in 2024.

Would you like to talk more digital strategy? Lowe Group’s LG Digital offers a range of services related to digital marketing,send us a note for more information.