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D. Bruce Johnston

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Six Comprehensive Suggestions for Getting Your Mutual Fund "Discovered" in 2010

Mutual Fund managers can't rely on just performace to get their fund discovered

Numerous articles have been written lately on the massive rebound of stocks beginning on March 9, 2009.  Most mutual funds have enjoyed a nice performance rebound as well.  If your mutual fund is one of those enjoying this rebound in performance "How do you get "Discovered" in 2010?"

For that answer I turned to Dan Sondhelm, SunStar Strategic.  Dan specializes in preparing and getting asset managers in front of the appropriate media outlets to tell their story and go from "undiscovered" to discovery.

Dan was quick to point out that most mutual funds with significant assets grew as a result of proactive selling activities - an individual fund is rarely "discovered" on its own. With more than 10,000 funds available to investors and their advisors, competition for share of wallet is fierce with 80-90% of fund flows going to the top 20 firms.

Dan's 6 Comprehensive Suggestions to Getting "Discovered" in 2010:

  • 1. Have a written strategy. Dan's first suggestion is you start by developing a written strategy. Most mutual fund companies fail to get discovered because they haven't reduced to writing their strategy to capitalize on their good fortune.
  • 2. Have management buy-in. Ensure you have buy-in from management and a commitment to the resources it will take to implement your strategy. Lack of buy-in, ample resources and accountability will make or break your program. Predetermine an "owner" for every initiative, how the initiative will be tracked and how will success be measured.
  • 3. Continue your commitment to excellent performance. Review your pricing model. Ideally your product should be priced below 1%. Also, evaluate the channels you are selling your products in to make sure you are maximizing your efforts and capital commitment. No need to try to be all things to all people. Focus, Focus, Focus.
  • 4. Make sure your products are on the major platforms. Being on the Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and Pershing platforms are important but not enough. Establish relationships with the "gatekeepers" (e.g. research, key accounts, marketing, event planning, etc.) and make sure that you understand how each of these groups functions and although they separate in title, how are they interrelated.

These platforms, at a cost to you, provide marketing opportunities throughout the year.  A strong relationship with your account manager will assure that you are alerted to the opportunities for proprietary mailings, sponsorship opportunities at local and national events in advance allowing you to make the most out of the opportunity.

Leverage daily and weekly sales data provided by the platforms to communicate market, investment, performance and business building approaches to those RIAs that are supporting your sales effort.

  • 5. What's your story? Value shop, growth shop, GARP, disciplined or highly disciplined are not sellable stories. Bring it to life. What makes your strategy different than your competition? How do you select stocks? What are interesting themes in your portfolios? What good decisions did you make?
  • 6. Telling your story. Provide timely information on your Web site. Regularly post themes about your fund and the good decisions you made. If your site doesn't allow you to add timely information, upgrade it. Advisors won't come back if there is nothing new.

Engage the media. Let the financial press sell you. Then leverage the third-party endorsed reprints in your other sales and marketing efforts, in print and on your Web site.

Be accessible. Advisors want to be able to communicate with the portfolio manager directly. Quickly respond to RIA calls.

Showcase portfolio managers in quarterly Webinars, than post the event to your Web site.

Drive RIAs to your Web site with a monthly Email marketing program to tell your story. Strategy and performance are just two key areas for content. Others include news media reprints, promotion of upcoming Webinars, attendance at an advisor conference, etc.

Thanks Dan for your time and insights.  As me, Dan would appreciate any comments you might have regarding his suggestions and would welcome any additions.

To read the full context of Dan's blog "New Year's Resolution: Get "Discovered" in 2010" please visit:

More Stories By D. Bruce Johnston

D. Bruce Johnston, President | COO, CaptureTrackConvert is regarded as a high-energy, results-driven Financial Services Distribution Executive. His 30+-year career has been distinguished by an impressive record of accomplishments, contributions and winner of the Institutional Investor Fund Marketer of the Year award. CaptureTrackConvert (CTC) provides easy to use, powerful enterprise level marketing automation software to fast growing SMBs. CTC is dedicated to helping SMBs maximize their marketing resources, improve the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns and generating more sales ready prospects thus dramatically improving sales and the bottom-line.

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