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Asset Managers Financial Advisors

Your Success is Our Success

What does client success look like for us here at Marketing Intent?

Our philosophy is “Your Success Is Our Success.”

We start off by setting expectations and then delivering on those expectations, which in turn results in a meaningful experience for the client and building trust. We can then develop long-term relationships.

We Make Sure You Reach Your Goals

We make sure that our clients’ success is aligned with their goals, and we make sure they’re reaching those goals. A big part of that is communication and planning. While communication in or work lives is common, we have a keen focus on ensuring high-quality communication and strategy planning.

Communication = Success

We lay out when we are going to communicate, our plan for a client’s projects and the deliverables – and then we make sure we meet those deliverables. We also strive to go above and beyond those deliverables. If we can add value to a project or take it a step further to help clients reach their goals, we will.

But first and foremost, we make sure we provide the deliverables promised. We communicate and keep the client apprised of everything going on. There’s never a question in their mind of where their projects are.

What Can You Do?

Here are a few things that a client can do, either working with us or other marketing firms, to be successful on their end.

Don’t stop being curious. We’re in an ever-evolving industry and since the pandemic it’s even evolved quicker, so stay on top of what is going on and what is available out there. Doing research on how to solve some problems or get around roadblocks is going to help people advance and be leaders in the industry.

If you would like help with your marketing and you want us to help guide you along the way to reaching your goals, we’d be happy to help. Reach out to us today and let’s have a conversation.

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Asset Managers Financial Advisors

Three Ways to Improve Your Marketing Execution

When most people think of marketing, they think of the creativity that goes into copywriting design and web development. But we all know without a solid strategy for execution, that creativity doesn’t go very far.

In this article, we’ll discuss three ways to improve your marketing execution through project management, technology know-how, and procedures.

Project Management

Let’s start with project management. Most marketing projects are more in depth than they might seem on the surface, with many moving parts. At Marketing Intent, we use Trello to manage our projects as well as our clients’ projects. Trello is a simple and versatile project management software that we use for anything from managing an event to launching a fund. Trello allows us to keep all project details and deadlines in one place so we can keep tabs on how deliverables are moving forward. There are many choices in project management software today. Pick one that is simple, fits your needs – and most importantly – that you will use consistently.

Technology Know-How

A software tool is only as good as how you use it. So, it’s important to have somebody on your marketing team who is comfortable with technology – and not just on the project management side of the equation. In today’s world of digital marketing, marketers are using numerous types of technologies to do their jobs. Sometimes 10 or 12 different programs. It’s important to have somebody who is comfortable and willing to learn and maximize these technologies.

But keep in mind that you don’t have to use every available function of a technology. The goal is to use technology to increase your efficiency. Not to get overwhelmed by its features or go so far into functionality that you take time away from core marketing tasks, or the technology becomes so complicated that you don’t use it.

Procedures

That takes us to our next point. And this one may be foreign to many people thinking about marketing. Procedures. I like to think of procedures as being kind to my future self.

Oftentimes in marketing, there are projects that need to be done once a month or quarter. Instead of trying to remember what you did last time or re-learning the process every time you’re working on that project, take time to create procedures for the project. Next time you do that project, refer to your document and you’ll save time and brain power…and your future self will thank you!

To recap, we’ve talked about improving your marketing efficiencies with project management, the use of technology and procedures. These are strategies we use every day at Marketing Intent to manage our own projects, as well as our clients.

At Marketing Intent, we implement smart technology, project management platforms and helpful procedures to assist clients with their marketing initiatives.

If you’d like help becoming more efficient in your marketing, reach out to us, we’d be glad to help.

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Asset Managers

Marketing Teams Aren’t Immune to Inflation

Inflation – it’s all across our economy and affecting almost every part of our lives, including our marketing teams. If you’ve been searching for marketing candidates, you’ve probably noticed a demand for increased salaries, but you may not be getting qualified candidates applying for your positions or the hiring process is draining your team resources.

