Think of marketing as 1000 subtleties all coming together to shape the perception of an audience.
Let me explain.
I like to pick on BMW, namely because they are brilliant at branding. When you encounter a BMW of any form, think about all of the touch points that have impacted how you perceive the vehicle. The advertisements touch on emotions; the craftsmanship of the leather is memorable; the sound of the machines is impressive; owner testimonials hit you from all sides; they look sexy; the brochures are refined; the dealerships are classy and professional… the list goes on.
What happens if you take away one of the attributes above? Would your overall impression of the vehicle change, probably not? Now take them all away. Would your impression change, absolutely?
Believe it or not asset management is no different. People’s opinion of a manager are shaped by the various subtleties that surround that manager. The gruffness of the portfolio manager, the responsiveness of the admin team, the attention to detail in the marketing deck, the online experience, the track record, the professionalism of communication, the passion of the people, etc.
Most asset managers aren’t looking at marketing from this perspective. Managers tend to spend too much time fixated on one or two things, typically their track record, and on a good day, their marketing deck. Important stuff for sure; however, what is the condition of the website; how is the phone being answered; can you get anyone on the phone; are communications professional in design; is messaging consistent; what does reporting look like; is the conviction of the team be adequately conveyed, etc. The list goes on.
My point, most managers are too myopic when it comes to marketing. The industry is saturated. There are too many managers for too few investors. If you are going to compete, you need to account for a greater number of the subtleties that are influencing how you are perceived. Or not… because I am sure you always outperform the fifty other managers that do what you do.