By Brenna Hardman, CEO of Buy Side Design
Hedge funds can now advertise. As the long-time SEC ban on hedge fund solicitation is retired and hedge funds capitalize on the JOBS Act, hedge fund managers should keep the following in mind:
1. Good design pays off.
A 2004 study by the Design Council in the UK showed that businesses which invest in design outperform their peers in stock performance by a full 200% over 10 years. Utilizing brand identity principles and smart marketing just makes sense. If you are a hedge fund making a presentation to a stakeholder, professional graphic design will get you attention and earn you credibility right off the bat.
2. Powerpoint is dead.
Design your documents with Adobe. There’s no reason to cast marketing to the desperate world of Microsoft Office. If you truly want to grab an investor’s attention, you need to use designs from Adobe Creative Suite. Never let your marketing use clip art. Most ultra high net worth individuals and institutions EXPECT BETTER.
3. Your corporate values are essential.
It is crucial that you communicate your brand values to investors. Don’t be afraid to show your personality, that is what they want to see. They want to know how you will conduct yourself on the investment journey. Make sure it is believable and memorable.
4. SEO increases web traffic which increases credibility.
Google ranks webpages based on credibility scores and the quality of content. If you are publishing news or articles on your website (which you should be), make sure you research the best keywords and phrases to write, use HTML title tags, and optimize your website architecture so that search engines can “crawl” through your pages, increasing your ranking on Google.
5. Describe successes and services through visuals and video.
We live in a world with constant digital interaction. TV is the most neurologically engaging and multisensory of media so it stands to reason that video remains one of the most effective marketing tools. It also presents you with another opportunity to showcase your personality.
6. Don’t overcomplicate your presentations.
The redesigned powerpoint for the NSA’s PRISM program shows the effectiveness of smooth visual presentations. Make sure you maintain the integrity of the data and preserve aspect ratios. You want your presentation to be as flawless as your execution systems and compliance department.
7. Familiarize yourself with the design principles of Edward Tufte.
He is Professor Emeritus at Yale University where he taught courses in statistical evidence, analystical design, and political economy. Business Week calls him “The Galileo of graphics” and the New York Times, “The Leonardi da Vinci of data”. The hedge fund industry would benefit from following his philosophy of creating less “chartjunk” and more data visualizations. You don’t have to overload people with tons of data and 30 page presentation decks to get the point across.
8. Consider outsourcing.
Invest in the right partners to develop your marketing. It costs a lot to have in-house marketing and you don’t always need it. Hiring an outside design team uses less internal resources for cyclical needs, leaving you money for further campaigning and fundraising efforts.
9. Prove your fund’s value with visual displays that uphold the integrity of the data.
The news is ripe with criticism about the high fees. Hedge funds command a premium, but there is good reason for these fees and you have the data to prove it. If you have data to back up remarkable performance then make that the center stage. Share your performance in a visual way that gives life to the numbers and demonstrates the high value of the services you provide.
10. Share unique content
Investors already know your performance by the time you meet them. Now they are ready to know your personality and background. Make sure you tell them a memorable story about yourself and explain why you are trustworthy.
Contact BRENNA HARDMAN: firstname.lastname@example.org, 1.312.835.6055, http://www.buysidedesign.com