Let’s talk about how an outside marketing firm can help take work off your shoulders by tackling shorter and longer-range marketing projects.

The Sprint Project

The “sprint” marketing project is a short project where you might already have content developed and you just need it developed into an email, flier or a social media campaign. That’s where an outside marketing firm can step in quickly, especially one who knows your industry. They will help you push the project to the finish line.

The Half Marathon Project

Next, let’s talk about the “half marathon.” This is a project you may already have started and know it’s going to take some time to complete. You may need help with strategy, planning, writing or designing some deliverables. Again, an outside marketing firm can step in, accelerate the project and see it through to completion.

The Marathon Project

Then there’s the “marathon.” These projects can last multiple months. We often see these projects as the ones that firms have started, but don’t have the time to dedicate to them. An outside marketing firm can help you with planning, making sure everything stays on track over the months, as well as creating the deliverables. Examples of marathon projects are fund launches, series of videos, and automating email marketing.

Reallocating FTE Dollars to Outside Resources

Regardless of how in-depth your marketing project is, from that short sprint to a long marathon, taking the dollars you have earmarked for full-time employees (FTE) when you just can’t fill those roles, and dedicating them to an outside marketing resource can go a long way in helping you reach your marketing goals.

Contact Us to Fill in the Gaps

If you need help, as you’re looking to fill marketing roles and just aren’t finding the right candidates, reach out to us and we’d be happy to fill the gaps.

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Asset Managers

Alternative Investments: From Friends & Family to Reg D Private Placements

TODAY, LET’S TALK ABOUT:

How to help your offering stand out with financial advisors, how to sync your sales and marketing efforts and how your PPM can help develop advisors’ trust.

Simplicity and a Good Story

Standing out among the growing number of alternative investment offerings can be difficult. We see many firms dive deep into the jargon of their asset classes to try to explain investment offerings to advisors. And their eyes glaze over.  Simplicity and a good story is the key to helping advisors quickly grasp what you’re doing and why.

For example:

  • Industrial buildings = Amazon packages
  • Farmland = the need for food
  • Residential = solving the housing crisis

Sync Marketing & Sales

Once you have your simple story down, it’s time to make sure that your marketing and sales efforts are synced up. I know this can be a sensitive topic for people, because of the battle that marketing and sales can have. 

It is really important for us to re-think marketing and sales and how they can help each other be successful with a feedback loop. Whether it’s sales getting feedback on what’s resonating with advisors, what a common objection is, or how something should be explained, marketing can help answer those questions for advisors and help engage them for the sales team. 

This can often result in more warm leads and conversations that lead to capital being raised. 

Use Your PPM to Build Trust

Once those conversations start leading to capital raising, the next most important thing to do is develop trust with advisors. We don’t often think of the PPM as being a marketing tool, but it needs to be updated continually. Especially depending on how rigid your law firm is on what you can say with or without it being updated in the PPM. For example, if you’ve acquired properties and you haven’t updated your PPM, you may not be able to discuss them with advisors. That looks like a communication gap from their standpoint, versus you being proactive and letting them know what’s happening with your offering. 

Updating your PPM can provide advisors with what they need to give their clients updates –and to continue to present your offering and raise capital for it. Get ahead of the curve and think about how you can regularly update your PPM so you can get updates out to advisors and continue to develop their trust.

To recap…

  • Simplify your sales story. Think about your asset class and what it means to advisors and how it translates –to sync up your marketing and sales efforts, because it is really important for them to have open communication and have a feedback loop. 
  • Plan for your PPM to be updated regularly. This enables you to get information out to advisors quickly, which helps develop trust.

CONTACT US FOR MARKETING HELP

If you need help maximizing your marketing to raise capital, contact Marketing Intent. We have deep experience in the financial services and the alternative investments space. 

