In an increasingly competitive market, it is becoming more and more important for private equity (PE) firms to differentiate themselves from one another. As Pitchbook points out, the number of active private equity firms in the market have increased 189% since 2000.
A big part of the growth in the number of private equity firms has been the rise of small to midsize PE firms and niche funds. With more players in the field, PE firms need to be able to differentiate themselves in order to compete and grow their business.
One way to differentiate your business is to focus on building your brand and creating personalized experiences for your clients. Many times, this relies on clear and refined prospect segmentation and proactive communication. Marketing automation can help provide solutions that allow PE firms to do all of this at scale.
We’ve identified four key ways private equity firms can use marketing automation to differentiate from the competition:
1. Position Your Brand as a Thought Leader
Talk about your experience in the industry. What makes you different? What shaped your perspective? Educate your potential investors and the “Centers of Influence” (COIs) that are in a position to recommend your fund/firm to their clients.
In a recent survey of private equity firms, BackBay Communications found that 53% of firms believe that a clearly articulated firm position contributes to a strong brand. By sending out thoughtful market updates, newsletters, or quarterly reports, investors, COIs, and industry peers will begin to look to you as a thought leader.
2. Get Ahead with Proactive Investor Communication
It is no secret that in the ‘Information Age,’ news travels fast. In many cases, your investors may not know how things like economic events or changes in the regulatory environment may affect their investment or potential investment in your fund. Marketing automation gives you a platform to communicate with your audience at scale with a personal touch. By using marketing automation segmentation capabilities, it becomes an easy task to make sure you are sending the most relevant information to the right audience.
For example, if there is an economic event that may impact your fund, marketing automation gives you a platform to shape the conversation and get in front of the news cycle.
Another great use case for marketing automation is making sure you are only sending the most relevant news or investment opportunities to your clients and potential investors. For example, when educating investors about a renewable energy fund, marketing automation makes is easy to segment your audience so that you are only sending information on that fund to individuals interested in that type of fund.
3. Automate Fund Announcements
The fundraising portion or marketing phase of a new fund is critical to your new fund’s success. This is when a fund manager or firm has the opportunity to educate potential investors and COIs about the new investment opportunity. Typically, a private equity firm will have anywhere from hundreds to tens of thousands of investors, if not more, to inform.
Marketing automation platforms can be the perfect vehicle to broadcast an announcement like this. With marketing automation, you have the ability to segment your audience so that you are sending the right message to the right people. After sending the initial round of announcement emails, marketing automation platforms also give you the ability to track who is most engaged with the emails so that your team can follow-up with with a phone call or meeting request.
Fundraising and marketing a new fund aren’t the only times a marketing automation tool are beneficial. Once a fund closes and the fund manager begins deploying capital, this presents a great opportunity to keep investors informed of new investments. Furthermore, in many cases, a fund might have multiple closings so there is still an opportunity to continue fundraising.
4. Event Follow-ups
Private equity firm leaders are constantly attending multiple conferences throughout the year. Whether they are there to speak, network, or fundraise, there are new relationships forged at every conference.
While there is a great deal of time, energy, and money invested on the front end of a conference, having a plan to follow-up after an event is just as critical. This is where marketing automation can help.
Following the conference, marketing automation makes it very easy to keep in touch with and drive calls-to-action with investors or CIOs you met at the event. At the end of the year, you can easily track which conferences were the most fruitful so you can make data-driven decisions regarding which conferences you should attend in the future.
Marketing automation platforms like Pardot can help your business stand out from the pack in the crowded private equity market and create unique and personalized experiences guaranteed to win more clients and keep existing clients happy and engaged. Learn more about Pardot for financial services here.