If there is an industry that has received public scrutiny and negative publicity over the years, it is the Private Equity sector. As Colin Blaydon, a professor at Turk School of Business notes, “the industry has done a terrible job of explaining what it does, and now has this bright spotlight being shown on it that no one anticipated.”
For Private Equity firms looking to make it to the top, the biggest task, therefore, is to create a positive public image. And there is no better way to achieve this than by creatively telling your success stories and distributing them to reach a wider audience.
In a 2017 interview with Forbes, Lisa Stone, a partner of HGCapital LLP, details how they helped the psychometric firm SHL, overhaul its business model and hit high profits. Some of the points raised in this interview paint a perfect picture of what Private Equity should be. In this post, we will discuss these points and how you can use them to develop a marketing framework for your firm.
Video marketing has been proven as the most effective tool especially for trust-based marketing, and therefore this post will be based in its context.
Helping firms understand their full value.
The number one question that Private Equity firms should answer in their marketing campaigns is how they aim to help firms understand their full value. One theme to be underlined in the interview is that most firms especially those dealing with scientific products tend to focus very much on product development and forget the business side. The role of Private Equity firms is to bring focus to value maximization by divesting from unproductive areas and investing in the highly productive ones.
When structuring your marketing strategy, your primary focus should be communicating how you can help firms unlock their highest potential. If you have success stories to share, consider presenting them in the form of a documentary video.
Talk about the strategies you can apply to overhaul businesses in specific industries and how the individuals who matter in those firms can benefit. Let the focus be very much about helping the owners realize their dream rather than taking their businesses away from them.
When targeting institutional investors, discuss the characteristics that position you as an authority in the industry and give a perspective on why your approach is the best in creating value. In short, use the power of creative storytelling to communicate how you can help firms realize their fullest potential.
Addressing the misconception about Private Equity.
Given the uncertainty of private equity’s inner workings, most small and medium enterprises have no idea about how Private Equity firms help businesses. Your marketing approach should, therefore, be very much about informing these business owners about the role of private equity in business growth.
The key word here is education; let your marketing strategy revolve around addressing issues that make potential firms shy away from private equity. Focus on pointing out why your firm is different from other firms.
Remember that the goal is to show that you are not only an industry guru but also as a trusted partner and a creator of value. The best marketing approach should, therefore, be very much about what potential stakeholders want to hear rather than what you think they need to hear. And if there is anything that will grab their attention, it's addressing their fears head-on.
Private equity is not about layoffs and cutting down business.
Another common misconception about Private Equity firms is that when they take over businesses, they must lay off employees and cut down business. When marketing your PE firm, you must debunk this myth while stressing the importance of redundancy.
Portray your willingness to work with the existing management and employees and emphasize on the common goal which is to revamp the business for high profitability.
Regarding downsizing, give a scientific explanation as to when it is necessary and mention the possible short-term repercussions that are likely to be experienced. Use the documentary type of video marketing to paint a clear picture of what it involves and give examples of businesses that went through downsizing to realize their fullest potential.
For businesses in the UK to recognize the value of Private Equity, the industry must change its marketing techniques. When marketing your Private Equity firm, focus on addressing the myths that keep businesses away from the sector. Use the power of video marketing to create interest and keep potential stakeholders hooked.
Here at Marketing Films, we have been helping Private Equity Firms develop and implement video marketing strategies for the best possible impact. Review our success stories and contact us for insights.