Communicate, but do it properly!
By Ermanno Mattio.
Investment managers are reaching an inflection point, increasingly having to realise the benefits of effective communication strategies. Since 2008, investors have been becoming more experienced and competent, demanding to fully understand what they are investing in. But what are the crucial elements of an effective campaign?
The first premise of any successful campaign is belief in its power. All too often, firms engage with an audience without full conviction. Successful campaigns feel passionate and genuine to their audience, and this is only possible if a firm’s spokespeople truly believe they have something important to say.
Secondly, the more specialised the investment manager’s communication partner, the more intimately they will understand a firm’s products, competitive landscape and investor mindset. They will understand the challenges and the opportunities to add value to clients. Whereas non-specialist agencies see an undifferentiated, broad brush view of the investment landscape, a specialist can sharpen the differentiating subtleties that make a specific investment manager a compelling investment proposition.
Thirdly, in a technical business, content is king. Commercial communication in the investment business should ultimately answer this question: ‘Why should I give my money to you rather than to the many other managers who say they do the same thing?’. This is an ambition whose achievement relies on powerful content – clearly defined, effectively articulated and, above all, innovative. To say it should be innovative seems a cliché, but it is the most neglected attribute in investment communication. A cursory look at most marketing communication reveals that most investment managers have the same so-called ‘differentiators’. If effectively deployed, powerful content will play a key role in attracting new investors as well as retaining assets within the fund, particularly when the going gets tough.
Fourthly, a specialist communication partner will also provide the most effective distribution of the distinctive content, ensuring that it has maximum impact in promoting the investment manager and its solutions to the intended target audience within the investors’ community.
The right communication partner will distribute the investment manager’s content via all relevant channels, be they traditional media outlets or new digital media channels (encompassing the likes of the firm’s website and a social media strategy). The challenge is to make all these channels work effectively and independently.
Investment managers are turning a corner in their attitude to communication. The ones who succeed will be the ones who understand that good communication can be a real game-changer.
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