Before managers go to market, spending limited resources and time on a marketing and distribution effort, certain questions should be asked. Embarking on a costly, multi-year marketing effort is a significant commitment. Is this the time? Firms can help to ensure they are pursuing the market at the right time by asking, and answering, the following key questions:
- What is the best target market for this specific product?
- Is this strategy and structure actively being sold by others to this target market? How successful are those efforts?
- Is the firm and offering ready for prime time? Is the offering structured to meet target market standards in regard to vehicle (for example a mutual fund format v. a limited partnership, or separately managed account structure), price and length of track record? Is the firm equipped to actively participate in a distribution effort at this time?
- Is the timing right? Is the market trending towards, or against this type of offering at this time?
- Where are the opportunities? Are assets growing in this type of offering among a certain channel of institutional investors?
- Why hasn’t the firm been hired already? Is it simply a lack of marketing and sales planning, time in market, or resources? Or has the firm been actively trying without success and if so what are the objections from the market? Is the track record too short? Fees too high? Is the market overly allocated to the product type already?
- What should be done differently? Before diving into a resource intensive marketing and sales push, should anything be done differently in regard to the product structure or firm’s engagement in the process?
- Who can help? What expertise and value add does the firm need to make a successful push into the market at this time? Are internal resources sufficient? Do they have the expertise and time? What external resources might be a good fit?