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Asset Management Communications Blog

A Resource for Investment Management Marketing & Communications

Second Opinions are Crucial for Investment Management Marketing

July 21, 2015


Last week I had a glaring and embarrassing typo in my eNewsletter. Last time I checked, “shortchage” isn’t a word.

As a marketing specialist who hangs his hat on using writing and editing skills to differentiate my work and that of my clients, typos are pretty much inexcusable… especially in a 100-word email blast that goes out to clients, prospects, and colleagues.

But here is the thing: The editing work I do for my clients is impeccable. But editing my own work? Not so much, apparently.

But that got me thinking...

It is extremely difficult to edit your own work. I think the reason why is because we become so focused on the big picture that the little things can slip through the cracks.

But there is a larger point here as well, as it relates to investment management marketing.

It is commonly understood these days that effective investment management marketing requires effective storytelling.  Great stories all begin with one simple thing:

A great idea.

And when we spend so much of our time developing the idea, it is easy to forget to explore new and interesting ways to tell that story. Equally problematic is when we neglect to ensure the words we use and the strategies we employ to disseminate the story puts that great idea in its best light.

I am the first to admit that the work I’ve done on my own messaging throughout the years has benefited significantly from the input of others.

One of the ideas I usually include in client proposals is the notion that I don’t have a monopoly on good ideas.

I truly believe that there are very few, if any endeavors in life that don’t benefit from thoughtful, careful collaboration.

But when investment managers start thinking about their narrative, the process usually begins with the principals sitting around a conference table and making a list of all the things that they want clients and prospects to know: philosophy, process, and sometimes things like client service philosophy or ethics.

In other words, the approach is uniformly firm-centric; as in: “What do we want our clients and prospects to know about us?”

But here’s the problem with that approach: it’s often an exercise in groupthink.

Across the industry, I don’t think it’s a stretch to conclude that investment management firms tend to be fairly homogenous in terms of their assumptions, values, background,and experience.

In such an environment, how can a firm hope to look objectively at their messaging and investment management marketing strategy?

That’s why it is important for investment management firms to consult with a marketing or communications specialist, one with a pair of fresh eyes, who understands the industry, and has a track record of success.

Most marketing consultants are perfectly happy to review a firm’s messaging and offer some independent, thoughtful ideas on its strengths, weaknesses, and offer some suggestions for improvement.

Whether in marketing, medicine, or marriage, getting a second opinion is never unwise.

Looking for a second opinion?

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The Asset Management Communications Blog is a resource from Daniel Quinn Communications for investment management firms on effective marketing and communications:

   ~ Inbound Marketing / Content Marketing
   ~ Website and other online content
   ~ Content marketing for asset managers
   ~ Style guides
   ~ Presentation materials
   ~ General advice on effective writing.