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Digital marketing in Asian fund industry

Retail investors in Greater China rank fund house websites as the top source of investment information, and digital tools are beginning to get traction among fund houses, according to a Cerulli Associates survey.

“Digital media is permanently changing the game, and more managers need to get on board,” said Yoon Ng, Cerulli’s Asia research director.

The research firm said some managers in Asia are using social media to catch up with consumers’ online experiences in other industries.

The survey polled about 4,000 retail investors across Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and Singapore.

The use of digital tools differs across markets. More locally-focused markets such as China, India and Korea see greater use of the new technology compared to regional markets such as Hong Kong and Singapore.

“Asians in general tend to trust their relatives and friends, and the people or brands they refer them to. As such, word of mouth will have a great impact on people’s perception of a fund manager,” said Rachel Poh, a senior analyst with Cerulli.

These findings should also be viewed in the context of another Cerulli survey in November that showed a majority of retail investors in Asia are self-directed and tend not to rely on financial advisers when they make their investment decisions. This is despite another finding that showed the majority of retail investors have inadequate investment knowledge and lack understanding of mutual funds


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