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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Fund Marketing Teams Grow, Even as Budgets Shrink

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Fundsters' marketing teams grew last year, even as their marketing budgets shrank.

Patrick Newcomb
Fuse Research Network
Director of Benchmark Research
The average fund firm marketing department had 36 full time employees in 2018, up from 31 in 2017, according to the findings in Fuse Research Network's BenchMark Series report on Marketing 2018: Optimizing Marketing Strategies, released at the end of last year.

"Firms staffed up across the board," Pat Newcomb, director of BenchMark research at Fuse, tells MFWire. "The trend overall, over the past few years, has been an upward trend."

Indeed, average marketing department size went up in all three tiers tracked by the Fuse team. Tier 3 firms (less than $25 billion in AUM) saw their marketing departments grow by one employee on average to ten last year. Tier 2 firms ($25 billion to $100 billion in AUM) saw marketing teams rise by two people to 26. And Tier 1 firms ($100 billion and up) saw their average marketing headcount rise by three to 66.

"You have firms placing a lot more focus on marketing and having marketing be much more in tune with the sales organization as well, really partnering with sales," Newcomb says. "They're also realizing the importance of having a marketing group that can cultivate sales leads through customized emails to advisors, webinars, marketing pieces, and value add programs."

Yet even as the average marketing team grew in 2018, their budget shrank, on average. The average firm's marketing budget (excluding compensation and overhead) fell to $7.8 million in 2018: $12.9 million for tier 1 firms, $5.4 million for tier 2 firms, and $2.0 million for tier 3 firms. 

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