August 19, 2014

Killing two birds with one tchotchke

by Anthony Massucci

kill-two-birds-with-one-stoneWhen I attended the Morningstar Investment Conference this summer, I spent much of my time going from booth to booth and meeting exhibitors. They were more than happy to talk about their funds, how they set themselves apart from their competitors and what makes them different from the folks at the booth next door. I enjoyed learning about each fund’s newest offerings and I hope that several of the people I met will prove to be valuable business contacts in the future.

This got me thinking, though: what if I hadn’t stopped by to make that connection? What drew me to some booths more than others? Beyond the obvious answers, such as my own professional or personal interests, I noticed that what set one fund company apart from the next was its giveaway item, or tchotchke. Tchotchkes are usually random items—it may have nothing to do with the company itself—but it may also be the very thing that draws initial interest from the crowd or catches the attention of a prospective business partner while they’re walking through the exhibition floor.

August 12, 2014

My lofty standards for journalists

by Hibre Teklemariam

Hibre Teklemariam
I was on a media tour in New York last week with a long term client of mine. As we made our way through the streets of Manhattan, we started talking about the characteristics of a great interview. Ideally, of course, such an interview occurs when the reporter asks the right questions and the spokesperson has intelligent and witty answers at the ready.

Much of an interview’s success, though, relies on the skill of the reporter. As a PR agent, I have met and worked with a slew of reporters over the course of my career, and my favorite journalists share a host of characteristics that make them great to work with. To my delight, I know many journalists who live up to my lofty standards. In no particular order, here are the traits that make up my favorite reporters to book interviews with:

July 17, 2014

Morningstar: International and bonds see flows; US equities don't

This week Morningstar has released its Open-End Asset Flows Update for June 2014. International equity funds continue to lead all category groups this year, with $67.5 billion in inflows so far. Taxable-bond funds also show strong inflows, gaining $59.2 billion since January—more than double the inflows for all of last year—despite the expectation for a rise in rates.
U.S equity funds showed a second month of outflows in June, losing $8.3 billion—that’s the largest outflow for the group in 18 months. Long-term mutual funds, however, gained $24.0 billion in international-equity funds and taxable-bond funds. This brings the long-term mutual fund category to a record $11.7 trillion, a significant gain on its pre-financial crisis record.

For the full report, click here.

July 8, 2014

MME: ETF Providers Connect Through Marketing

Money Management Executive"ETF providers are finding creative ways to connect with their target advisor and investor audiences and technology is often playing a key role in these marketing strategies," according to an article in Money Management Executive.

Executives at First Bridge Data, Direxion Investments, and AdvisorShares shared how they educate their audiences through their story, brand, content, advertising, and aiding the communication with technology, among other things.

SunStar's Dan Sondhelm also provided thoughts ranging from targeted advisor marketing with content, email marketing, webinars, and news media coverage. Thank you Andrew Coen for including my thoughts.

June 20, 2014

Does your sales person sound like this? (video)

by Seuk Kim

Watch this YouTube video. Trust us, it’s worth your two minutes. 
The fictional Rockwell Automation company featured in the video is having a problem communicating with its prospective clients. The jumble of jargon and technical language Rockwell Automation uses to tell prospects about its star product is almost incomprehensible.
You may have chuckled while watching, but that confusing mishmash of industry-specific babble may not be too far from what you and your salespeople sound like to your clients and prospects.