Launching a fund is tough.
You must assemble a team, keep on the right side of the FCA, deal with PR, and much more.
But your biggest – and perhaps most overlooked problem – is actually drumming up clients to invest in your shiny new fund. Because, without people quickly putting in assets for you to manage – it will fail very quickly.
But how, in today’s saturated financial marketplace, do you successfully market a fund launch? How do you hit the ground running and ensure you bring in enough customers to ensure future success – rather than quickly disappearing like so many hopefuls before you?
Don’t worry, help is at hand. In this ProFundCom white paper we will share the five essentials behind successful fund launch marketing.
1 – Know Your Target Market
The backbone of successful fund launch marketing is good content. That’s what you will use to describe and sell your fund
But, before you start thinking about developing your content, the one burning question you must answer is this:
Who are you selling to?
The answer to this question is an essential basis for your content, as before you start to think about how you want to pitch your fund, you must identify who it’s for and how it relates to their situation, needs and problems.
By having a concrete understanding of your ideal investor, you can cater your content to their needs and preferences and distribute it among the appropriate channels, meaning that your marketing messages are always relevant.
The best way to start defining your target market is to develop a client profile. This should be in-depth and take into account all the things you must know to be able to market to them effectively.
This should include:
• Financial situation
• Attitude to risk
• Hopes for the future
• Financial burdens
• Anything else you can think of that will shape the way you talk to this potential client base
And when you have nailed down your target market, you can start to think about how you are going to frame your content.
2 – Prepare Your Content
Because you have written up a client profile, you already know who you are selling to – their hopes, fears and priorities. And that means you can prepare content that is directly aimed at the potential investors you have identified.
But what exactly do you create? There’s such a huge number of different formats out there – ads, blogs, articles, webinars, social media – that it’s difficult to know where to start.
Create a content pillar
One way around this problem is to develop what marketers call a content pillar. This is one substantial piece of content, such as an eBook or white paper, that provides and in-depth description of your new fund – why it has been launched, what sets it apart from other funds, who it appeals to, etc etc.
This large asset can then be broken up into many derivative assets – grouped into three stages – that are designed to appeal to buyers at different steps of the buying cycle.
Stage one – these will be announcement-type pieces of content, such as social media posts, email blasts, blogs and ads, which are there to simply draw attention to your new fund. They don’t go in-depth – their purpose is simply to drive awareness and direct traffic to your stage two assets.
Stage two – this is where you deliver more meaty content that describes your fund in more detail. The key here is to make this content asset valuable to readers by helping them solve a pain point or problem and seeks to direct them to your sales team
Stage three – This is information for people who have got through to the sales team and are potentially ready to invest. It should be packed full of relevant information and statistics for those that – because they have got this far – are ready to examine your fund in some detail.
Here’s how the three stages could work in practice:
You send out a short email advising those on your marketing list about your new fund launch, offering further information for those that are interested. Anyone that replies is sent your fund ebrochure, which describes things in more detail. Your sales team then contacts anyone who shows further interest and shares the stage three content with them, which hopefully persuades them to invest in your new fund.
Don’t forget about compliance
There is – of course – the ogre of compliance looming over your content creation strategy.
Because of FCA rules, any promotional message you send out must warn potential investors of the risks involved, so that all communications are clear, fair and not misleading. And this rule applies whether it’s a 2,000 word sales letter or a 20 word tweet. There’s much more information regarding compliance on the ProFundCom website, but if you even think something you’re sending out is promotional – i.e. its intention is to raise assets – you’d must play safe and follow the rules.
3 – Educate Your Internal Teams
A classic mistake made by many companies when launching a new product – whatever the sector – is failing to keep their own staff properly informed about what it is, what it does and who it appeals to.
Funds are no different. A new fund is going to touch a majority of the departments within your company. Your sales team will be selling it, your customer support team will be providing support for new and current clients, and your marketing team will be marketing it.
So you must educate all these departments in every aspect of the fund, through material like sales sheets, videos, demo scripts, lists of features, internal training sessions, and more. It’s a multi-step process, so you must put together a solid timeline of deadlines and milestones.
A good way to start this internal process is by creating a launch email that goes to every staff member with details of all the resources that your teams will need. Include a rundown of your launch plan here and links to any relevant online information, specific talking points for each team, and any other relevant information.
4 – Launch With A Splash
People like new things, which applies as much to financial products as anything else.
So, when you do launch your fund – you need to be prepared and ensure that you make as much noise as possible.
PR is a massive part of this, because there is far more value in journalists, bloggers and broadcasters saying nice things about your fund, than you talking about it.
So, on the day of the launch, make sure your PR team has everything they need to go big with public-facing communications. Regardless of where you’re launching – at an event, trade show, etc.- publish a blog post announcing your new fund, a press release to generate buzz in the industry and beyond, social posts, promotional videos, email blasts – and anything you can think of that helps get the message out there.
5 – Keep At It
Your fund has launched, your staff are well briefed, and your content is developed and being distributed.
But it’s no time to sit on your laurels, as you don’t want your fund to run out of steam – and new investment – after just a few months.
So, you must develop a marketing plan for the six to twelve months immediately after launch that focuses on driving continued awareness and fuelling additional lead generation. Also, evaluate any upcoming industry events to see if there might be opportunities to gain more exposure for your product through a sponsorship, keynote, or speaking engagement.
And don’t stop with your content distribution – ensure that a strong and varied programme of promotional material is going out across multiple channels.
Measure content effectiveness
Of course, to determine if the content is meeting its goals you must track it effectiveness by looking at how many people are reading, watching or listening to what you produce.
Exactly how and what you measure depends on the distribution channel, but probably the easiest and most effective tracking takes place through email. By using a tool such as ProFundCom you can reveal powerful and valuable statistics such as which emails and attachments have been opened by each recipient, as well as their geographical location and the device they used.
You must also look at website hits, enquiries that can be traced back to specific ads, and social interaction – retweets, likes, favourites, blog comments etc.
But don’t just look at the metrics in isolation. You must measure the results against other content of the same type from previous launches and other content types from this launch. This enables you to do more of what you know is working and stop doing what is not working.
Look for brand champions
The first six months to a year is also a great time to start collecting and showcasing case studies.
Contact investors who have had positive experiences and see if they would be willing to act as a brand champion for your fund by talking about how it’s helped them, or providing a short quote.
Post these stories to your website, or build them into a blog series to continue promoting your fund. Remember that first-hand testimonials from brand champions carry far more weight than anything your sales reps can say, as they are seen by potential investors as being like them – so don’t have the vested interest of someone employed by your company.
In today’s digitally-driven age – where people increasingly look to the Web to inform their investment decision, rather than relying on advisers – content marketing is key to the success of any new fund.
So, you must start thinking of your launch marketing strategy as soon as the fund development process gets the green light. This enables your marketing team to begin priming the pump and getting everything you need ready to go.
The reality is that a fund lives and dies in the first year – so to be successful your launch marketing must connect with potential investors quickly and effectively. Don’t leave your marketing as an afterthought – have it primed and ready to go and then keep measuring and refining to give your new fund the best chance of success.