AI is Only as Good as the Humans Behind It 

With the rise of AI, people think it can do everything. But it’s important to understand AI not as all-powerful, but rather as an effective tool influenced by its human operator. In this article, we’ll discuss how we pair AI with our expertise to further our clients’ marketing. 

Shortening the Learning Curve 

One way we use AI is to shorten our learning curve. Consider a situation where we need to prepare an extensive report or a white paper for a client regarding an unfamiliar asset class. AI is a great tool to quickly increase our knowledge about the asset class, allowing us to approach the assignment more efficiently. Once equipped with a basic understanding, we can delve into detailed research, craft insightful arguments, and provide valuable educational content to inform financial advisors. 

Identifying Trends 

AI also serves as an efficient trendspotter. While the alternative investments industry has been slow to adapt new marketing strategies and tactics, other industries, like technology, have not. As marketers in the financial services/alternative investments space, we can learn something from other sectors. Marketing-specific AI tools help us understand the broad marketing spectrum across industries to identify trends we should consider for our clients to help their firm and offerings stand out with financial advisors.  

Understanding Market Sentiment 

AI also serves as a powerful tool for understanding the sentiment behind various economic or market issues. For example, by analyzing the reasons for lending restrictions imposed on commercial real estate borrowers, we gain an understanding of existing thought patterns. We can then dissect this information and translate it into a language that resonates with financial advisors to help educate them and better understand the philosophy behind our clients’ investment offerings.  

Humans Required 

When writing a piece for our clients, it’s never the case that an entire piece would be written through chatGPT or a similar tool. A human is required to get to the crux of the information we need to effectively communicate for our clients, and to humanize the content so that it will resonate with financial advisors. While AI can help us write more efficiently, our writing is by people for people.  

If you need help with content writing, which is one of our specialties at Marketing Intent, please reach out to us. We’ll make sure we maximize our time using AI as appropriate, and apply our experience and talent to deliver materials that help you engage financial advisors in sales conversations. 


Adding Value to Your Webinars 

Webinars – are they all about you? They shouldn’t be. At least that’s what we have heard from advisors. Read on to learn what advisors want to know about your firm.  

Non-Product Related Content 

Obviously you want to use webinars to talk about your fund and your company, but you should also be providing some value to the people who attend. Think value-add content that helps build trust. This approach will help advisors associate your name with educational content they need to serve their clients better. And they will be more likely to take your sales calls because you’ve already delivered something of value to them. 

What are some of the topics advisors want to hear about? Right now, economic webinars and perspective on the market, dynamics and outlooks are powerful. We’re all trying to make sense of it and it helps advisors to have a broad range of information. Advisors also love webinars that help them develop professionally and meet their CE requirements. Does your firm have subject-matter experts in certain areas that may benefit an advisor’s practice or that you can register for continuing ed credit to help advisors meet their requirements? If so, get a webinar with this content on the books and be sure you’re clear when you market exactly what’s in it for advisors.  

Access to Your Management Team

Another key for advisors? Access to your management team. Advisors want to know who is behind your investments, what their experience is and they want to hear directly from them. Featuring members of your management team on a webinar is an easy way to get them in front of advisors. Do a Q&A with them so advisors get to interact and hear them speak “off the cuff.” Plus, your management team doesn’t have to fly anywhere to attend a meeting, so you’re not worrying about booking days on their calendar, you just have to book a couple hours.

There are many creative ways to engage advisors on your webinars, provide value and in turn build trust for your brand and your company.

If you would like help developing webinar topics for your firm, reach out to us at Marketing Intent.

Content Trust

Third-Party Information is Invaluable  

Financial advisors love getting third-party information from asset managers. This is what we’ve been hearing in the field. Why? Read on for the many reasons third-party information can be a powerful tool for asset managers and how it helps financial advisors. 

Building Trust 

We all love telling our own story…and when we do, we highlight the positives. Providing third-party information to advisors about your offering or your asset class helps build trust because you’re not shying away from sharing someone else’s perspective – which can be perceived as a more balanced perspective with pros and cons. Financial advisors need the whole picture on what you’re offering and the asset class you’re working within to feel comfortable presenting your investment opportunities to clients.  

