Data from Fundamental Monitor shows asset managers in Australia stay true to their advertising strategies

Key points:

  • Asset managers in Australia do not seem to have significantly altered their advertising strategies and campaigns as a direct response to the Covid-19 crisis
  • Fund promotion has remained the most common form of advertising amongst Australian asset managers, followed by brand promotion, with insight offerings a distant third
  • Although advertising volumes were slightly lower in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019, this is more likely to be due to seasonal fluctuations than any big effect brought on by the Covid-19 crisis. At the current rate, Q2 2020 ad volumes are set to be higher than Q4 2019

Asset managers in Australia do not seem to have significantly altered their advertising strategies and campaigns as a direct response to the Covid-19 crisis, according to data from Fundamental Monitor.

Before and during the crisis so far, fund promotion has remained the most common form of advertising amongst Australian asset managers, closely followed by insight offerings. 

A core of just a handful of advertisers have been active throughout the period. Most have run product or brand advertising campaigns with no obvious factors indicating a response to the crisis. Some advertisers increased their activity in Q2 2020, indicating a willingness to show a ‘business as usual’ approach. Strong Covid-19 related messaging from managers such as Betashares, Legg Mason, T.Rowe Price and PIMCO has been prominent throughout the period.

Financial services industry least affected

The relatively swift response from the Australian authorities to the crisis seems to have instilled an air of confidence in asset managers active in the country. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the financial and insurance services industries are operating at a level 96% of that seen before the crisis hit, numbering them amongst the least affected.

Although advertising volumes were slightly lower in Q1 2020 compared to Q4 2019, this is more likely to be due to seasonal fluctuations than any big effect brought on by the Covid-19 crisis. At the current rate, Q2 2020 ad volumes are set to be higher than Q4 2019. Fundamental Monitor data shows there has been a high degree of churn in terms of the most prominent advertisers across the three quarters, with few staying near the top of the volume charts throughout the period – indicative of a market where advertisers tend to go their own way and don’t rely so much on following the crowd. In all three periods, the combined volumes of the top 15 advertisers accounted for more than 90% of the total volume of asset manager advertising.

In Australia, asset managers tend to concentrate most on promoting specific funds, and this has been borne out by the data seen over the last three quarters. Brand campaigns were the most prominent form of advertising in only two months – October 2019 and March 2020 – while fund promotion was the most favoured advertising strategy in all other months. This was seen most starkly in April when close to 90% of ad volumes were dedicated to either funds or investment solutions. Campaigns offering thought leadership and insights into investment strategies have also accounted for a relatively large percentage of ad volume. Brand advertising has been steady but reached an obvious peak in March as some advertisers sought to promote their stability.

All data comes from Fundamental Monitor, an innovative technology tool developed by Fundamental Media providing real-time insights into the advertising campaigns by asset managers across the globe.

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