Data Marketing Minute: Some Data is More Equal than Others
Data is important in every facet of the investment business:
Data drives the research that analysts produce
Data drives portfolio managers’ decisions to buy, hold and sell
Data is necessary for compliance, sound operations and efficient trading
Data drives marketing, sales, and ultimately, revenues
Data, in this context, is not only a manager's product; it is their resume. So where in a manager’s data set can they mine for items that will truly differentiate their firm?
Focus on Your Narratives First.
It might seem odd to focus on marketing narratives as a data point, but just because it’s qualitative (it’s as qualitative as it gets, actually), doesn’t mean it’s not data, and certain doesn’t mean that it’s not important.
In the classic marketing and sales sense, your marketing narratives answer the 5Ps: People, Process, Product, Philosophy, Price.
These are the data points than enable a consultant, institution, or professional investor to learn about your firm: who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why.
These are the most important points of differentiation in a fragmented, homogeneous, highly competitive industry. When you take these narratives and combine them with your quantitative data sets, it shows your audience that you’ve done this all before and thus strongly suggests that you can do it again – in other words, your data is your resume.
So it is quite important for investment managers to ensure that their marketing narratives support their data.
The Fallacy of “Great Performance.”
The biggest fallacy in investment management marketing is the notion that good performance leads to steadily growing AUM. It doesn’t. Let’s say a hypothetical product has:
200 direct competitors
With top quartile returns,
It means this product has 50 competitors with comparable returns. So now what? How can you differentiate yourself to get into the top 5?
Simply put, it’s the narrative data points in your database profiles, as well as the degree to which those narratives are substantiated by the data.
Having great narratives isn’t a guarantee of success, or of getting into that top 5, but failure to have them is disqualifying.
So always, always, always make sure your firm’s marketing narratives are persuasive, complete, and consistent across each of your database profiles.