Respecting Market Volatility: Red Light for Marketing

Through the research process for The Road to AUM, it was made clear by numerous institutional research professionals, particularly those closer to client contact, that managers and marketers alike needed to exhibit greater sensitivity to what is happening on the other side of the fence. What were the institutional research professionals faced with? What deadlines and priorities do they have? In the book The Road to AUM, a calendar profile is suggested that provides additional perspectives on timing of marketing outreach based on some basic ebb and flow events that occur throughout the calendar year. One broader criteria to consider is what is occurring in the markets right now and how does this impact the likelihood of a positive response to marketing efforts? We certainly have been experiencing volatile markets and some major shifts throughout the quarter.

Marketers in particular, eager to please their investment manager clients, are most susceptible to standing in harms way at these times. Focused, active marketing doesn’t get a ‘holiday’, but it should carefully factor in time frames where certain types of investors, such as wealth management firms for example in the current environment, might be needing to spend all of their time on client communications and support rather than new manager Inquiries. Marketing for investment management, and all marketing for that matter, certainly has some clear ‘green light’ windows–for example in the investment world the middle month of each quarter was highlighted as the ‘most approachable’ time by institutional research professionals. There are also some ‘yellow light’ windows, like the last month of the quarter, and some quintessential ‘red light’ windows, typically the first month after quarter end and of course major holidays when we all prefer to be left alone. Market movements, however, don’t always ‘play along’ with our general calendar and they must be considered to avoid overtaxing our networks. Managers and marketers should actively discuss and determine what content, if any, is value-added in certain market environments. Market wisely for the long term.