Most emerging managers have questions about marketing. After all, it isn’t a subject one would expect to be in their wheelhouse. In the following paragraphs, the answers to 5 basic marketing questions, whose answers all emerging managers should know, will be asked and answered.
Marketing, Advertising and Branding—What’s the Difference?
The uninitiated often regard these as interchangeable concepts—they are not. Try to envision these terms as they might apply to you, as an individual. In this context, marketing would be defined as how you see yourself, advertising is how you behave in public, and branding is how others see you. These concepts are related, but not equivalent.
What Should Come First, a Marketing Initiative or the Fund Launch?
Remember…you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression. For this reason, it is only prudent to have your key marketing strategy and communications tools in place before you meet with prospective investors, seed investors, anchor investors and/or founding investors.
Take the time to understand the allocation criteria of target investors you have identified, and become familiar with their investment process. In this way you avoid wasting precious time on those whose investment criteria are unrealistic for your shop.
What Are the Critical Elements of a Presentation?
At an absolute minimum, the toolkit should include your tear sheet, a presentation deck that tells your story, and an elevator pitch. Equally important is having your team members on the same page, conveying a consistent message.
Ensure that your website reflects your image, your message and your contact information. Develop a solid working relationship with your web designer to ensure your site is a fluid platform, capable of expanding as you grow. Your website is the digital personification of your image and its importance must not be underestimated.
What is Thought Leadership and Why is it Important?
From a marketing perspective, thought leadership is the act of establishing you as an expert and authoritative figure within your industry. Once solidified as a thought leader, you have created an entry point for prospective clients that is independent of clichéd and sales heavy content.
Instead, your expertise and insights into the markets will provide the necessary foundation for trusted investor relationships. By consistently communicating this expertise and these insights, and applying them to relevant and appropriate topics, you are laying the foundation of your marketing strategy, while at the same time, creating a message that differentiates you from competing firms.
How Do I get Noticed?
You have heard it before, but it bears repetition—content is king, and this should be your initial focus. Begin with your investment strategy and knowledge of current trends in relative markets as the basic framework on which an article or series can be built.
For example, you could use your strategy’s focal points to highlight the logic of making a capital investment with your firm. Your messaging, as we’ve said earlier, needs to be clear, concise and inclusive of investment risks. Short articles are preferred over long white-papers.
Don’t limit content to text. Include imagery such as supporting graphs, charts and info-graphics. As appropriate, don’t hesitate to use audio and/or video, both of which are extremely effective at garnering attention.
Lastly, establish distribution channels that intersect with your targeted clients. One example, is email distribution. Regardless of the distribution channels you use, be sure that your approach is personal, includes a ‘call to action’ and includes your website address. Never lose sight of the fact that your goal is to develop trusting relationships that grow with your business.