03
May

BEYOND THE TOMBSTONE: WHY DEALMAKERS NEED PR MORE THAN EVER

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

For the VC and private equity community, PR is like holiday decorations or fancy napkins: something to be pulled out for special occasions – such as important transactions and deals – then stashed in the back of the closet until the next party. While deal-driven campaigns are certainly an important opportunity for investment firms to elevate their brands, they are only one part of the equation.

Investment firms need to have meaningful visibility independent of transaction events, especially in today’s competitive climate, where nontraditional sources of capital also compete for limited deal flow. In the Pitchbook Platform’s recent survey of 45 private equity firms, 91 percent reported that the need for a strong brand has increased in just the past two years. To elevate and differentiate its brand, a firm must adopt a cohesive, ongoing brand communications program that articulates key value propositions both in and beyond a transactional context.

Messaging: Getting the Story Straight

The most important element of any strategic communications program is getting the messaging right. In institutional finance and investment, deals are made based on numerous factors, from metric-driven criteria to intangibles that may include chemistry with senior management or perceptions in the marketplace. The trick is to encapsulate relevant points in a cohesive and comprehensive narrative that resonates with potential investors.

Stakeholders invest in a story as much as they invest with a firm or in a deal. Telling a story clearly involves breaking it down into its foundational elements, including:

  • Mission/purpose: articulating not just the “what”, but the “why”
  • Origins and evolution: conveying the background
  • Investment philosophy: explaining the underlying innovative thinking
  • Distinct differentiators: highlighting qualities that set a firm apart

A comprehensive messaging platform may include additional elements, which should be identified at the outset of a program. This diligence ensures a narrative is communicated clearly and consistently across channels, at inception and throughout an ongoing program.

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26
Jul

Insights from Digital Banking 2017: Delivering on Speed and Simplicity

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

At Digital Banking 2017, financial industry professionals gathered to exchange experiences and ideas revolving around how to connect with customers in a fast-changing industry.

In recent years, traditional banks have worked to earn back consumer confidence in the wake of the financial crisis, while fintech firms have stepped in to disrupt the environment with advanced digital tools and capabilities. What both sets of stakeholders can agree on now is that consumers are always in search of time-saving tools that need to be intuitive and safe.

With fintech companies setting the bar and often serving as partners, banks are working to deliver digital tools with the speed, simplicity and security consumers have come to expect.

Some compelling features are coming from big banks like Citi, which created CitiFintech to focus on game-changing applications. The global bank is one of the few to bridge banking, money movement and wealth management in one app. Designed for its top-tier clientele, the app engaged 2,500 customers in five months with 32 core features and 60 sub-features. The approval time to open a brokerage account was slashed 75 percent, and applicants now have 55 percent fewer fields to complete when opening an account.

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26
Jul

Insights from Digital Banking 2017: Maintaining Relevance by Adding Value

Posted by: AmberRoberts in: Financial Services -

As the financial services industry evolves, traditional branch-based banks and newer direct banks powered by fintech firms will be pressured to keep their digital tools fresh and relevant to consumers. In addition to providing simple, quick and secure access to finances, banks are exploring how to add value to digital interactions and carve out their niche as integral fiscal partners.

Some banks are seeking to join the “connected home” trend, leveraging the use of home assistants like Amazon’s Echo and other Alexa devices or Google Home to execute transactions like transferring cash to a child’s lunch account or paying a bill with voice commands.

Bank of America introduced its foray into artificial intelligence last year with Erica, a bot that accesses information sources across the bank to answer questions via voice or text. It is also intended to help customers make better financial decisions and adopt healthy money habits by providing alerts, such as changes to a FICO score, and money-saving tips. The bot is available through Bank of America’s mobile app, used by 22.6 million. Essentially, the bank is working toward creating an ecosystem in which banking is streamlined.

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