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Asset Managers

5 Ways to Make Your Website Advisor & Investor Friendly

What’s one of the first things you do when you’re considering giving a company your business? You check out their online presence, often starting with their website.

Financial advisors and investors are no different. They analyze the information you provide and the impression your website makes to form an opinion on your integrity, your experience and if they can trust you with their money and to deliver your stated investment objectives.

Like much of marketing in the financial services, alternative investments and commercial real estate space, it doesn’t require a long and costly marketing effort to improve your firm’s website to better speak to your target audience.

Start by focusing on these key areas:

  1. Explain what you do. Use straight-forward, jargon-free language so advisors and investors understand quickly and don’t have to Google investment topics to boil it down for themselves.
  2. Tell the story of your asset class/product. What everyday trend, product or lifestyle is at the foundation of your asset class or product? Focus on it for a memorable investment thesis.
  3. Describe the problems you solve for advisors and investors. Again, simple language is best. And describe the “how” of your solutions to differentiate from your competitors.
  4. Outline your track record. Whether your firm has a long history or you have a new fund, make sure your track record includes key points of experience and accomplishments from across the management team.
  5. Feature your management team. Humanize your brand by providing bios and photos of key members of your management team. A large part of why advisors and investors choose an investment and asset manager is due to its people.

Need help repositioning your website in a timely and cost-efficient way?

Contact us to set up a time to chat about how we can help.

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Asset Managers

Is Marketing Ready for a Hybrid Sales Model?

The sales process changed tremendously this year as wholesalers learned to build relationships and trust with advisors remotely.

As the pandemic continues so will virtual sales, with many firms planning to adopt a hybrid sales model even when our lives return to normal. Which means marketing has to change too.

A Marketing Metamorphosis

Marketing has started taking a bigger role at the front end of the sales process. According to Discovery Data, advisors now make it 57% of the way through the buying process before they engage with someone from your firm. With less involvement from a wholesaler at the critical early stages of the sales process, marketing has to morph its approach to attract advisors and keep them engaged.

Attract Attention

Think about how your firm can get noticed in the sea of product sponsors marketing to the same advisors you are. Competing products typically offer the same or similar portfolio benefits yours do.

Make a positive first impression by ditching your product pitch and focusing on how you can help advisors do their job. What problem do you solve for their clients?

Keep your messaging clear and brief. Give advisors key information so they engage with your firm.

Create a Positive Experience

Once marketers have successfully attracted advisors’ attention, it’s important to focus on creating a positive experience. Much of which centers around your website. Use it to make a powerful impression on advisors – not simply as a place to post your latest marketing material.

Evaluate your site to make sure it’s easy to quickly understand what your firm does without jargon. And create a clear information path for advisors. This is particularly important when your website is designed to appeal to multiple audiences.

Check to be sure your site functions properly with all links and PDFs current. An outdated website can give a negative impression of your firm’s ability to provide ongoing updates to advisors and their clients.

Build Trust

Part of marketing’s job is to build trust and credibility with advisors in the digital realm. Provide the opportunity for them to learn about your management team and track record.

Show advisors you’re interested in them beyond an investment. Educate them. Deliver thoughtful and meaningful insights to help them make the right choice for their clients. Act as their partner in building their business and serving their clients.

We’ll Help You Differentiate Your Firm

You can differentiate your firm by creating a positive advisor experience. Schedule a time to learn how to start that process with website improvements.

Move advisors from researching your firm to investing in it.

Schedule a time for more information.

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Asset Managers

Marketing & Sales Alignment: Small Adjustments for Optimal Capital Raising

When I was young, I remember my dad mowing the lawn. At times, the mower would barely start and other times, it would sputter and choke. Dad would take the mower into the garage, make a couple of adjustments and get right back out to finish the lawn.

Capital raising works much the same way. At times it feels like the engine is sputtering and about to stall. When capital raising goals aren’t being met, part of, if not the entire problem in my experience, has been a disconnect between sales and marketing.

