By Kyle Dunn, President and CEO of Meyler Capital
I offer the following in my attempt to help you think differently about the process of raising capital, which undoubtedly, some of you are already executing extremely well. But I suspect that a great deal of professionals in our industry are creating a PowerPoint deck that includes everything they have to say about anything, sending it to the people they know and then making it up from there.
If you are struggling to come up with a plan, start with the following Marketing Plan Checklist.
1. Define a very precise investment thesis. I know this sounds obvious, however, the more precise it is the less competition you will have.
2. Define your value proposition. Why can you execute your investment thesis better than anyone else? Recognize that your competition will have a history of performance, plenty of examples and a great deal of cumulative experience. You need to be able to offer something no one else can. If you can’t, change your investment thesis until you achieve this. Why people don’t spend more time coming up with a thesis that is uniquely their own is beyond me.
How many times have you heard, “We have excellent deal flow”? If this is the case, be very specific. Tell people why you have excellent deal flow. For example, “John Smith ran a textile company for 35 years. In that process he met Peter Casey, Ted Jones and Kevin John. It is John’s very close relationship with Peter, Ted and Kevin, which no other fund manager can duplicate, that allows us to see more deals than anyone else.” Now you are saying something.
3. After you have come up with a unique investment thesis and value proposition, you should set a marketing budget. Prioritize those initiatives that will lead to the most capital, while recognizing that some initiatives work together. This relates back to why you want to track what works and what doesn’t. You will benefit from this immensely on the next program you launch.
4. Connect with your current investment relationships to generate interest about the upcoming fund.
5. Identify your target market and determine who your closest competitors are. You can’t position yourself against the competition if you don’t know who the competition is.
6. Track down a pre-existing internal list of investors who are interested in your mandate, or utilize a group like Preqin to discover who else might be interested.
7. Export your compiled list of prospects into an appropriate EDM program to ensure that you can professionally communicate with them.
8. Seamlessly integrate video playing/tracking capability into your EDM.
9. Develop a compelling email that introduces your company (utilizing video) and confirms further permission to connect via email.
10. Come up with three storylines and begin work on creating three videos designed to engage interest.
11. Launch these three videos successively over a three- to four-month time period, only sending a follow-up video to thosewho watched its predecessor.
12. Build an EDM template that is consistent with all other forms of media.
13. Ensure that your website adequately conveys your new and improved value proposition.
14. Establish a blog on your website and plan to publish a blog post every two weeks.
15. Set up a targeted Google Keyword buy and Google Analytics, ensuring that your analytics are seamlessly connected with your EDM system.
16. Hire a professional creative services agency to develop a CTA brochure in both print and digital formats. !is brochure should be unlike anything else in the market and designed in such a manner that information can be added easily.
17. Courier the brochure, or another piece of influential information to those who have watched your videos.
18. Execute a telephone campaign to connect with everyone who viewed your video and/or opened your email.
19. Identify three or four events to attend that fit within your pre-identified target market.
20. Sponsor one or two events within your target market.
21. Set up a PR campaign that is focused either on your brand or your investment thesis. !is is designed to create inbound calls. It is also important to note that you can’t get coverage simply because you want coverage. You need to have something newsworthy to talk about.
22. Identify three or four avenues within Preqin to build brand awareness. It is critical that your awareness campaign is aligned with additional campaigns in other communications channels.
23. Develop a comprehensive quarterly newsletter that is related to milestones and industry announcements. !is quarterly should be a marketing piece in itself, designed to solicit feedback.
This overview is by no means inclusive; there is a lot more you can do. My intent is to simply demonstrate that there are very smart things you can do outside of building a PowerPoint deck and sending it to the people you know—or having an agent send it to the people they know.
This article is based on Chapter Nine of “Raising Institutional Capital: Fight Smarter” by Kyle Dunn. Meyler Capital helps hedge funds with marketing and placement. In marketing the core service is delivered in the form of strategy and consulting; in many cases their clients see the benefits of a seamless single-source roll out of websites, brochures, video, sonar marketing* campaigns, CRM and EDM system set up, copywriting, graphic design and more. In placement Meyler Capital helps asset managers define a more compelling value proposition and then build better communication tools to tell the story. It ensures placement agents benefit from more sophisticated marketing tactics, and provide them with more effective systems.
PODCAST 5 – RWC Talk About Marketing And Doubling Their Assets(July 2014)
Seven Things To Do To Improve Hedge Fund Marketing Material(June 2014)
Follow The Leader: Thought Leadership As A Practice(April 2014)
and search the site using the search term “marketing”