A new J.D. Power study has found that digital engagement holds the key to driving the relationship between financial advisers and asset management firms.

The finding was reported in the J.D. Power 2019 Advisor Digital Engagement Study, which assessed digital interaction between advisers and asset managers and its impact.

Digital engagement encompasses communication across all online channels including email, apps, podcasts, social media, webinars and websites.

The report noted that deeper digital engagement is more likely to convince the financial advisers to increase their investment with the specific asset management firm.

Specifically, 66% of the advisers, who cited high digital engagement levels, said that they plan to increase their investment with their asset manager.

The figure dropped to 37% for the advisers with low levels of digital engagement with asset managers.

J.D. Power director of Wealth and Lending Intelligence Mike Foy said: “For asset management firms to be successful — or in some cases even survive — they’re going to need to deliver engaging, differentiated digital content through the right channels that helps advisers do their job better and grow their practice.

“As firms continue to shift more resources to digital, they need to be very strategic about how to deploy those resources to drive ROI.

“It’s not necessarily about replacing wholesalers with technology, but rather how to blend the two in a way that leverages the strengths of each.”

The J.D. Power study also found that 56% of the advisers use email for engagement.

Around 42% of the advisers said that they access the website for engagement. For the same purpose, 25% of the advisers were found viewing webinar while 8% were found engaging via brand’s podcast.

Only 6% followed the brand on social media while 4% downloaded the app, the report revealed.

The report also highlighted that the advisers look forward to digital channels for practice management and business building ideas, apart from accessing product and market information.

It found American Funds (51%) leading in digital engagement, followed by JP Morgan (31%), BlackRock (25%) and Franklin Templeton (25%).