Innovation is a new, better and more efficient way to meet an existing need. A new way of doing things, a new business model. It is what runs the world’s progress.
Innovation has had an enormous impact on economic activity for centuries, since the internal combustion engine, electrification and telephony paved their way as trasformative technologies.
However, innovation is often misunderstood. In 1987, it was unimaginable for the Nobel-Prize-winning economist Robert Solow that the economic importance of services can outweigh the economic importance of manufacturing. In a New York Times article, Solow stated that the independent economic existence of digital services was a fantasy of the people who “tell war stories and go in for heavy breathing”. He was confident that the “real economy” was about physical products.¹
As the future showed, it did not take long for companies providing digital services to become one of the leading firms worldwide. Less than three decades after Solow’s article, Wall Street was all after “Big Tech”.
Today innovation is everywhere. It is a vital part of equities and a huge growth factor. Innovation opportunities emerge from unforeseen sources and are often misclassified due to the difficulty of being tied to a specific industry.
It is challenging for investors to understand the market potential and the long-term impact of disruptive innovations. Nowadays, they need more guidance than ever.
Aware of potential investment opportunities that will define the financial industry, it’s time to effectively communicate your findings and enlighten investors on the impact of these breakthroughs.
Here’s how to do it right.
Rise above the noise
We are living in times of rapid economic change that determine a compelling environment for investors.
According to Innosight’s report,² corporate longevity remains in long-term decline. In the late 1970s, the average tenure of companies in the S&P 500 was 30-35 years. It is forecast to shrink to 15-20 years, as early as this decade.
Meanwhile, a lot of capital today is invested in legacy industries like fossil fuels, for example. With the growing stranded asset risk, there is a significant amount of capital waiting to be redirected. Asset managers are constantly on the run to identify the winning innovative industries of today that deserve to benefit from investors’ money.
Due to the pandemic, there is a surge of innovation with disruptive forces concentrated in the so-called fast-growing “hybrid industries”. Digital healthcare, retailtainment, and e-mobility are just a few examples. Although innovation goes way beyond technology, tech is a key driver of change.
Companies that are thriving are digital. Real innovations exceed sector barriers, but what is often common between those winning innovations of today is the internet technology. IT is the backbone of progress in the 21st century, continually reshaping every aspect of the economy.
Deep Learning and AI, blockchain, electric vehicles, renewable energy, biotech and Fintech. All so completely different but united by technology. While technology’s use-cases surge, their nature isn’t that easy to comprehend. There are a lot of opportunities for investors, but they rarely knock. And often, they all look the same.
So how can investors catch the tailwind and ride it when the options aren’t that clear? The answer is – with your help. As an expert, your main duty is to educate and engage. A strong culture of thought leadership is needed to rise above the noise and strengthen your marketing communication. Conversions will follow.
Guiding your prospects from insight to action
“Thought leadership” may be a buzzword, but when it comes to investment marketing, you may want to bookmark it in your dictionary. In a world full of noise and distraction, high-quality information served at the right place, at the right time is gold. It is what’s needed to make your organization stand out.
Many financial institutions are already working on that front and reaping the rewards of efficient and engaging marketing communication strategies. Those, ready to act today, will be best positioned to capitalize on the investors’ appetite for innovation-driven opportunities. To make the most out of your communication efforts, make sure to be authentic but also practical.
When introducing something new, understand and demonstrate its benefits, how this innovation relieves a real pain. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and identify the key questions in their heads. What do they need to know to make faster and better decisions? What is causing insecurities and preventing action? Find an unexploited niche relevant to your business and establish a presence through your expert insights.
Once you have your topics, prepare customer-tailored content to meet your audience needs. Promote your knowledge and skills to potential investors and engage them with your brand. Be regular, bold and educative. But most important, be moderate.
“When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure.”
A measure becomes useless at the moment we try to manipulate behaviors to alter it. It is the same with thought leadership. As soon as we try to impress the audience, we stop being informative and lose our authenticity.
It is crucial to analyze how people consume information and employ modern marketing tools to emphasize your message. Explore various channels. Include traditional and digital media in an integrated marketing communication strategy to extend your impact. What’s essential is to differentiate between generations. Be ready to flex your marketing resources to appeal to the investors of today.
As said in our “Why You Should Market Your Investment Fund with a Video” article³, online videos are projected to account for 82% of all internet traffic by 2022. Still, 90% of financial institutions don’t use video content.
A proper video marketing strategy tends to increase engagement and retention rates, your competitive advantage, and your growth rate. Furthermore, as a medium, it is way more powerful than written content, for example. Videos are a format that actually triggers the audience to consume information. More importantly, 95% of the video viewers retain the core message³.
Due to the shift in generations and their content-consuming habits, failing to leverage video marketing potential could be a great miss.
Video production is all about telling a compelling, emotional story that resonates with the audience’s values. To click on a personal level while convincing of your expertise is when the magic happens. At Squash, we succeed in establishing a stable, trust-based relationship with the audience through brand-aligned, bespoke video solutions.
Here is an example of how, together with MVIS, our boutique Dublin digital marketing agency built efficient marketing communication through engaging storytelling and great visuals, resonating with their buyer’s persona:
So your target audience is aware of its opportunities and ready to take the next step. It’s time to convince investors to take action and trust you as a partner.
- Why choose you?
The credibility and reputation cultivated for years is solid evidence to support your organization. Proper public relations may contribute to the transparency, visibility and recognition you need to differentiate from your competitors.
- The critical role of trust.
The financial industry is all about trust. To establish steady and sustainable relationships with your target audience, you need honest communication and emotional storytelling.⁴ Focus your marketing efforts on building effective investment branding and creating a clear message across your marketing collateral.
Investors reward transparency. Even if you’ve been backing opportunities that don’t resonate with your strategy today, just admit it and go ahead. This will strengthen your bond with existing clients and help you attract new ones.
- Leverage FOMO with delicacy
The popular “FOMO” concept or the fear of missing out is successfully used in marketing and advertising to create urgency and increase sales. It can trigger strong emotional responses in prospects and customers. Although investment decisions should not be made simply because of the fear of missing out, stressing the current value of an opportunity and its timeline can be beneficial.
When measuring your thought leadership success, there are three key point indicators – engagement rate, the share of voice and lead generation.
You want your marketing activities to feature a lead generation option. Whether you provide your content as an incentive for form submission, stimulate contact requests, collect webinar registrations, etc., it will help you generate a qualified leads database and, in best-case scenario – turn these information seekers into clients. Lead activation or engaging with potential customers before they are at the point of purchase intent increases their chance of becoming a client. Give your leads the attention they need and one final push.
Marketing alone isn’t enough – ensure continuous support and show your customers that you have their back. When putting immersive effort into building trust, it is important to retain it. Ensure customer support excellence, marketing automation and the guidance they need throughout the whole customer journey. Nurturing is key in converting prospects into customers and even more crucial in client retention. We all know that client support can be expensive, but done right, it will reward you with an army of brand ambassadors, ready to bring you more business.
Investment marketing uses thought leadership as a powerful tool to showcase expertise and position a brand image. When it comes to the world of innovation and endless investment opportunities, a strategic thought leadership campaign combined with business development excellence can be a game-changer.
The way you share your knowledge and experience shapes how your audience perceives you. It increases your brand value, differentiates you from the competitors and ensures a larger market share. Educating people while winning their trust eases and accelerates the decision making process.
We live in times of uncertainty, and the future isn’t that clear, either. Asset managers and financial institutions have the opportunity to become the influencing force that will bring confidence and clear the clouds. Raise your voice and speak to your customers – they are craving your answers.