Product Director Benjie Elston spent eight days across Boston, Philadelphia and New York recently as White Marble prepares for a formal launch in the US. Three trends strongly emerged from his jam-packed schedule of meetings, conferences and panel appearances, outlined by Benjie below:

Trend 1: The influence and accountability of marketing

Much of what we’re talking about in Europe resonates strongly – the responsibility and accountability of marketing. The need for marketing to speak the language of the boardroom; the opportunity for marketers to take a much more active role in driving and shaping the direction of their businesses. Equally, everyone wants to talk about data – whether you’re struggling to collate and make sense of it or trying to use it to drive decision making – marketers are having to effectively become data experts.

Trend 2: Evolving relationships

I attended a Gramercy drinks reception and event in Philadelphia which focused on the changing and relationship between investment managers and suppliers – the evolution of a much more partnership-driven model, with clear understanding of client objectives and demonstration of ROI. Fascinating to learn about some of the ways the distribution landscape is shifting – unlike in the UK, numbers of independent financial advisers are increasingly rapidly, compared with those in tied models or powerful networks. Perhaps regulation is at a slightly different stage, or a less congested product space combined with demographic and geographic differences also have an impact.

Trend 3: Is content still key?

Appearing on the panel at TSAM, content – and the role it plays within a credible marketing strategy – remains a major talking point, with a number of people in the audience wondering whether appetite has peaked amidst saturation.

Finally, a big thanks to Ed Farrington at Natixis for hosting me on the Friday night and taking me out on the water outside Boston during the day – and for ensuring I felt terrible flying back to New York and then onto the UK on Saturday afternoon!

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