Analytical Skills For Fund Marketers
The three secrets I’m going to reveal to you in this paper are the key to using your marketing efforts to make a provable difference in the fight to raise and retain AuM.
Why are they secret?
They’re not secret in the James Bond sense of the word – and you certainly don’t have to crack any codes to get to them.
But so few know these techniques, and – more importantly – how to use them properly, that an air of secrecy and even mystique surrounds them. Perhaps that’s unsurprising, as most marketing people are not involved in analysis. Instead, they are more driven by the creative side of the profession: producing great content – factsheets, articles, email, websites, webinars etc – that engages with clients and prospects.
Good content and lots of it is, of course, an essential element of any fund marketing strategy. But if you don’t analyse the performance of what’s out there, you don’t know how it relates to sales. And this can become a problem when the powers that be are asking for proof of marketing ROI.
This is a challenge I faced myself two decades ago as a hedge fund marketer. I wanted to know how marketing could have more of an impact in terms of raising AuM and how you could prove that impact.
And it was this challenge that led to the birth of ProFundCom, which helps fund managers to use digital marketing to find sources of new investment and identify redemption risks.
At the core of what we do are the three skills that I’m going to describe to you in this paper. Everything I’m about to tell you is vital for the success of any fund marketing operation.
Let’s dive in…
Learn How To Use Data Tools
We now live in a digital world. This new reality has touched every aspect of life to some extent, but it’s transformed the fund marketing sector almost beyond recognition. The investor journey is no longer the traditional process that goes from first contact, to face-to-face meeting with a relationship manager, to sale, to ongoing quarterly reports. It’s something entirely different.
The journey is now a digital one, which takes in a huge amount of touchpoints along the way. It starts with an introduction to your firm through some form of digital content, but then dives about through websites, emails, webinars, online events and more – before finally ending with a sales call. And nobody at your firm will see or hear from the majority of investors until a sale is actually made.
This digital process means there is an avalanche of available data – likes, clicks, visits, downloads, comments and more – being produced all the time. You can analyse this data to improve marketing efforts and inform sales teams. But many marketers fail to take advantage of this opportunity, as they have what I call a ‘marketing brain’, which is emotional, imaginative, occasionally absent-minded, and is very much focussed on creativity. This outlook does not lend itself to data analysis.
But if you fail to analyse all the data that’s streaming in from the digital investor journey, then you will struggle to answer the two questions that will be asked of you at some point:
Is marketing raising AuM?
Is marketing preserving AuM?
Without proper data analysis, you can’t answer those questions with any degree of confidence – as you don’t know.
But the fact is you don’t have to be an analytics whizz to answer these questions. You just need the right data tools – and to use them properly.
The most basic tool you need is good old Excel, so you can produce a spreadsheet that displays key data from across your website, email campaigns, and social media accounts – visits, opens, likes, clicks, comments, shares etc. This lets you see what’s working well, and what isn’t, across all your marketing channels.
Don’t forget that marketing is essentially divided into two parts. The first part is demand generation – events, webinars, meet the manager sessions etc – that can lead to direct contact. The success of these is pretty easy to measure, as it’s direct marketing.
But the other part of the marketing equation is brand awareness, which means popularising your brand online through social, email and web. This type of activity is much more difficult to measure, as no one thing will lead to a sale. This is where a spreadsheet is so helpful, as you can see which campaigns are working best in terms of brand awareness. But you must be diligent in updating it every few weeks with the latest data.
Another great data tool is Google Analytics, which can go beyond simply telling you how many people have visited your website. It also shows you which pages on your site are most popular. You can take that data and create a word cloud – using a free tool like Monkeylearn – that highlights the key words and phrases that resonate most with your audience from across your website.
Further down the line, you can go beyond Excel and Google Analytics and use more advanced systems like Power BI and Tableau, which can show you how your campaigns are working in real-time and how performance differs across funds.
So, the use of data tools is your first secret.
The next one is to integrate all your valuable data in one place.
One thing many marketers fail to realise is that the more channels you add to your marketing mix, the more cost you build into the system and the less efficient you potentially become.
That’s because each channel – SEO, social, email, website etc – needs its own management tools, which must be integrated into your system. So, the more bases you’re trying to cover, the more moving parts you have as part of your marketing technology stack, which costs you.
It can also get confusing, which makes it harder to see how well your campaigns are working, and makes it difficult to show the type of business insights that the C-suite is looking for.
Of course, using more channels increases your brand reach. But the big risk is that you end up spending much of your time building out the integrations that are needed to fit these channels into your system. And, unless you are in the unique position of being an over-resourced team (not something I’ve ever come across) this will dent your ability to do the job of actually marketing.
But there is a way around this. What you must do is bring all your analytics together in one place – rather than doing it in a piecemeal fashion. This is exactly what we provide at ProFundCom. Our platform integrates all the necessary information from all channels, so you can view it in a single place – with only a light touch needed from the marketing team.
When you have all your data – across all channels – integrated, you can easily see key metrics such as the number of new prospects and active prospects, and the number of leads that are being passed onto sales. You can also see whether these stats are growing or declining. This allows you to check if, month on month, your marketing activities are working. You can also do a deep dive into this data to pull out the names and contact details of the hottest prospects on your list – then send them to sales.
Also, because integration makes it so simple to track and measure results, it’s easy to experiment with different campaigns and channels. By trying new things – then discarding what doesn’t work and doubling down on what does – you consistently improve your marketing efforts.
This isn’t a sale pitch. There are other, albeit more difficult, ways to do this. You can, for example, build it all out in Excel. But integration is key if you’re going to ensure your data analysis does the job of boosting and retaining AuM.
It also makes it very easy to demonstrate marketing ROI clearly to anyone who wants to see it.
Turn Data Into AuM
Lastly, we come to the icing on the cake. This is how to turn all your data and analysis efforts into AuM – either by attracting new investment or preventing a redemption.
You achieve this through something that we call a lead deck. This is a section of your CRM that’s easily accessed and understood by sales and where they can see the four key categories of prospect/investor:
- The low-hanging apples amongst your prospects – those who are highly engaged with pretty much everything you send to them, so are ripe for the picking by sales.
- The existing clients who want more – customers who are invested in one fund but are engaging with content related to things they are not invested in, thus presenting a cross-selling opportunity.
- The prospects that have suddenly perked up – and are re-engaging with your content after a dormant period, suggesting they may be thinking of investing once again
- The customers who could be on their way out – they have stopped engaging with your content, suggesting they are a redemption risk and need a call from sales.
Identifying these four groups is the ultimate aim of all your marketing efforts. These are the people within your CRM who are going to make a difference – either by investing, or deciding to stick with your fund rather than redeeming. By using a lead deck, sales can see who these people are and what they are and are not interested in. They can see the fact sheets they’ve downloaded, the emails they’ve read, the comments they’ve made on social media, the videos they’ve watched, the events they’ve attended etc
This is incredibly powerful information, as it informs and guides any sales conversation – be it one to seal an investment deal, or to stave off a redemption.
When you have this ability, you justify every penny of investment in marketing. You also have the justification for increased investment (not to mention a better contract) as you can directly link asset raising and redeeming conversations to marketing activity.
If you want to find out how ProFundCom can help you use digital marketing to raise assets schedule a demo here