Our thinking Quick reads Don’t confuse raising awareness with raising assets
Fundraising, investor relations and marketing
February 2021
3 min read

Don’t confuse raising awareness with raising assets

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To effectively grow assets, it is critical for an asset manager to understand the difference between raising awareness and raising assets. The tactics used for each objective are very different. The sooner you see them as separate activities, the better off you will be.

Raising awareness is what it is. You want to build awareness across a given audience. In your attempt to build awareness, there is one golden rule… don’t try to sell anything.

And to be very, very clear on the point, talking about your performance is selling.

Think of raising awareness as an opportunity to give versus take – be a participant, contribute to the industry, provide perspective, and, most importantly, be normal. This is generally considered a “content marketing” strategy. There are two things to be aware related to a content strategy.

First, like all pursued marketing tactics from the beginning of time, what was once effective becomes less effective. Content marketing is no different. As the amount of content increases, there are less eyeballs on any single piece of content. Because of this, the form content needs to take is changing. You no longer get credit for a poorly crafted LinkedIn post, or a shaky iPhone video. Good content now has to have an acceptable level of production value and be thought provoking.

The second critical component of raising awareness… consistency. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Think about every other aspect of your life. For you to acknowledge the existence of something and genuinely form an opinion, you need to bump into that good or service quite frequently. If not, you remain indifferent, and there is nothing a marketer should fear more.

Ok, you have built awareness, a lot of people know that you exist, then what. Well now it is time to sell something. In short you are in pursuit of a decision, is an LP going to invest or not invest. The first thing you need to do here is prioritize your time. There is no more effective way to do this than focusing on members of your audience that are heavily engaged in your story. How do you know this? Well, remember when you were “raising awareness,” you should have also been building analytics to tell you who is engaged and who isn’t. Prospective LPs will more often than not tell you they are interested, when in reality, they are not. Their actions will tell you all you need to know. If they aren’t all over your materials, they are not interested. And if you aren’t tracking engagement, that’s a problem you need to fix immediately.

This is also the point when you attempt to build a genuine relationship, which is representative of the border between marketing and sales. Raising awareness is marketing, raising assets is selling. All said, don’t confuse the two. When you are selling something, you are trying to guide people through a process that leads to a decision. When you are raising awareness, you are trying to influence how someone thinks about you. Again, the sooner you acknowledge the difference, the more effective you will be.

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