The correlation between share of search and assets under management

17 Nov, 2021

The correlation of ‘share of search’ and ‘share of market’ is a hot topic in the marketing world right now. We thought it would be an interesting exercise to see if there was a similar correlation in the world of investments between search and assets under management (AUM). The results were astounding, but perhaps they shouldn’t have been so surprising.

We took four asset managers, mapped their total AUM (from Investment Association archives) for each month over the last four years and overlayed it against their search index (according to google trends). There does appear to be a strong correlation. It is not that share of search on google is equal to AUM, that would be too neat. Instead it is that growth in share of search maps very closely to growth in AUM. The brands that we have looked cover four types of brands. A long-established big spending well known brand (in purple), everyone has heard of them but they do very little that is exciting, new or unexpected. Their search is erratic but overall fairly consistent; however their there AUM has started to slip. The next is a growth brand (in yellow) that has seen stellar performance drive a huge amount of interest in the last 18 months. However, they had been slowly gaining search for a couple of years before and AUM has tracked that journey exactly. Thhare to the big growers.

What does this all mean for brands? In our view there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First and foremost people need to know your name and ideally have positive views to be searching for it. Secondly while major performance success can have a big boost, in lieu of stellar performance ongoing awareness and therefore search can help maintain AUM. However, unless you are being talked about and therefore searched you are always at risk that someone else is being Googled and they are stealing your market share. Long term investment can build a brand that is more searched for, and that can translate into share of AUM.