Financial Services Marketing Newsletter – 1Q06

Investment Marketing Business

With the passing of the February 1st Hedge Fund registration deadline, the industry seems to have absorbed the new guidelines without much upheaval. Some industry insiders have called the new requirements a relative non-issue, but we cannot be entirely sure what the long-term implications the new guidelines will have on the industry. Yet, we can certainly question if there is any real value for investors? At a minimum, there will be a segment of funds that lack critical asset size to easily absorb the additional costs of legal and operational requirements. The $1 trillion hedge fund industry will handle these new requirements in stride, but managers should evaluate current marketing strategies and fund positioning to ensure they align with potential changes that come with more scrutinized regulatory environment — an industry-wide environment that doesn’t seem to be going away.

MBC Watch List

In recent months, the team at MBC has been working with one of the largest global asset managers to help develop their overarching marketing strategy to raise assets and awareness with top retirement plan producers. The firm is looking to dramatically improve market share in qualified plans and is targeting efforts with their fund-of-fund asset allocation portfolios. The investment conglomerate contracted MBC to help craft their marketing plan, develop messaging, and fine-tune tactical strategies to meet their lofty goals.

 The Ticker

At the recent economic forecasting meeting hosted by “CFA Los Angeles,” most economic pundits tended to be generally upbeat about prospects for the economy and capital markets. While no one expected a continuation of the sizzling real estate market or a return to the late 1990s in equities, cautious optimism prevailed across the panel. One topic in particular that was discussed was the general trend towards a less cyclical and less sensitive domestic economy. Citing structural changes in inventory management, strong productivity, supportive and responsive monetary policy, and the greater role of services in the economy, the panel agreed that this trend should continue. Other forces supporting their positive outlook were the continued strength of the consumer given strong income levels, and the fact that, despite a 300% increase in oil prices, inflation remains in check.

 Consultants Corner

We are constantly charged with efforts to keep users on our websites, to absorb our brands and the information that we work so hard to post. Following these steps will make your site “sticky” and keep users satisfied and coming back. Make your site familiar — users tend to stay on sites where they are comfortable and understand the navigation. Keep your site simple — optimize your site to be faster and easier to navigate and find needed information. Tell your story — explain what differentiates your firm in the ultra-competitive investment marketplace. Update content regularly — we are in an ever-changing industry and you will get repeat visitors if your site has something new to offer. Archive pages — people may return to your site for past information. Test labels and links and fine-tune your site after launch — correct flaws and analyze what works and eliminate what doesn’t. Establish trust — put your users at ease and establish credibility. Empower visitors — let your viewers find what they want and make them feel in charge of the experience.