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Posted by on Mar 28, 2012 in E-Letters |

Tips, Traps and Trends

e-letter from HS Marketing

Branding Your Business More Dynamically

March 2012


Dear Clients and Friends,

The process of building your brand offers opportunities to showcase your capabilities using dynamic marketing tools that may reinforce your communications strategy. Creating a compelling message isn’t enough. What can you do to help your target audience hear and see you? Which tactics will engage them in a more meaningful way?  What legal/regulatory considerations should be on your radar?

Key Trends

Investors are increasingly raising the bar on the expected quality of hedge fund managers’ outbound communications. For the past two years, SEI’s annual survey of institutional investors has highlighted the need for managers to make their strategies more understandable and clearly articulate their value proposition as well as risk mitigation methodology. Clarity of investment philosophy and risks is a priority. “Communication alpha” as noted in our recent e-letter, may be considered a source of value in supporting asset raising and retention objectives.

While there is no magic marketing bullet, investment managers and service providers are increasingly incorporating a digital component into their branding and ad campaigns. Firms of all sizes may take advantage of available tools to invigorate content and reinforce the brand identity building process.

Tips to engage your audience in a more meaningful way

Tip #1: Use multimedia

Multimedia presentations increase the impact, resonance and reach of your communications. This type of dynamic element can make it easier for your contacts to hear and see you. For example, a short video featuring the CEO will project your firm’s personality. Using videos and webinars can personalize the relationship-building process, highlight your expertise and strengthen the impact of message. People want interaction instead of reading a lengthy report. An audio/video commentary from the portfolio manager, particularly in an interview format, will reinforce the message and bring your story to life.

Tip #2: Use social media

If your firm’s strategy is very complex, your expertise and/or market views may be a great fit for tweeting, blogging and/or participating in online discussion groups. Build a following as the “go-to” educator in your sector, particularly for a less understood or complex strategy.

Tip #3: Animate your online presence

The use of animation may enhance fresh website content. For example, recent news and announcements appearing on the home page if animated will support the goal of engaging the viewer and lengthening the time spent on that site. For service providers, animated ads (vs. static) will help draw attention.

Tip #4: Share meaningful information to elevate your presence

Have you have created a timely survey or white paper? Do you possess expertise that can be communicated in a topical FAQ format or interview? If so, showcase those capabilities as an integral component of your public relations campaign in order to be noticed. Use social media and multimedia to highlight that message and incorporate a “learn more” link within your online outreach process.

Traps to Avoid: Legal/Regulatory Considerations

Attorney Richard Horowitz, partner in the investment management practice at Dechert LLP, highlighted his views regarding related legal/regulatory considerations as noted below: “This week, Congress passed the JOBS Act, which, among other things, removes the ban on ‘general advertising and general solicitation’ under Regulation D for sales to accredited investors. While this change will undoubtedly free up the marketing effort for private funds, an investment adviser must continue to be careful to avoid disseminating information that cannot be substantiated or is unbalanced. For fund managers, the message in your pitch book must be accurate and consistent with your offering memorandum. Now that most hedge fund managers are required to register with the SEC, managers will be subject to the advertising rule under the Investment Advisers Act which covers the use of testimonials and past specific recommendations, and which prohibits any advertisement which contains any untrue statement of a material fact or is otherwise false or misleading. The bottom line – fund managers should consult their legal counsel or compliance advisor.”

You only have one chance to make a first impression. Contact us for a complimentary evaluation or inquiry. We’ve been in the marketing communications business, serving the alternative investment community, for almost two decades.

Sincerely,

Holly Singer, President, HS Marketing, LLC www.hsmarketing.com

Princeton Junction, NJ 08550 | tel. 609.275.1303