Project Management

Do We Have the Capacity to Take on Your Next Project? 

Clients often ask how we know we have the capacity to take on one of their projects? The answer lies in project management. We’re dedicated to maintaining a high level of project management in both our systems and our personnel to understand our capacity, accurately estimate when we can deliver projects and so that we can provide our clients with high-quality deliverables. 

The System is the Foundation 

Our project management system helps us drill down to exactly what’s going on across all our projects and clients. The minute a client asks us to undertake a project, it’s in the system with budgeted hours, a schedule, deadlines and who is assigned to the project based on capacity. To us, if it’s not in the project management system, it doesn’t exist! Even our vacation time is in the system.  

As we get new project requests or potential new clients, the system allows us to answer the question on if we can deliver a project this week or next, how many hours it will take us to complete or if we can squeeze in a rush project.  

More Time for Client Projects 

Our project management system has helped us get rid of managing projects via Excel spreadsheets (thank you!) which we talked about in another video. In any project management or database context, ditch the Excel spreadsheet, because it doesn’t help you. Our project management system has freed up time in asking each other for updates because…you guessed it…the system tracks it! This means we have more time to dedicate to client projects instead of figuring out where those projects are. And we can make a few hours go a long way for clients.  

Capacity Confidence 

We pride ourselves in making sure that when we’re talking to prospective clients or current clients, we know exactly when we can deliver something. We can share that confidently and deliver on our promises. 

If you’d like to understand our capacity for helping you with a project, reach out to us. We’ll consult our project management system and get you a delivery estimate. 

Project Management Time Management

Doing More of What Really Matters 

The book, Essentialism – The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown struck a chord with us when we think about marketing for our clients. The premise of the book is to understand what’s essential to what you do and focus on that. It’s not the pursuit of doing less, it’s the pursuit of doing more of what really matters. Read on to learn how this applies to asset manager marketing.  

It’s All About Raising Capital 

There’s a lot of marketing that’s done today simply because people think it should be done. But much of it doesn’t go to the end of raising capital for asset managers. Our approach is to take some of the principles from Greg McKeown’s book and apply them to our clients to help them focus on pursuing what really matters – which is raising capital. We review our clients’ marketing programs and plans to ensure they support their capital raising efforts and goals. 

Syncing Sales and Marketing 

A key way we do this is by syncing marketing efforts with the sales team, and understanding what their needs are. As we evaluate marketing pieces, create strategies and draft content, we think through how we can help the sales team have better conversations with advisors. What objections can we address head on? What product structure complexity can we explain? What differentiator can we highlight? What is the story we’re telling about the product and asset class? This is essential work and should be the focus of any marketing team in the alternative investment industry.  

Using Time Wisely 

Another aspect of Essentialism we practice with clients is the best use of time – who is best suited to do which tasks. We are skilled at developing marketing strategies, writing content and creating compelling designs to help asset managers stand out with financial advisors and capture mindshare. We bring these contributions to your firm often alongside marketing teams you have in-house – and even alongside other marketing firms that are handling other aspects of your firm’s business.  

Our Essential Role 

We see our essential role as consulting you on industry best practices and trends, pushing you ahead of your competitors in awareness of your brand and investment offerings and starting conversations with advisors that open doors for your sales team. Your internal team may be best suited to navigate the materials review process at your firm, provide background information to us, manage your email program and plan events. We can do these things for our clients, but our essential work comes in the insights we offer that no one else at your firm has the time, experience or background to offer. Our goal is to make our clients’ investment in Marketing Intent go the furthest.  

If you’d like to explore further how we can support your firm’s capital raising efforts and focus on what is essential as far as marketing goes, reach out to us

Compliance FINRA

How to Build Relationships With Compliance 

Compliance. It’s a necessity in the alternative investments industry. And marketers are often frustrated by it, but there are ways to smooth the relationship between marketing and compliance. In this article, we’ll discuss how to up your curiosity to establish a stronger relationship with the compliance team and to make getting marketing materials approved easier. 

Curiosity is Innate 

Curiosity is innate to us. Just like when we’re kids and we ask “why” a million times. We want to understand the reasoning behind things and what they mean to our experiences. But as we grow older, we learn to follow social norms, company rules or school rules – often without question, or without feeling like we can ask “why.” The same thing holds true when it comes to compliance. Marketers are often fearful of compliance, and rightly, don’t want to put their firm at risk. We don’t either, and if you work to develop a relationship with compliance, you can often have an open dialogue that helps you advance your marketing programs and solve problems you’re running into with our industry rules standards.  

How to Use Curiosity to Your Advantage 

Let’s talk about why curiosity helps build relationships with compliance. Instead of fearing them and thinking of them as Dr. No, you have the opportunity to collaborate with them. 

