What Every Company Can Learn from Hedge Fund Marketing
Every marketer has to be concerned about the increased demand for corporate transparency, especially since the 2008 financial crisis. Traditionally, marketing communications was built around the concept of controlling a company’s story, but in the current era of digital conversations and brand ambassadors, that’s a less realistic approach. So what can we do to meet business goals and satisfy the public’s hunger for the truth? Take a leaf out of the hedge fund marketers’ book.
Most hedge funds have not been allowed to market themselves directly to the public in the U.S. since the formation of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 1933. This changed when President Obama signed into law the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act in April 2012, and now the hedge fund industry is feeling its way into marketing without a lot of the bad habits that some companies have carried over from earlier marketing efforts.
Storytelling and Thought Leadership
Instead of immediately broadcasting television ads and posting billboards, hedge funds, which have long benefited from the appearance of exclusivity, have begun to establish their brands by telling their firms’ stories.
Take Bridgewater’s Pure Alpha, for example. As part of marketing the fund, Bridgewater promotes its fund manager’s thought leadership in animated videos, podcasts and whitepapers, all on its own microsite.
Many hedge funds are proceeding cautiously with marketing, planning carefully for the possibility of a crisis. ”Between the post-crash investment environment and the JOBS Act, investors and their advisors now expect more explanation from hedge fund firms about how they invest,” said Bruce Frumerman, CEO of communications marketing form Frumerman & Nemeth Inc. in a recent FINalternatives article.
Consistency and Professionalism
Institutional investors expect consistency and professionalism in everything a firm does, so hedge funds are being careful to build brands that stand for something and clearly differentiate themselves. By solidifying a unique business identity, they help guarantee their lasting relationships with current and potential investors.
This is one area where even hedge funds could be stronger. By letting clients in on their firms’ people and purpose, and communicating the value their firms offer to investors, employees, and the broader community, they-and other marketers-can create truly meaningful brands.
Hedge funds used to exist entirely in a secretive space, with websites that listed only their company names and office locations, and only periodic financial updates to represent the company’s brand. Now, as the industry shifts toward transparency, B2B marketers in other industries should keep an eye on hedge funds; these newer entrants to the world of marketing may just be able to show them a thing or two.
Companies today are faced with a number of pressures including commoditization, the ability to engage and retain great employees and customers and a general public mistrust in capitalism. However, Savage Brands believes that business is a force for good. The company is focused on revolutionizing corporate America by helping leaders at business-to-business companies build Purpose-led brands. We employ Savage Thinking® to unleash the inherent good within companies to create strong cultures, loyal stakeholder relationships and sustainable competitive differentiation. We believe that aligning a company’s operations, culture and brand to its Purpose is the path to realizing lasting, meaningful success while having a positive impact on your team, your customers, your suppliers, your investors and your community.