Brokerage, Mutual Fund Firms to Benefit From Solution

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Prime Response, Denver, and Hewlett-Packard Financial, Palo Alto, CA, have developed a version of their RapidValue customer relationship management solution specifically for the retail investment industry, which includes brokerage and mutual fund firms.

The tool contains an investment-specific data model and consulting and marketing software. Brad Braddock, director of business development at Prime Response, said that since its introduction Nov. 30, RapidValue has attracted five to six prospects ranging from online discount brokers to full-service financial advisory firms.

Braddock said few investment firms maintain sophisticated marketing programs, relying primarily on mass marketing; and the entry of full-service banks with CRM expertise into the investment industry has increased competition and the need for improved prospecting and customer retention tools.

"As financial services consolidates, a lot of the players with experience with these types of technologies are getting into this particular industry and putting pressure on the more traditional players," he said.

The challenge facing investment firms seeking to grow assets under management, Braddock said, is finding a way to coordinate marketing campaigns and the data gained from those campaigns across different channels that include direct mail, telemarketing, the Internet and retail brokers.

A study conducted by the American Productivity and Quality Center, Houston, for HP, found that although brokerages will spend billions of dollars on mass market advertising this year, it's through CRM that these firms can lower customer acquisition costs and increase the profitability of existing customers.

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