First, get rid of the stereotypes you might have about compliance. You know the ones…the person sitting in their office at their desk, their glasses on and the door shut. They have no interest in fun and they always try to make marketing harder. Forget all that.  

Instead, think of how both marketing and compliance are there to benefit the company…and how when you work together, both teams can be even better at it.  

Whether you’re new to your marketing role at your firm or you’ve been in it for decades, start building your relationship by setting up a meeting with compliance to understand the rules marketing should be following. This alone will go miles with compliance. They will appreciate that you’re seeking knowledge and want to help protect the company…which makes their job easier.  

Ask about any new rules coming out (which are frequent), how your compliance team interprets them and what they mean for marketing. The open dialogue will help you understand how conservative your compliance team is in rule interpretation as there are many shades of gray in how rules are applied across the industry. It will also give you a sense of their personality and your best way to establish a relationship with them so you’re able to sit down and hash out how to address compliance comments on marketing material or figure out how to adhere to a rule. 

Here are some key questions to ask your compliance team to increase your understanding of the rules and their perception of them, as well as their comments on marketing materials. 

  • What does this rule mean?  
  • Why do we interpret it this way?  
  • What can we do to adhere to the rule and market effectively? 
  • What is our risk around this rule?  
  • Can we add language to help address the rule? Or remove language?  
  • Instead of taking wording out of marketing, can we reword it/soften it?  
  • If we can’t use this, what would you feel comfortable using instead? (don’t underestimate the creativity of your compliance colleagues!) 
  • What are our options? (great one to foster collaboration) 

As opposed to accepting, “No, you just can’t do that,” and turning around and going back to your desk. Get curious. A flat “no” might not be the answer. Ask your “whys” to find out for sure, and look for points of collaboration.  

If you would like to learn more about how we’ve built relationships with compliance, reach out to Marketing Intent. We have a track record of collaborating with compliance teams to help our clients reach their marketing goals. 

506(b) 506(c) Private placement

Why Hire a Marketing Firm for a 506(b)? 

Some firms offering 506(b) private placements wonder why they would hire a marketing firm. While a 506(b) can be very limited on how you can market the offering, there are a number of ways you can stay in front of financial advisors with compliant marketing, and market your firm and expertise. 

We Collaborate with Compliance and Legal Teams  

At Marketing Intent, we collaborate with your compliance and legal teams to understand what they are comfortable with in marketing your 506(b). While there are (many!) rules to guide us, comfort levels range as do the “whys” behind a compliance or legal team’s stance on a marketing approach or messaging. Understanding the compliance/legal perspective and any sticking points helps us set the stage for a marketing campaign or materials that are going to make it through the compliance review process and become a reality.  

Start from the Ground Up 

While there are many limitations on marketing a 506(b) itself, you still have much to market and talk about with advisors. Many firms offering private placements are smaller and may not have brand recognition within financial advisors. That is priority #1. You must build trust with advisors. Raise brand awareness by attending conferences and sending pre- and post-conference emails and sharing posts on social media. No mention of your offering – just your firm, your asset class and key differentiators. 

Asset Class and Offering Type 

Next up is your asset class. How can you make sure advisors know what you invest in? You want them to think Firm Name = Asset Class. Describe your asset class in terms that are easy to understand and grasp. What lifestyle trends affect demand for your asset class – bring those to light. Then think about your offering type…what education can you provide advisors on how that structure works and how it benefits clients? While advisors are analytical, they still need education – and they still have the same 8-second attention span as the rest of us…so keep it jargon-free and short.

Marketing Intent is skilled at helping firms offering 506(b) offerings market in collaboration with compliance and legal teams…and helping asset managers gain the brand awareness that starts sales conversations. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your firm.  


Email Is Not Dead

Did you know email is not dead? It just needs to evolve.   

Evolving Your Email 

We recently learned that wifi wasn’t initially adopted. With the obsession to find a wifi network, get a wifi password and check to see if a location we’re vacationing to is wifi friendly, this is surprising. But the reason why is because the icon that you click on to get to wifi was static initially so people ignored it. Once the icon became dynamic, people adopted the technology far more readily and started to seek it out. Email is much the same way. 

For example, in an email promoting a webinar, there’s often a static “Register Now” button – and no movement. To engage more people, this button can be flashing to get them to notice it and take action. Or within the email, movement can be added to garner attention in other ways too…like a reel of photos going across the top, animated gifs.  

Completing Actions Within the Email 

Another way emails are evolving is by adding actions that can be completed within the email itself. We’ve gotten away from “Click Here” or “Go to another page” because nobody wants to take the time to go to the other page. They want to do what they need to do within the email now. Email automation systems have evolved to help support this trend, offering new ways to keep email effective and vibrant.  

Despite marketing trends and fads, email has shown it has staying power. It just needs to continue to evolve to keep advisors’ attention. 

