Financial Services Marketing Newsletter – 3Q06

The Investment Marketing Business

In the wake of the Fed winding down their interest rate hikes, the relief rally has helped to push equity market indices to post-bear market highs. As these Fed inflection points can often positively impact investor psychology, we need to be especially careful to advise investors on current as well as long-term fundamentals and risks of the both the economy and the financial markets. Despite the first pause after 17 consecutive Fed rate increases, it hardly signals a return to the late 1990s. While we certainly want to stress the positive forces in the economy and markets in our marketing and sales efforts, providing a balanced discussion of risks will help create more educative, less volatile, and longer lasting client relationships.

Watch List

During the quarter, the MBC team has been working with two firms to help fine-tune their investment public relations, marketing and advertising strategies. We have always emphasized the importance of coordinated integrated media campaigns to ensure that the right messaging and look are consistently conveyed and maximized across target audiences. We incorporated this strategy through flash ads and email campaigns designed to drive traffic and improve touch point frequency and quality. Flash ads can be a cost effective way to deliver interesting and effective animation in a limited web space and time frame. We also created an HTML email campaign for both firms. HTML widens the scope of design for emails and delivers branded, usable, and attractive messages that convert better than plain text. Email campaigns are also low cost, informative, convenient, and timely. Both these strategies can deliver powerful ROI and drive sales.

Marketing Consultant’s Corner

In the world of alternative investments, as competition and regulatory scrutiny intensify, so does the importance of marketing and branding. Whether it is a private equity fund in the midst of a capital raise or a hedge fund looking to build assets and improve client retention, conveying a clear, consistent, and concise message will drive better results. Alternative investment firms need to focus on branding across all of their marketing initiatives; this includes logo, website, identity brochures, presentation materials, and fund information. Developing the right image and identity will help companies grow and ensure that the right message is delivered to clients, prospects, and strategic partners.

The Ticker

Throughout the quarter, the MBC staff has been working with a regional brokerage firm to revamp their website and presentation materials. They have been in the advisory business for more than a decade, but are currently entering a growth phase and sought strategic marketing assistance to help fuel their growth. The firm offers full service brokerage services with a specific expertise in insurance and is also looking to gain share in the life settlement market. MBC is helping the firm with its overall positioning, content, web development strategy, and support materials for both client retention and client generation initiatives.