Sharing third-party information with financial advisors also demonstrates that you’re willing to share perspectives on your firm, offerings and asset classes that go beyond tapping into your sales team and senior management team. Financial advisors appreciate these varied perspectives and transparency. 

Where to Find Third-Party Resources 

There are many credible and reputable sources for market outlooks on alternative investments, various types of offerings and asset classes. Find the 3-4 sources your firm is comfortable with and continuously monitor them for articles and insights relevant to you. For deeper dive third-party information on your firm and offering, you can also use your due diligence report (e.g., Fact Right) as a third-party resource.  

Third-Party Content as a Value-Add 

Creating original content can be time consuming. Use value-add content to supplement your original content…and think beyond just your offering. Maybe you see an article that can help advisors with practice management…push it out to the sales team as another touchpoint. And the sales team can do this on their own as well based on advisor interests. They can send something to an advisor that may relate to a personal interest in an email saying, “Hey John, I was just thinking about you when I read this. I thought it would be very beneficial, I know we talked about this the other day.” It helps advisors know the sales team is listening and helps to build relationships. 

Where to Use It  

Use third-party information to help fill your content calendar when your own development of content is light. You can send it out in mass emails to advisors, post it on social media (this is especially useful for firms offering 506(b) offerings that are limited on marketing) and the sales team can use it to start or follow-up on conversations with advisors. 

Starting the Conversation Continues It 

When you start building conversations by sending out third-party information, you can become an advisor’s go-to…and the conversation continues. Advisors – producers and prospects –  are going to come to you with, “You’ve always been so helpful with the information you provide. I really appreciate it.” And that appreciation and transparency + trust. 

If you would like to discuss how you can find more third-party information, share it with advisors and help build trust, reach out to us

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

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.  


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

PowerPoint Presentations

Don’t Be Held Hostage by PowerPoint

A client we recently worked with was frustrated with their PowerPoint presentations.

Every slide was an image created by a graphic designer appearing very polished (and very hard to update).

Problems with PowerPoint

We get it. You want your presentations to be on brand and look amazing. But that doesn’t make sense when you have regular updates to make – like that last minute change from the CEO before a webinar – and you’re frantically calling an outside designer for a revision because you can’t make it yourself.

Pasting in images instead of using native PowerPoint functionality takes away PowerPoint’s…well, power. PowerPoint is meant to be a support program to make your life easier and not hold you hostage and limit your flexibility and productivity. It’s meant for you to easily update presentations. And when set up correctly, it’s like a right-hand man that can make you far more efficient.

Maximizing PowerPoint’s Functionality

Learn about the functionality that is built into PowerPoint and utilize it. One of the amazing things about PowerPoint is the master slides function. Master slides allow you to apply your brand to the template, set fonts, heading styles, a color palette, spacing, bullet styles, etc. You can set up various types of slides as well, like a cover, a content slide and a diver slide. There are very detailed settings that can be created to help you maintain your branding.

Although, branding alone does not help you raise capital. Branding is important (obviously) but if a bullet’s off or a logo is placed a little bit too low on a page, it’s not going to affect an advisor’s ability to understand or bring capital in the door. It’s a balance between maintaining brand standards to a T and ensuring you’re positioning your firm in a way that allows you to develop and deliver clear messaging to advisors on your offering that generate sales conversations.

Making PowerPoint More Efficient

How do we make our clients’ PowerPoint presentations more efficient? We always start with the master slides. Behind the scenes, it sets the stage for more efficient work going forward and less management team disappointment in timeliness of updates. We call this “being kind to your future self” because you’ll be able to be nimbler with changes and more responsive to requests for changes from management and the sales team.

We design as many elements as possible in the native PowerPoint platform. These can be supplemented with designed graphics, but any element that may change frequently we suggest keeping in PowerPoint.

We also convert charts of data to native PowerPoint charts that are linked to Excel files…another big time saver and a play that helps non-designers be more self-sufficient in PowerPoint.

A lot of people dislike PowerPoint, but if you’re using it correctly, it’s actually a great tool. When you put the work in behind the scenes, it’s easier, it’s smoother, and it just works better to help support your marketing goals.

Do your PowerPoint presentations need an overhaul? Do you need help making them more user friendly? We would love to work with you to provide suggestions on how you can improve your presentations and improve your relationship with PowerPoint. Contact us today.


