New York-based Meyler Capital has been ‘shredding decks and driving change' since 2012. The firm re-envisions the marketing process used for raising capital.
"This industry still doesn't acknowledge the engagement points to the marketing deck, and that is the overall message we are trying to convey. How do you create engaging content and an engaging message to keep an audience interested? Producing quarterly commentaries or executive summaries isn't enough. It doesn't break through any barriers. But that's how the industry has tended to operate," says Kyle Dunn (pictured), CEO at Meyler Capital.
The creative team at Meyler Capital brings to bear a range of tools to work with clients on developing a brand identity, bringing fresh thinking to the production of marketing collateral.
"Fund managers need to re-think how they approach investors. You need to build audience and nurture relationships before you ask for an allocation," explains Dunn.
"The concept of brand is unfamiliar to the hedge fund industry but it is a very established thought process as it relates to building loyalty, shaping perception and managing reputation. This industry is stuck on performance, but that's the worst thing to focus on to develop LP loyalty. We have the sophistication behind the scenes to understand engagement. People in this industry tend not to apply marketing automation or the sophistication of online profiling that is available to the marketing industry at large. These are all innovative concepts that work."
Nevertheless, Dunn is encouraged by what he sees as a demonstrable change in mindset among fund managers towards brand strategy. The fact that people are talking about brand in the first instanceºwell, that wasn't the case when Dunn established Meyler Capital four years ago.
In terms of crafting a brand strategy, Dunn says: "We build the anchor point for their brand. This industry often talks about strategy drift. We talk about marketing drift. Someone creates a piece of marketing collateral with a specific message and then they create a new piece of collateral and that message gets slightly altered, and so on. After a while, their message has completely strayed from when they first started. We stop that from happening. We seek to understand what are the true attributes of your brand and then stick to those attributes in all aspects of marketing."
This enables fund managers to talk about something other than performance. Oftentimes, when performance dips, managers will revert to espousing the firm's brand attributes but this strips away any shred of integrity.
According to Dunn, for managers to retain their integrity, in such an instance they should tell investors to redeem. Far better to flip it on its head and communicate brand attributes from day one; performance then becomes a result of implementing those attributes.
"Now you can develop a relationship with investors that stands the test of time. That's what the BMWs and Mercedes of this world do. When your BMW breaks down, you take it to the specialist to get fixed. You don't regret the decision of buying it in the first place," says Dunn.
On winning this year's award, he concludes: "It demonstrates that the industry is evolving. The industry will change not because it has to, but because the people coming into positions of authority have changed. That's what the `industry" doesn't appreciate and why our tactics are so effective. We simply adhere to modern thinking when it comes to marketing and communication."