Fund managers today are faced with a number of new challenges in the market. Investors have the ability to conduct their own data analysis and are seeking better value funds with lower fees, driving behaviour to operate more efficiently and keep operating costs low. Meanwhile, the product landscape for investors has diversified and become much more complex with the arrival of robo-advisors, investing apps and increased market regulation.
However, these challenges can be overcome with a well thought out marketing strategy. One that takes advantage of these trends and digital opportunities to reach investors. By creating a marketing plan that aligns with your business and financial goals, you can concentrate on the tactics that you know will grow your fund. Having that peace of mind will make you feel less inclined to scramble for short-term opportunities and give you a very clear indication of how to allocate your marketing spend.
Your marketing plan will take elements from your business plan, but will include more detail on the channels to reach your prospective investors and keep them engaged. If you havn’t prepared one before, here are some areas you should consider.
What a marketing strategy includes
It’s important that you know your customer and research their profile. How does an investor that aligns with your strategy differ from other investors? You may find there are multiple profiles of investor interested in your fund, in which case it can be helpful to create customer personas for each of these groups. Some of your questions to factor in include:
- who they are, where they work, their role and industry
- their investment strategy or philosophy
- what asset management or financial firms they work with
- what content they interact with (social, email, web, etc.)
- when they move from interest to intent
- when in the buying cycle they interact with certain content
Understanding your value proposition is a key part of a clear marketing strategy. Competitive fees and categorizing your investment strategy are just two of the top-level factors that an investor will be interested in. When it comes to your fund and another with just a marginal difference in management fee, how will you differentiate?
- What is your niche?
- What is your experience? How do you demonstrate this?
- Where do you think you stand in the industry?
- How do you compare to your competitors?
- Is your goal tangible and achievable within a given timeframe?
Marketing tactics and channels
With a clear picture of your prospect’s behavior and your value proposition, you can start to identify the channels to reach them and what messaging to deploy at each phase of the buying cycle. Some of the most effective and popular routes to market for asset managers tend to include:
- Automated email marketing based on their interests and level of activity
- Customer experience marketing e,g, a convenient, self-service website
- Publications, partners and existing networks that align with your strategy
- Targetted social selling and content marketing
- Conferences and networking
Measuring success and optimization
Understanding how to attribute activity to a return on investment (ROI) can be challenging, however, it’s important to understand if an activity was successful or not. One of your goals could be to ensure measure the open rates of messages to your investors and the click-through rate on links within those messages – an area that can be investigated within the user analytics of FundPortal. Even if your goals are missed, you can still use the information to re-adjust your approach.
Questions to guide your thinking:
- What is your desired outcome of a specific activity?
- How do you define success?
- How much effort is required to measure that activity – is that a good use of your time?
- Which variables could you adjust to optimize a marketing activity – are those within your control?
- What experience would your target customer find valuable?
- How many resources should you allocate to an activity?
Our report, in partnership with the AIMA, on how successful asset managers ‘made it big’ showed that investing in marketing early on is a common consideration for many asset managers. Having a clear plan for how to direct that investment will help you to identify growth opportunities and a positive change in the bottom line.
For today’s digital marketer, the tactics and use of technology is a key consideration, which is why we developed FundPortal as a bespoke CRM, fund analysis and marketing platform for hedge fund managers.
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