Zero-Click Content

If something says, “Read Here,” are you apt to click? Or does that call to action make you feel inconvenienced or bored and you move on?

Let’s discuss zero-click content, an emerging trend in marketing that requires – you guessed it – zero clicks to access content.

People Are Becoming Click-Averse

At one time, gated content was the thing to do in marketing. Tease content and then require someone to submit their contact information to you so they could access the full content. This allowed marketers to understand who was reading their content and to market to them going forward.

Today’s marketing landscape has changed, and so have our readers’ attention span and patience. People now find gated content annoying and the teasers boring. They won’t take the time to access the larger piece of content – even if it’s just a click away. Marketers have had to elevate content, shorten it and bring it to the forefront, making it more broadly and immediately accessible to their target audiences.

What is Zero-Click Content?

Zero-click content is publishing your full content upfront with no clicks required. Gasp! We know…it’s uncomfortable! This means no data on who clicked and few performance metrics.

But, it becomes a better user experience with shorter content, clear points and impactful messaging. As you engage your audience, they will voluntarily click to read more of your content. You’ll track and engage prospects with other marketing efforts that don’t put up a barrier for your target audiences. The effort you put into your content – and the content itself – won’t get lost in the abyss of “click here to read more.”

Accessible Content Builds Trust

By making your content more accessible, you will be getting your point across more quickly, building a presence, building trust, and advisors will remember how easy it was to read your firm’s content. This can help build your reputation as an educator – you’re serving your target audience and not just selling to them.

At Marketing Intent, we’ve adopted zero click content ourselves and we’d love to help your firm do the same. Feel free to browse our website for helpful insights. No clicks required!

Contact us today to get your message out.

Marketing Management Marketing Team

Hiring the Right Marketing Agency

How is hiring a marketing agency like prom?

I know you’re probably thinking, “I haven’t been to prom in so long, I don’t remember.” For me, I never enjoyed prom. There was the buildup to the event…getting your dress, your shoes, figuring out what you’re going to do with your hair. But then you get there, and it wasn’t what you expected. I know I felt disappointed with my prom experience.

When I was working in corporate marketing, that’s the exact feeling I had anytime we had the need to hire an outside marketing firm.

Few Marketing Firms Truly Understand Alts

You’ve been searching and you finally find a marketing firm that looks like they’re going to be amazing. They have great work on their website, they look like they’re creative and fun to work with, they have experience…but you quickly learn that they don’t have the experience you need.

Financial services marketing – and even more so alternative investments marketing – is truly unique and requires a specific marketing skill set that balances being detailed oriented and analytical with creativity. It requires an understanding of financial products and more importantly, a deep understanding of the target audiences of advisors and investors.

A challenge in the alternative investment industry is that few marketing firms understand the ins and outs of commercial real estate offerings, the compliance requirements and how to explain offerings to advisors.

Marketing Intent Has Decades of Alts Marketing Experience

When we started Marketing Intent in early 2020, we did so with the goal of bringing a firm to the alternative investments industry we wished we’d had in our corporate lives. A firm that understands the industry, the lingo, the requirements. A firm that can balance the analytical with the creative. A firm that helps its clients produce and distribute marketing that generates sales activity.

We have decades of experience, not only financial services, but alternative investments as well. We understand your offerings, we understand the compliance requirements, and we understand how to talk to financial advisors in a way that helps them engage with your sales team. We partner with our clients to help elevate their marketing and stand out among a growing number of alternative investment offerings.

Nothing Happens Until Something is Sold

At Marketing Intent, our mantra is that nothing happens until something is sold. Raising capital is at the heart of your business. That’s why our approach centers around making sure your sales team has what they need to bring capital in the door.

We start by identifying the gaps between marketing and the needs of your sales team. Next, we prioritize where marketing can generate the most activity—and streamline the sales process. Then, we bring marketing in alignment with sales.

Need help avoiding the disappointment of hiring an outside marketing firm? Do you want to work with a firm that understands your industry, the needs of your sales team, your target audience, your product and your compliance requirements? Marketing Intent will help you avoid the “prom disappointment”. Contact us today to set up a meeting.