The Cost of Misalignment

Marketing and sales misalignment costs businesses a significant amount of money in both capital raising and revenue each year. It’s cited as one of the top reasons for declines or stagnation from year to year.

On a morale level, when marketing and sales aren’t aligned, team members from both departments feel like their work is underappreciated and wasted. This makes it difficult for them to generate inspired and quality work – and contributes to inefficiencies between and within both departments.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

Small Adjustments Make a Big Difference

Making small changes to how sales and marketing are aligned and focused can make a big difference. It doesn’t take a major overhaul or expensive software to sync the teams up. Below are three adjustments you can make now to start aligning marketing and sales.

  1. Communicate. While sales and marketing teams interact with each other daily, they often don’t really communicate. I’ve seen firsthand how improved communication can make a significant difference in sales results.
  2. Focus, focus, focus. On the right clients and their needs. Which type of advisors or firms are being targeted? Why? What are you trying to communicate? Why? What information do clients need? Why?
  3. Align goals & share rewards. Keep both teams moving north toward common and well-communicated goals. Structure rewards so both marketing and sales share in success.

Position your firm for stronger capital raising.

For a confidential conversation about how we can help, schedule a time.

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Asset Managers

Nothing Happens Until Something is Sold: Marketing’s New Role in the Sales Process

Alternative investment product sponsors deeply understand the truth of “nothing happens until something is sold” as they rebuild their selling groups and base of advisors with each new offering.

In today’s world of major market disruptions, public health issues and personal distractions, the job of wholesalers to gain or even maintain advisor mindshare and raise capital can be more difficult than usual. By taking on a new role in the sales process, marketing can help strengthen advisor relationships and contribute to capital raising efforts.

Marketing’s Old Role

Before we talk about marketing’s new role in helping the sales team, let’s take a look at the role marketing departments often play at alternative investment product sponsors.

They fulfill orders. Sales leads the charge and tells marketing what they need. And marketing produces it – no questions asked. After all, sales knows what they need, right? 

Wrong…and right. When sales requests a specific marketing tool, they have identified a gap in information either for themselves, or more importantly, for advisors. When sales translates that gap into a particular marketing tool vs. sharing the why behind the request, marketing doesn’t have the opportunity to explore and develop the best solution.

This is not an ill intention of the sales team – but rather an extension of who they are. They are idea people, people-people, problem solvers, and capital raisers.

And it’s not ill-intended on the side of marketing either. Oftentimes, marketing teams are not resourced with the time or experience to dig further into the root of the sales request, so they simply fulfill it and move on. Over time though, this approach can further strap marketing teams for resources as their load of ongoing, one-off marketing pieces to update grows, leaving even less time to plan strategic marketing programs.

Marketing’s New Role

In its new role, marketing works collaboratively with sales to understand the advisor’s experience and improve it, removing friction points and helping sales build stronger relationships. Marketing often makes the first – and most critical – impression of the firm on advisors. They control how easy it is for advisors to get information, the timeliness and consistency of critical updates, and the translation of a product into stories that resonate with both advisors and their clients. 

How Does Marketing Move into Its New Role?

The first step in marketing assuming a strong and prominent role in the sales process is to gain a deep understanding of advisors, their challenges, successes and perceptions/opinions of product sponsors.

Marketing can gather some of this information by meeting with both internal and external wholesalers, but it’s critical for them to also have firsthand experience with advisors, sitting in on sales calls and meetings.

Then, marketing can evaluate the experience they create for advisors. How easy or hard is it for advisors to build a relationship with the firm and do business with you? And how easy or hard is it for wholesalers to develop strong relationships with advisors?

With the rough spots identified, marketing can develop plans and programs for a smoother and more streamlined advisor experience.

Where Should Marketing Start?

While marketing works on a longer-term plan to move into a more strategic role focused on partnering with sales and refining the advisor experience, there are steps they can take to start heading down that path immediately.

