What if marketing does matter in private equity…?

Our COO told me the other day that I used the word “but” too often.

Valid point, but it is extremely challenging to listen to people in our sector explain to me, meeting after meeting, that all of that “marketing” stuff doesn’t apply to institutional investing or the capital markets. 

The alternative investment game is a very secretive world.  Everyone believes that their slight alteration to a given strategy will disrupt the space-time continuum, and no one talks to anyone. 

We talk to everyone, and if you step back a bit, it all starts to sound the same. Insert the JOBS Act.  You now have an open market, and a lot of product that is somewhat homogenous.  (And don’t fool yourself into thinking that your widget is that much different than the next widget, there are 10,000 + managers out there, it isn’t that different.)  The question you need to be asking yourself, “How do I differentiate myself in a competitive and open market?”

For the last 80 years everyone has been playing soccer.  Imagine for a moment that someone like me walks onto the field, picks up the ball, runs around everyone, and throws it in the goal.   Imagine how chaotic the scene would be when the scoreboard reads 1 | 0 and the game continues.  

My advice, don’t be the last to pick up the damn ball (marketing); the game has changed, you aren’t going to win.    

By Kyle Dunn