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Four Ways to Market a Product In a Heavily-Regulated Industry —Anthony Diebra, Chief Digital Marketing Officer for Cross-Asset Research at Societe Generale and Investment Bank – SGCIB


Marketing in a heavily-regulated industry such as financial services is very challenging, but it is not impossible to execute with advancement of technology along with successful marketing programme.

We spoke to Anthony Diebra, Chief Digital Marketing Officer for Cross-Asset Research at Societe Generale, who works with a team of 120 analysts, strategists and economists in the Research department that creates and publishes up to more than 15,000 reports covering a wide range of asset classes every year. 

His mission is to make their in-depth research content more user-friendly and impactful to bring value to clients, and ultimately help them in their investment decision process. Another important part of the job is to ensure it reaches their target audience, clients and prospects while at the same creating brand awareness and eventually generating some leads.

In this interview, Anthony shares 4 tactics he uses to create and execute an effective content marketing strategy within a heavily-regulated industry.

What’s Inside?

  1. Challenging marketing in the Investment Research industry
  2. 4 ways to promote in the Investment Research industry
  3. Lesson Learned
  4. Who is Anthony Diebra?

Why Is It Challenging to Market in the Investment Research Industry

The pandemic has accelerated the move towards digital channels, and we have never been exposed to so much content, making it tough to get your message across and stand out amongst your competitors.

That being said, promoting content in the investment research industry is even tougher since there are strict rules around the production and dissemination of research services.

You have to facilitate the content creation and approval process while remaining compliant with banking regulations.

Four Ways to Promote in the Investment Research Industry

Leveraging a team of economists and analysts covering a wide range of asset classes, Societe Generale Cross Asset Research offers strong global coverage to generate investment ideas and insights for institutional clients globally through in-depth market knowledge. Although we have a lot of expertise packed in our reports, the main challenge is that this information is ring-fenced due to the regulation (MiFID II Directive), making it hard to market it externally towards potential clients. The fact those reports are in the form of a PDF doesn’t help either.

However, we didn’t let that discourage us from our mission to market our expertise. This is how we do it:

1. Create Impactful Content

Societe Generale Cross-Asset Research recently conducted a digital transformation initiative named #contentwithimpact. The purpose was to promote expertise and market knowledge in an interactive way. Since our expertise is something intangible, we used our newly launched marketing website as a vector to make the intangible tangible.

Our products are typically PDF reports, which can sometimes over 50 pages long. They are filled with comprehensive insights, analysis and trade ideas, but who has the time nowadays to extensively read a 50-page report? Thus, it was crucial to think beyond PDF, and that’s why we created interactive teaser versions of our flagship publications, with the aim of making them more user-friendly, appealing and eventually improve the chance of someone reading them. 

These new types of content provide the client with a high level overview of the research piece. Should they want to know more about a specific topic, they have the possibility to access the full report. For prospects however, they would need to register to get access.

There are a lot of limits in this industry around what we can and can’t do with our marketing efforts. Before any content gets distributed, our compliance team reviews and approves it. Our task is to provide value-added content while staying compliant.

2. Produce Interactive Content

Interactive content is one of the most important things to keep clients engaged, below we will explain some of the benefits why you should use interactive content.

From the interactive versions of our flagship the publications mentioned earlier, we went a step further to create a multi-channel marketing strategy.

We wanted to capture a new audience when we launched a video series named “Macro Matters”. Every month, we invite top economists/strategists to debate hot macroeconomics topics. Whether they agree to agree or agree to disagree, the art of dialogue and exchange of ideas in a video format has proved to be a very successful and engaging form of content consumption. 

As podcasts in general continue to grow in popularity, we also launched our own podcast series: “2050 Investors”. Every month, our Head of Economics Cross-Asset & Quant Research investigates a given economic and market mega-trend ahead of 2050’s global sustainability targets. With more than 30,000 downloads in just six months, the podcast has clearly been a hit!


3. Carefully Select the Channels to Reach Clients

We have 2 key target audiences: Our existing clients, who we need to nurture to keep them as clients, and prospects that we want to convert to clients.

Even though all our reports can be found on our website, it can sometimes be quite challenging to find them due to the depth of information. To facilitate access to those publications, we use email campaigns as a new way to reach our clients. For example, we send weekly newsletters that highlight the week’s top content from our blog in a simple, easily-digestible format. Clients can quickly see what’s trending and access the most relevant content to them.

We also promote our reports on our social media channels, particularly on LinkedIn.


 4. Experiment With Your Marketing Efforts Based on Data: From Data to Action

We tend to rely more and more on data because today, data being such a valuable source of information, you can’t do digital marketing without data.

Whether it is click-through-rate on an email campaign, number of pageviews for a webpage or number of downloads for a podcast episode, the data helps us understand what types of content works best for our audience in terms of engagement.

Analysing the data also gives us some useful insights in terms of content and thematics, helping us identify clients’ appetite for certain topics, and ultimately working with the business to offer investment solutions on those thematics. 

The strategies above helped us increase our brand awareness, nurture our current clients and acquire new ones. But we won’t stop there! As the world changes and affects the economy, we are preparing new types of interactive content to help our clients deal with the challenges ahead.

Lessons Learned

  • To promote your product in the investment research industry, create impactful content that will add value, experiment with different content types such as podcasts or videos, and carefully select the best channels to reach your clients with this content.
  • Your marketing strategy must rely on data. Understanding what types of formats or thematics best engage your audience will help you decide on next steps.  
  • Strategic marketing can help you attract and retain clients and establish a unique position in the industry, but being in a heavily regulated industry, it’s critical to work hand in hand with the compliance department

Who is Anthony Diebra?

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