One of the great things about what I’ll call the “democratization” of website building technology is that it is now easier than ever to have a really polished, sharp-looking website.
Because in highly competitive areas, such as investment management, looking your best is a paramount marketing imperative.
But the rub, as always, is: what happens when everyone’s website looks great? It’s like being in a bar full of beautiful people. It takes more than a wink and a smile and a cheesy line to close the deal – you need a memorable opening, a compelling story to tell, and a great close.
Building a great-looking website is the easy part – what’s hard is constructing compelling, articulate website content and investment management marketing messaging. But it’s not impossible, obviously.
So here are a few tips of the trade that investment management firms can use to punch up their website content and improve their topline marketing message:
- Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. I’ve yet to meet an investment manager who didn’t claim to intimately “know” their clients. If that’s the case, then make a list of all the questions, concerns, issues, and interests that your best clients share. Use that list as a way to self-edit your content. Make sure your content is catering to what your audience wants and needs, and isn’t merely used as a conduit for self-promotion.
- Be persuasive, always. Too much investment management marketing content assumes that the unique superiority of a given approach is self-evident.
It’s not self-evident. At all. Look, there’s nothing truly new under the sun, which means that what most managers are doing is actually a variation on a theme, “Oh, so you are a deep value international manager.” In a meeting, most would respond, “I guess you could say that, but here’s where we differ…” That’s what you need to do in your content. Persuade, don’t just describe - It's one of the most important investment management marketing best practices.
- Establish a marketing thesis. Most firms have some kind of investment thesis. You also need a marketing thesis that spells out how you conceive of your marketing and what its purpose actually is. Saying, “Our marketing should result in a tripling of AUM over the next five years” isn’t a marketing thesis – it’s a sales goal. Marketing has to be about establishing and promoting your firm’s raison d'être: why do you exist? What under-served market need are you trying to fill? Why would the market be worse off if your firm ceased to exist?
Unless you have a good answer to these questions, your messaging will fall flat.
Just because it’s easier than ever to look great, make sure you sound great as well.