People in our industry love to talk about risk, but they very rarely reference marketing risk, i.e. the risk involved in being different.
There is always a risk in being different; however, as with any other risk, it is sometimes worth taking.
For example, you are an emerging manager striving to source capital. Placement Agents won’t touch you and retail marketing takes money. You have choices: 1.) You can create a 34 page marketing deck and push it around hoping to get someone with money to pay attention to you, or 2.) You can swim up stream.
What do you think will get people’s attention, doing the same thing as 5,000 other people, or stopping the conveyor belt?
People in our industry try hard to emulate the larger institutions, but in doing so they make the task of sourcing capital all the more challenging. If a smaller manager looks the same and sounds the same thing as a larger manager, investors are going to side with the larger, more “credible” situation. In doing so they don’t lose their jobs, and are not ridiculed by their peers.
My advice: be different. Create a marketing deck that says something big. Produce a kinetic text video. Most importantly, don’t feel you need to put everything down on paper. People tend to overlook the fact that human interaction is a big part of the marketing process. A conversation is one of the most ideal ways to transfer knowledge. You need to give people a reason to pay attention to you - standard marketing decks don’t accomplish this.
Before you launch any marketing initiative, stop to contemplate the marketing risk. Ask yourself whether or not your marketing is going to turn heads. If the answer is no, rethink your strategy. The risks in being different are a lot less than you think they are.
By Kyle Dunn