  1. Communicate with sales. Let them know about the new role marketing is starting to take to better serve advisors, to become a more collaborative partner to sales, and to help raise more capital.
  2. Tap into sales knowledge. Until marketing can get a firsthand understanding of advisors, tap into the knowledge of the sales team on the advisor experience. Oftentimes friction points for the sales team will also be friction points for advisors. Focus on the top three to start creating a more positive experience for advisors.
  3. Ask why. When sales requests a particular marketing piece, seek more information to uncover the problem sales is trying to solve. Consider the problem and what the best marketing solution is to improve the advisor experience around the issue.
  4. Reduce materials. Take a hard look at all the pieces marketing maintains and discuss with sales to determine if any can be eliminated or combined.

The experience an advisor has with your firm can be the difference between never offering your products and becoming a loyal producer. Marketing plays a critical role in making sure the advisor experience is streamlined, positive and positioned to bring in capital.

Need help evaluating the experience your marketing team is creating for advisors?

Set up a time to chat about how we can help.

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Asset Managers

7 Ways to Stay in Front of Distribution Partners When Your Offering is Dark

Just because your offering has been suspended doesn’t mean communication with your distribution partners should stop.

In fact, it’s a perfect time to showcase your commitment to your partnership by continuing communications with both home office contacts and advisors.

Home Office Contacts

Like everyone, your home office contacts have had to adjust to the virtual work environment. And their resources are being used to keep up with their investment offerings, monitor results, determine how Reg BI applies, and continue to provide advisors with the alternative investments their clients want.

Sounds like a big job. So how can you make life easier for your home office contacts? How can you best serve their needs?

  1. Provide market updates/articles that pertain to your industry sector. Introduce them with a couple bullet points on why you thought your contact would find the information interesting.
  2. Communicate news on your offering early and transparently. Outline changes and updates rather than simply forwarding a link to a press release or filing.
  3. Ask permission to communicate with advisors. You may be inclined to reach out to advisors like you always have and ask your home office contacts for forgiveness later if they frown on your communications. Instead, use the opportunity to strengthen your relationship. Develop a communication plan for input/approval to let your distribution partners know you’re operating with them and their financial advisors in mind. While it’s tempting to skip a plan and submit one-off communications instead, a plan shows a more thoughtful and partner-centric approach.
44% of advisors find communicating effectively with clients during volatile markets stressful.* How can you help?

Advisors

Consider advisor communications from their point of view – not yours. What are they struggling with? What’s their daily environment look like? How can you simply help them – even if it doesn’t immediately result in them dropping a ticket? Remember, those firms and wholesalers who focus on relationship building in uncertain times are the ones that will be top of mind for advisors when things settle down.

  1. Help advisors communicate with their clients. Provide talking points to give advisors a reason to call their clients with an update on their investment in your product. Remind them of any client-approved email templates or materials you have available. Or offer to speak on a client conference call or webinar to provide a market update on your sector.
  2. Make finding answers to common questions easy. Replace a product pitch call with a tour of your firm’s website to show advisors where to find key information (e.g., distributions, performance, portfolio). Encourage them to bookmark important pages. Maximize your time by scheduling a website tour webinar for your entire territory.
  3. Educate advisors. An educated advisor is your best customer. Think about where their knowledge gaps are today. Where can you help educate them on how various alternative investments compare, about industry trends, or even why your offering is dark and the criteria your firm is striving for to bring it back online.
  4. Reach out to centers of influence. Expand your reach by connecting with centers of influence at your distribution partners. How can you help field leaders, super OSJs or complex managers provide their advisors with valuable educational content? Position yourself as a resource to help their advisors navigate topics like market fundamentals, investment product comparisons or recent investor trends.

*Study: The War on Stress, 2019, Financial Planning Association, Janus Henderson Investors, Investopedia.

Want more information on strengthening your distribution partner relationship? Contact us today.