What Keanu Reeves can teach us about marketing

“You know, Mrs. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car – hell, you even need a license to catch a fish.  But they’ll let any (expletive removed) be a father.”
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     - Keanu Reeves, “Parenthood”

There is a great parallel to the alternative asset space here – you need serious creds to be a portfolio manager in this business but it seems that practically anyone, irrespective of qualifications, can be appointed to handle marketing (even that same PM!).

Don’t believe me?  Think about what a new analyst in this space goes through to get hired – multiple background checks and intensive interviews with questions designed to “understand howthe candidate thinks.”   You know the ones…”How many taxi cabs are in the city of New York” or the silliest of all questions, “…how much does a Boeing 777 weigh?” (that is with the cocktail napkins, I assume).

But while many PMs are specialists in their particular strategy and find it second nature to identify nuances between investment opportunities, they are rarely also specialists in identifying the nuances in the firm’s messaging and design.

As a firm, we have come to appreciate this particularly well because many of our conversations on marketing materials start with the sentence, “…what can you do to improve upon this?”

As my colleague, Krysten Merriman quoting Red Adair, joked to a client after he decided to scrap all of the previous work that he had done himself, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.”

By JD David