Cogent Reports: Financial Providers Urged to “Go Big or Go Home” When Creating Thought Leadership

New Study Shows Thought Leadership Serves as a Major Brand Differentiator

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--()--How can financial product providers grab the attention of producers they don’t already serve? The answer lies in strong thought leadership. In fact, advisors are more likely to read thought leadership from an unfamiliar mutual fund, ETF or VA provider over all other types of marketing content; and advisors want thought leadership and market commentary to comprise a larger percentage of the marketing content they receive in lieu of more product-specific updates. These and other findings are included in Cutting Through the Marketing Clutter™, a Cogent Reports™ study by Market Strategies International.

In March, Cogent Reports conducted 18 focus groups—speaking with a representative mix of 85 advisors in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles—to help providers maximize the impact of their marketing efforts to financial advisors. According to the study, advisors not only want thought leadership, they have high expectations for the content provided. Advisors want materials that are forward-thinking, actionable, topical—yet unbiased—and sophisticated with a simple, clean design.

“Above all, providers must be willing to ‘go big or go home’ and take a more unique, provocative stance with their thought leadership materials,” said Sonia Sharigian, senior product manager and report coauthor at Market Strategies. “Advisors would rather a star manager risk making a wrong call than be saddled with the same commentary from a dozen or more providers. Advisors welcome a healthy range of viewpoints because it ultimately enables them to make more educated, informed decisions on behalf of their clients.”

The study further identifies the providers considered to offer best-in-class marketing materials and thought leadership, a key finding Cogent Reports will quantify in its soon-to-be-released Advisor Brandscape® report.

“J.P. Morgan Funds and American Funds, for example, have historically topped our advisor loyalty ratings for thought leadership and perspective in Advisor Brandscape,” said Meredith Lloyd Rice, vice president at Market Strategies. “We’re excited to see which firms emerge as leaders in this important category when our 2016 study is released in June, as these providers will continue to shape industry expectations going forward.”

About Cutting Through the Marketing Clutter

Market Strategies conducted 18 focus groups—speaking with a representative mix of 85 advisors in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles from March 21 to March 29, 2016. The groups included a representative mix of advisor channel (RIAs, Regional & Independent, and Wirehouse), communication preferences, age, industry experience and AUM. Due to its opt-in nature, these focus groups (like most others) do not yield random probability samples of the target population. As such, it is not possible to compute a margin of error or to statistically quantify the accuracy of projections. Market Strategies will supply the exact wording of focus group questions upon request.

About Market Strategies International

Market Strategies International is a market research consultancy with deep expertise in consumer/retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, technology and telecommunications. The firm is ISO 20252 certified, reflecting its commitment to providing intelligent research, designed to the highest levels of accuracy, with meaningful results that help companies make confident business decisions.

Market Strategies conducts qualitative and quantitative research in 75 countries, and its specialties include brand, communications, CX, product development, segmentation and syndicated. Its syndicated products, known as Cogent Reports, help clients understand the market environment, explore industry trends and monitor their brand and products within the competitive landscape. Founded in 1989, Market Strategies is one of the largest market research firms in the world, with offices in the US, Canada and China. Read Market Strategies’ blog at FreshMR, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.


Market Strategies International
Anne Denz, 617.715.7611

Release Summary

New Cogent Reports study shows thought leadership serves as a major brand differentiator for financial firms.


Market Strategies International
Anne Denz, 617.715.7611