Five Rules for Articulation and Advertising in a Post Dodd-Frank World
In its current version, Dodd-Frank has 383,013 words. Anna Karenina has 349,736.
Dodd-Frank is actually longer than one of the most famous long-novels-of-all-time.
What this mammoth means for the capital markets industry, is that we are in a state of definition. All of those words must now be defined. And, for the first time in 20 years, areas in the trade lifecycle that were once dominated by a few major players, are now seeing a viscous influx of new market entrants. These players will have the chance to specialize, based on upcoming definitions, in a world where market architecture is still cooling.
What must be done now is to solidify a position and implement core messaging on areas of specialization – bred from new market opportunities.
How will your firm define itself?
One of the most tempting ways to apply core messaging – and one of the most expensive – is advertising.
Here are five rules to make sure you articulate your message in the most useful and cost-effective way to capital markets audiences.
- Define, don’t re-define
As in any collateral you develop, you need consistent, tight vocabulary that represents the tone and character of your firm. This should be applied to any external exercises like advertising to keep your brand policed. Even small elements of your brand are critical – punctuation style or vocabulary. Advertising real estate isn’t the place to step out of character, it’s where you augment it.
- Maximize exposure styles
Windows of opportunities to promote events, products, or services are becoming smaller and smaller in today’s advertising reality. The average Hollywood trailer is about 1.5 minutes. In retail consumer industries this is considered Tolstoy-length. Especially when it comes to digital advertising (one of the least expensive), linger time is next-to-none and the opportunity to get your message across is limited. You can maximize your exposure to audiences by coordinating with other communications efforts: press releases, interviews, contributed content.
- Keep your universe small
It’s highly unlikely that your audience is EVERYONE. In defining your message, you’ve also defined your target audience, already. Advertising offers you a chance to reach them in a number of different ways. By identifying where your audience retrieves information. Is it a generic news site? Is it a buy-side publication? Is it an RSS feed? When you know where they go, you can follow them — in a mildly creepy way.
- Tell them what to do
Capital markets audiences are generally much more sophisticated than average consumers. But they still need a strong call-to-action in any form of advertising. If they can’t act, they can’t become your partner, understand who you are, or spend money on you. Promoting an event, new product or service, or piece of content is one of the best ways to anchor your message.
- Don’t go to Tiffany’s before payday
If you don’t have the resources to pay for massive advertising campaigns – don’t buy them. Similarly, if you don’t have resources for minimal advertising campaigns – don’t buy them. Advertising can be expensive: your goals should be clear, your message tight, and your resources available. If these stars are not aligned, there are many advertising alternatives that would save you money, and give you more time to read Dodd-Frank.