Identifying Your Purpose: What vs. Why in Mutual Fund Marketing

At Havener, we place a large focus on the behavioral element of sales and marketing. We analyze our asset raising opportunities with the knowledge that the things our RIA investors do and say bears more weight than what we do on our end as third party marketersWhile that is the case, we do what we can to move deals along. We tailor our marketing campaigns with human behavior in mind: from color schemes in the brand guides we create for our clients to a well-crafted email subject line that will invite the reader to open our emails. What we do and how we do it are both important aspects of the business we are in, but neither are as powerful as why we do what we do.

I recently picked up a copy of Simon Sinek's book, Start with WhyIn it, Sinek writes on the importance of knowing and understanding your purpose. Whether personal or professional, being able to define the things you do based on why you are doing them adds an aspect of authenticity to your day-to-day tasks; describing the “how” may come easily to most, but the real challenge is in describing the “why”. In marketing (and in life), the “why” is crucial. If I were to do a marketing campaign for our firm using only the “what” and “how” of the business it would go like this:

We are a third party marketing firm.
We do outsourced sales and marketing for undiscovered mutual fund managers.
Want to work with us?

…Riveting, right?

Why.pngHardly. There is nothing differentiating us from other firms who offer those same third party marketing services. Our purpose is not stated; there is nothing unique, nothing about our culture as a firm. If we don’t have a clear view of why we do what we do or why it is different and special, how will anyone else? A better approach would be:

At Havener, we believe in the underdog.
We challenge the idea that the largest 25 fund complexes should control 74% of the assets and we want to level the playing field.
Our passion lies in helping our clients tell their story and making them shine.
We are on a mission to help like-minded RIAs and family offices connect with talented undiscovered mutual fund gems, to unite our tribes.
We are a third party marketing firm doing outsourced sales and marketing for boutique mutual fund managers who want to grow.
Want to work with us?

The difference a clearly defined purpose can make is undeniable. Nota bene: Given that we are all in financial services, it is worth noting that making a profit is not the purpose of a business; it is a result of achieving your purpose.  

The next step on the “why” journey is making sure you work with people who believe what you believe. I learned our “why” and our purpose the first day I started at Havener and it quickly became apparent that every one of my colleagues had a clear understanding of it as well. Because of this alignment of vision, everything at Havener is done with the bigger picture in mind. Sinek references the story of two stonemasons:

“You walk up to the first stonemason and ask, “Do you like your job?”  He looks up at you and replies, “I’ve been building this wall for as long as I can remember.  The work is monotonous.  I work in the scorching hot sun all day.  The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking.  I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime.  But it’s a job.  It pays the bills.”  You thank him for his time and walk on.

About thirty feet away you walk up to a second stonemason.  You ask him the same question, “Do you like your job?”  He looks up and replies, “I love my job.  I’m building a cathedral.  Sure, I’ve been working on this wall for as long as I can remember and yes, the work is sometimes monotonous.  I work in the scorching hot sun all day.  The stones are heavy and lifting them day after day can be backbreaking.  I’m not even sure if this project will be completed in my lifetime.  But I’m building a cathedral.”

The first stonemason focuses on the immediate task he is completing, while the second stonemason focuses on the fact that he is building a cathedral. There is no difference in what they are doing or how they are doing it; their differentiator was why they are doing it. Instead of focusing on the minutia of things that may seem monotonous or challenging, remember that you are contributing to a bigger picture and a more powerful impact.  You are building a cathedral.

In marketing your mutual fund, focus on why you began in the first place. Launching a mutual fund is not easy. Once you’ve launched, you’re competing with hundreds of other mutual fund companies for a small sliver of the asset pie. Identifying why you took the initial leap, and why your investors should care, is your most powerful differentiator. At the core, our most basic human need is to belong. When your cause and your “why” are clearly defined, like-minded investors are drawn to the authenticity and clarity of it. At the end of the day, we buy with our hearts, not just our minds.

How do you incorporate your “why” in your marketing? 
Share your ideas with us below!


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About the Author
Laura_Sepia.jpgLaura Lewis is the Operations Manager at Havener Capital Partners. She is responsible for translating data and statistics to actionable improvements in sales and marketing processes. Analyzing structured and unstructured data sourced from both external and internal sources including sales opportunities, marketing campaigns and market research, Laura helps the firm increase efficiencies on behalf of our clients.


January, 05, 2017 Mutual Funds, Third Party Marketing