Writing marketing decks is hard, regardless of what the strategy is. A few immediate points. First, there is no gold standard template. Trust us, we have looked long and hard for such a thing. Second, don’t get flustered by the word institutional. There are no written rules. For marketing decks to be considered “institutional” it simply has to be of professional caliber and well written. Don’t fall into the trap of believing a deck needs to be in header / footer form, chock-full of information, and conservatively designed for it to qualify as “institutional.” Unfortunately, people’s impression of institutional is often synonymous with forgettable.
But back to the title of the article.
A marketing deck is not the place to showcase your thoughts related to current events. Instead, focus on the core attributes of your firm, what you do, and why it is interesting. The goal is to create something somewhat timeless. Many alter their deck for every meeting. This is good indication that your deck is not constructed properly. A deck should be built around your central value proposition and why it is relevant. This shouldn’t change from room to room. If your content isn’t relevant in one room versus another, take it out.
Where then do you feature relevant thoughts and insights. Naturally, this should live and breathe on an insight page within your website. Such pages are designed to organically grow in chronological form. It is important for prospective LPs to see how your thinking has evolved over time. It simply shouldn’t happen in your deck.
The two exceptions: 1.) case studies; 2.) major systematic risk factors. As it pertains to the former, case studies are exceptional in helping demonstrate a system or a process. Recent examples of the latter – COVID. There are certain things that are too big to ignore. It is best to address such things head on in your deck. You can’t ignore an 800 lb gorilla, regardless of how badly you want to pretend it isn’t in the room. If the gorilla will have no impact, that is valuable knowledge as well.
The long of it, in building a deck, build something timeless. Don’t worry about every small breeze.