If you would like help evolving your emails, reach out to us at Marketing Intent


Using Your CRM to Help Build Advisor Relationships 

It’s time to ditch the Excel spreadsheet. Let’s talk about CRM systems, why they’re important and how they’re beneficial to help build relationships with advisors. 

The Purpose of a CRM System 

Your CRM system should hold all the information you need about your prospects and your clients to build your relationship and track interactions. Personal information, trade information, sales interaction information, marketing engagement information, meetings. All of this should be right at your fingertips and easy to navigate to provide an overall picture of each advisor.

Go Beyond an Excel Spreadsheet 

Gone are (or should be) the days of tracking advisor contacts and activity in an Excel spreadsheet. Adopting a CRM adds efficiency to both the sales and marketing processes. And the choices for CRM systems today have increased. While Salesforce is still the leader, there are many other systems available that can be equally effective – like Hubspot for example.  

CRMs Can Enhance Marketing 

Today, CRM’s are integrated with email marketing systems so they capture the emails you’re sending out and an advisor’s interaction with those emails. Did an advisor open the email? Did they click on a link? Which email topics do they tend to open more frequently? What does that say about their propensity to invest clients in your fund? In your CRM, you’ll get a really good picture of advisor activity and you can start nailing down what types of activity indicate an advisor is a top prospect for your firm so you’re not spending valuable sales time on advisors who are not strong prospects. 

Garbage In, Garbage Out 

An important aspect of CRMs is the quality of your data: “Garbage in, garbage out.” So be on top of putting high-quality information in your CRM and keeping it updated and clean. This goes for mass updates you may make to the CRM as well as updates the sales team makes one-off on individual advisor records. When did sales meet with an advisor? What did sales talk about? What were the results? When should the advisor be contacted again? What did sales learn personally about the advisor? Did they provide any personal tidbits sales should come back to? This helps build trust and rapport – for example: “Hi, John, how’s your son doing? Last time we talked, he just had surgery.”  

Advisors are in the relationship business themselves and love personal touches. Your CRM system can make it easy for you to record personal information and drive personable conversations. This will help build trust, and build relationships. 

At Marketing Intent we know how to develop a strategy to develop and deploy your CRM system. If you would like to talk about how we can do that for you, reach out to us


One Email, One Story, One Topic 

One email, one story, one topic. Let me break this down for you. Most asset managers use email quite a bit and we’re proponents for it, because we see it working effectively. But there are some keys to it that are very important to hone. Attention spans are limited. So make sure your emails focus on one story and one topic. 

What’s Your Story?

Every asset class has a story behind it – self-storage, industrial, multi-family, etc. And oftentimes, it’s based on the demand drivers behind an asset class. Or an asset manager’s investment approach. Which demand/supply dynamics or a unique take on an asset class could you educate advisors on? That is your story.  

Focus on One Topic

Now, boil your story down even further to one topic to help educate advisors. For example, choose one factor that drives demand or one unique aspect of your investment philosophy and focus on that.  

Avoid Jargon

As you write the copy for your one story/one topic email, keep it simple and easily digestible. Keep the jargon out of it. Avoid complex terms and superficial language (aka fluff) that doesn’t say anything. People have a very short attention span…don’t waste any attention your email may have garnered on an advisor deciphering what the text means. Keep language simple, and get right to the point.  

Keep It Short

Most emails should be able to be seen in their entirety on your computer screen. Don’t make advisors scroll…and scroll…and scroll to read the email. Engage advisors immediately with short, compelling content – strong copywriting and headlines – and high-quality visuals and you’re more likely to get them to commit to reading your email in full.  

If you need help making your emails more impactful, we’d be happy to help. 


Due Diligence Events

Let’s talk about due diligence events. The majority of asset managers are holding them – especially now that in-person events are back in full swing. But not all firms are delivering a high-class experience to advisors.

Read on for tips on designing an event advisors will want to attend.

Create a Compelling Event

We’ve seen a number of sponsors putting together due diligence for the first time. A key aspect to remember is that you’re asking advisors to leave their offices for one to two days to attend. You must make it worth their while and provide them the avenue to learn something new about your firm so they don’t feel it was a waste of their time to be away from their office and clients. A key way to do this is to provide advisors with access to your management team, including members of the property team. They are the source of the nitty gritty details advisors want to know. And if you prep them well for the event also the source of the stories, advisors will remember and share with their clients.

Make it Convenient for Advisors

Another key consideration is the travel you’re asking advisors to take. Put yourself in the advisors’ shoes. Do you want to travel to a location that’s hard to get to? This will be a barrier to attendance. Is your agenda robust enough to attract advisor attention, but not so heavy that three days out of the office are required?

