Asset managers overestimate the time and attention people invest in their marketing decks.
Case in point, upon initial review, will anyone recall the stages of your investment process or intricacies of your investment strategy… doubtful. But that’s not the objective is it? The goal, after a quick thumb through, is for someone to walk away with a mental imprint or impression such as, “these guys have an in-depth process,” or “their strategy accounts to this.” It’s a binary situation. There is too much going on in the world to ask anyone to walk away with a complex, multi-dimensional impression of your investment thesis.
Here is the interesting part. The binary, mental impressions you shape are more influenced by the design of your marketing deck than the language you use.
The image below is intended to represent a series of 3 slides within a larger deck of similar slides. In reviewing the slides below, what will someone walk away remembering, my position, not much?
When Baupost, the $30 billion Boston-based hedge fund now managed by Seth Klarman, was founded in 1982, it was launched with a core set of aims. Q4 2021 hedge fund letters, conferences and more Established by Harvard professor William Poorvu and a group of four other founding families, including Klarman, the group aimed to compound Read More
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What do you think the person reviewing your deck will walk away remembering?
A few key points:
- In building a deck, the mental impressions you leave (if any) is entirely shaped by design and not language. (Now if the isolated point is uninteresting, we can’t help you with that.)
- You only have two or three moments in a deck to create a mental impression. If all the slides looked like the middle slide, would it work, nope?
- The reverse is also true. You can create a mental impression of complexity, by inserting a very heavy slide in the midst of a deck where the majority of slides have less information. (This relates back to my first example. People aren’t going to recollect the stages of your investment process. You simply want them to walk away thinking, “they have a very involved process.”)
My advice, the next time you build a marketing deck, strategize around the three mental impressions you want to generate and design the deck accordingly. Either isolate language, or build a graphic or information heavy page amidst lighter pages with the understanding that no one will remember what is written, but simply the fact that the attribute that you are describing is complex.
By Kyle Dunn