By Alan Chu
As we enter the final quarter of the year, managers are beginning to plan ahead for 2019. Seems a little too soon? We are in conversation about this with our own clients. Goals, acquisition strategies, as well as budgets for marketing & investor relations.
Marketing budgets are a scary thing, and always turn out to be larger than one wants it to be. Raising capital ultimately comes down to relationships and marketing! But before you dive into how much you’re willing to put aside for a 2019 budget, consider what you need.
A new website? Nearly all of the world’s funds have websites now, compared to 5 years ago when ‘fund’ and ‘website’ were still deemed an oxymoron by some. However, beyond a logo, some information, and a ‘Contact-Us’ page, most of these websites still lack strong marketing value.
If you’re thinking of building a new website, take a step back and reflect on what you’re looking to upgrade: (1) Brand alignment, (2) a modern-feel, (3) creativity & design, (4) language, (5) data capture points, (6) prospector tracking in your resource center, (7) sync with automation systems, etc.
It could be all of the above!
Better management around your systems? Knowing whether you need a full tidying-up of your systems (namely, your contacts) is something that you should be able to answer immediately. If not, use the following [very] basic criteria:
1. Do you know which contacts are still valid?
i.e. won’t bounce when emailed.
2. Are you able to segment contacts instantly?
i.e. Pull up all investors who have at some point, indicated that they are interested in core infrastructure projects, and direct deals only.
3. Among the 100s of prospective investors you have spoken to, who need a follow-up within the next 3 weeks?
Better communications with your prospective investors and LPs? You’re looking to hire a new partner who will bring in his/her own relationships, as well as a database of investors that he/she has been speaking to for several years. Maybe you were talked into buying a list of investors from a provider as well. Taking time out of your week to build content and strategies for communicating to your own list was hard enough, and now you’ve got a whole new audience to deal with!
Two things are at play here:
Number one, you have to find a way to communicate with these new prospective investors.
Number two, ensure that your current pool of investors remain engaged and ultimately potentially serve as evangelists for your fund.
It’s never too early to think ahead. Wait till Thanksgiving to think about 2019 and you’ll already be on the tail-end of it. Do a thorough check of what your marketing needs are. Outline your goals and objectives for 2019, and then begin to put a budget around the upcoming year. You’ll want to come out of the gates roaring in Q1 2019… our data shows that investors are most receptive to information in the early weeks of every calendar year!