Are you asking them to travel midweek vs. at the beginning or end of week? The start or end of a week allows advisors to easily tack a weekend onto their trip. Focus on event days of Monday and Tuesday or Thursday and Friday.

What’s the registration process for the event? Have you streamlined it as much as possible? Are you providing ground transportation to the hotel? How can you make is as user friendly as possible? When they get to the hotel, is it easy to check in at the hotel and for your event? What’s the meeting room like? Is it set up comfortably? Are you providing snacks? Snacks are critical to keep people fueled and engaged. Planned breaks are equally as important so people know when they can check in at work, return calls, etc. And don’t forget to provide Wifi access during your event for consistent email service.

It sounds like a lot – and it is. And in-person due diligence events are not cheap. Make sure you maximize the advisor experience by creating a checklist of all the key elements that should be covered well in advance of the event so you have them top of mind while you’re in the thick of making your event come to life.

Maximizing Event ROI

Every due diligence event should have a solid follow-up plan to ensure you’re positioning it to maximize ROI. Think about it in terms of the time commitment you’ve just asked your firm’s management team, sales team and marketing team to make. Not to mention the advisors’ time spent to get to and from, and attend your event.

Think about what your sales team needs from marketing for a solid follow up. How can you help them continue conversations with the advisors who attended? How can you help advisors learn more, overcome objections and start investing their clients in your fund?

Also, be sure to ask advisors to complete a survey about the event so you can gauge how the event was received and ask for referrals of other advisors they suggest attend a future event and ask advisors if they’d like a meeting with your sales team.

Finally, ask your sales team to pull capital raising results by advisor before and after the event. Positive results indicate your events are on par. Negative and they need improvement.

If you need help with a due diligence event, we have almost 20 years of experience designing successful, impactful events – organizing, planning and marketing them. We would love to help you maximize your event’s ROI.

About Marketing Intent

We are a sales-focused marketing group specializing in alternative investments with a track record in marketing that helps drive sales. We live by the mantra, “nothing happens until something is sold.” Our marketing serves as the backbone of sales. Our work makes your prospects and clients take notice, ask questions and listen to your story.

Learn how we can help create marketing that helps raise capital.


The Power of Email in a Down Market

Marketing is a lot like dating. That was the topic of a recent presentation we did at an industry conference. In dating, a key to getting to know someone and developing trust is through clear and consistent communication.

The same holds true for asset managers marketing to advisors. To establish a relationship, you must communicate consistently and clearly…in all market conditions. When the market goes down, this becomes even more critical. You can’t disappear.

Stay in Front of Advisors with Email

This is when a very cost-efficient marketing tactic like email marketing should be at the top of your list. Yet many asset managers discount it and its effectiveness.

It’s important to let advisors know what’s going on with your company, your fund, and the investments they may have their clients in. You need to consistently show up. They don’t expect you to explain the market volatility or repair it – they just want to know you’re still there and what you’re focused on. You consistently communicating with advisors means it’s easier for them to give their clients who have invested in your funds updates. Advisors will remember this and that you made their lives easier and made their clients feel more comfortable.

What Advisors Want

To bring the point home even more, as we have talked about this topic with advisors, some of the key things we hear are, “I want to hear from the asset managers”, “I want to understand what they’re doing”, and “I want quarterly updates.”

The asset managers that are ranked most highly by advisors as firms they would work with are those that communicate clearly and consistently.

There you go…you have your mandate. Don’t ghost advisors. Show up for them, support them and educate them in ALL market conditions.

Marketing Intent Can Help

At Marketing Intent, we’re skilled at helping our asset manager clients keep the conversation with advisors going. If you need help, reach out to us.


Utilizing All Marketing Platforms

Have you seen that meme where it says, “You’re not my friend if I’m not tweeting you, Instagram messaging you and texting you all at the same time, but about different things?” 

Let’s discuss how this concept can apply to your business successfully.

Using LinkedIn, Website and Emails Together

We often see asset managers create a report or a paper and just post it on their website for financial advisors to find. They think that’s enough to distribute their content and they don’t email it out as well. And if they do email it, they often don’t also promote the content on social. We know there are times you can’t share certain types of content on social, but when you can, you should.

Getting Information in Different Ways

All advisors you’re targeting are not reading their email, and all are not visiting your website. They are interacting with your firm in different ways, seeing different messaging and building their knowledge base about who you are and what you do.

So, make it easy for them. It’s very likely advisors aren’t seeking you out. You need to show up where your target audience is and demonstrate thought leadership. Educate them. Help them solve client problems. And don’t worry about repeating content. People need to see/read messages multiple times for them to sink in.

Getting more views of your content creates more interactions which drives conversations.

Take your content, repurpose it, put it out across all possible mediums – and help drive advisor engagement and capital raising.

If you would like to talk more about how we can help with your content strategy, reach out to us.