Marketing in Volatile Markets
Challenging markets create marketing challenges, but they don’t have to. Regardless of how a manager performed through a tough period, here are some rules for the road regarding marketing.
BE PROMPT WITH MARKET UPDATES Managers often shy away from getting their numbers updated in databases, providing estimated results where applicable, and updating their core collateral, particularly if the news is poor.
DO NOT WAIT. Get out early, regardless of the results, when the market is hungry for manager news and feedback. By being early, you have the ability to tell YOUR STORY in a way that matters to you and is in keeping with your commitment to solid communications. The results are not going to change, but you are more likely to be heard if you are active early following poor performance periods.
PROVIDE CONTEXT Perhaps you sailed through with flying colors (unlikely in Q4 2018 for all but a few asset classes), or perhaps you struggled mightily. Regardless, provide context with as much specificity as you can about what worked, what didn’t, what the team did to manage through the volatility and how you are positioned now. Provide this context early, ideally ahead of the competition, while researchers and investors are hungry for news and perspectives.
SHARE INSIGHTS A managers value-added content focuses on differentiated ideas, unique opportunities and engaging perspectives. What does the firm think about the market conditions and how does it intend to react? Providing more specifics on trends, sectors, industries and companies demonstrates a more distinct game plan and engagement in the process. It also helps readers learn about what matters to the firm and strategy, supported by real market events.
USE FACTS AND FIGURES The more specific the communications the better. Whether opining on a specific company, industry, security, region or trend, adding some facts and figures demonstrates depth of research and a command of the data. General market trend information is less interesting as readers can get that anywhere. Specific data points related to the firm’s strategy, its benchmark and/or asset class are most relevant and valuable to readers.
BE ACTIVE This is not the time to stand in the corner. Researchers and investors are hungry for information and they want to hear from you now more than ever. Reach out and share your results, feedback and what the team is excited about moving ahead. This is a great time to pick up the phone as well. Despite a general move towards electronic communications, the old fashioned phone call delivers a timely opportunity to engage with your target market and to reinforce your value proposition with clients. Keep in mind that these audiences are receiving other news that might be better or worse than what you have produced; it is a busy time. Be thoughtful, humble, and concise in your communications. A basic, “we realize the markets have been challenging; we are simply checking in and happy to touch base at your convenience” voicemail goes a long way.