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Will Content Marketing Replace BDMs?

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Will Content Marketing Replace BDMs?

A recent client strategy met a somewhat controversial brief: “Create a marketing strategy that means I don’t need a business development manager (BDM).”

Is this the way of the future? Maybe, maybe not. But there are certainly plenty of reasons it could be a possibility.

First of all, BDMs can only persuade a prospect while they are in the room. Content marketing on the other hand keeps working when you, or your sales force can’t be there in person. As a respected colleague said to me this morning, “How do you stake your claim and defend it, when your sales ability relies on being more charming than the next guy they meet?”

The whole point of an integrated, planned and sustained content marketing program is that it keeps you in front of your audience, delivering value and owning their mental real estate while you are not physically present.

Here are some other reasons BDMs might go the way of the Dodo (or the PR practitioner!):

  • A BDM’s ability to influence their prospect – the adviser – is limited by the amount of face time they can get. In the increasingly time poor world of busy advisers, this face time is shrinking.
  • While the older cohort of advisers value the golf day, many younger (more educated!) advisers are much more transactional in their relationships with managers and seek commercial value in every interaction. Content can deliver this value. In fact it must. BDMs can fall into the trap of focusing all about the relationship – not the utility they deliver in the conversation.
  • Content is reusable. While advisers do glean gems from their conversations with a BDM that they can share with clients, educational and valuable content from a fund manager can easily be passed onto clients or repackaged by the adviser, whether in a conversation or email. It is much harder to replay a conversation with a BDM and still get it right.
     

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Content marketing isn’t actually that new, it’s just the right combination of all of the existing marketing tools with a stronger filter on the front end. That stronger filter is very simple – it should deliver adviser and client value. If it doesn’t it shouldn’t be in your marketing plan anyway. The ideal outcome, then, is for content marketing and BDMs to work hand in hand, with content marketing running from the beginning of the prospecting process right through to customer retention. Both BDMs and content marketing have a role to play in this process (at least in wealth management) for the foreseeable future.

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