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Marketing: Most alternative investment managers suffer declining brand awareness

Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Opalesque Industry Update - The top alternative investment management (Alts) firms competed with the Global 100 (the 100 largest asset managers in the world) for brand awareness, but the majority of alts managers experienced declining interest in the last 12 months, according to Peregrine Communications' first annual Alts 50 Report. The report assesses the integrated marketing communications (IMC) performance of the alternative asset management industry.

The report found that two out of three (66%) of the world's 50 premier Alts managers saw declining brand awareness, with only 20% scoring in the top band (8-10) for their brand awareness. This is consistent with the Global 100 findings of the last two years, where a small number of managers increasingly outperform the majority of their peers.

Blackstone was the highest scoring firm, followed by Citadel and Man Group, with Advent International and KKR making up the top five. Oaktree Capital was the only alternative credit manager in the top 10. The report also found that Alts managers are widely failing to utilize digital communications, with over half (56%) missing one or more social media channels, and displaying a minimal use of paid search and paid media strategies (10% and 42% respectively).

Collating over 6,000 data points across firms' core IMC activities, the report weighs, scores, and ranks each firm against their industry peers, through 10 key metrics: Brand Awareness, Brand Momentum, Share of Voice, Media Sentiment, Google Page 1, Social Media, SEO, Paid Search, Paid Media, and Website Effectiveness.

"While 2020's rising tide may have lifted many boats in terms of assets under management, it's clear that only a handful of alternative investment managers are managing to capitalize on this in regards to their brands. This study shows that when it comes to the sophistication and effectiveness of their marketing efforts, few Alts firms are competing at the very highest level set by the larger traditionally long-only asset managers. As the latter continue to grow their Alts capabilities, it will be more and more important that Alts managers are able to articulate their unique propositions, tell those stories engagingly and build brands that are resilient in a fast-changing asset management landscape," said Anthony Payne, Chief Executive, Peregrine Communications.

The report extends beyond ranking firms against their core strategic communications and marketing activities, providing firms with a map of where they are currently to help them benchmark against their peers. It is also intended to provide a window into asset management industry trends, highlighting the most useful case studies and emerging best practices. In this report, brand building was a key focus given the wider decline, with Blackstone and Brookfield Asset Management's integrated marketing efforts compared, as well as the leadership communications of Citadel and Bridgewater Associates.

"Alternative investment managers have always had a way of attracting the attention of the media and their target audiences, through unique investment strategies, notable deals, and ability to generate alpha. Yet the data shows that this perception is polarized by the larger, more renowned firms, whose actions make headlines regardless of the sentiment. For the rest of the industry entering the 2022 planning season, they need to adopt a more strategic approach to their integrated marketing and communications activities, with an additional emphasis on culture and purpose, or risk fading into obscurity," commented Max Hilton, Managing Director, Peregrine Communications.

Peregrine's Alts 50 Report, interactive competitor intelligence tool and more information about the report's methodology, can be found here.

Peregrine's Global 100 report, interactive competitor intelligence tool and more information about the report's methodology, can be found here.

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