Use a striking image on the cover page. You want your marketing deck to be immediately memorable.
Page two, yes, even before the executive summary, should feature a bold, profound, single statement designed to engage. Professional investors review a huge number of decks. You want to say something that gets their attention. This will ensure that they are actually focused when they start to review your deck.
Don’t include a table of contents. They are never used and take away from the experience. And if you feel you need one… your deck is too long.
Replace section breaks, with hero pages. A hero page is a visually dramatic page, with a statement or quote that inspires. Pages such as these re-engage readers. They also allow you to build emotionality into your pitch. Most LPs are trying to rationalize why to choose one 15% over another 15%. If you build emotionality and appeal into your presentation, there is a greater likelihood you will get into a conversation.
You don’t need to say everything. If you tell someone everything, there is no reason for them to circle-back to request additional information. A marketing deck is a tool, not a solution.
Include an executive summary that outlines the core reasons why someone should care, and a very bold summary of your track record – if you have one. Sophisticated LPs want to be able to assess the situation with one, fast look.
Don’t build a deck with a standard header and footer on every page. There is nothing on earth more uninspiring.
Have the deck professionally designed. The alternative investment sector is far too competitive to get away with a poorly designed deck. Yes, there are a huge swath of people that will argue that performance is all that matters. Those people are wrong. LPs are looking for any reason to narrow the field. A team that has not invested the time to ensure their deck looks sharp, will lose far more times than they win.
Use fewer words. Our analytics show us that very few people spend more than 3 or 4 minutes looking at a deck. In building a deck, focus on your core message, don’t overcrowd the pages, and keep it high level.
There is no standard “institutional” template to rely on – be smart, make it good, and cover the basics. We have built 100s of marketing decks for all forms of managers, big and small. If there is a set template out there that should be followed, please send it on.