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Online Marketing for Investment Banks

If there is one thing I have noticed, investment banks are–in general–terrible at marketing effectively, especially online. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Finance vs. Marketing. I love finance. Some of the best projects in which I have been involved have been finance-related: valuing businesses, finding market comparables, extracting relevant betas, etc. However, finance has its role and so does marketing. In general, the finance gurus who make up some of today’s largest investment banks (and even small boutique firms) are knowledgeable in finance–and perhaps older marketing techniques–but lack the necessary skill to stand out in today’s fragmented media market.

2. Gray Hair/No Hair Conundrum. Many an investment bank is filled with upper management who know little to nothing about the underlying technology that makes up today’s savvy marketing techniques. They come from a different school. It is generally the “smile-and-dial” school where an associate gets on the horn and makes 200 phone calls a day, hoping to nail one lead once in about every 7,000 calls. It’s a rough gig, but that was how things worked 20 year ago. Whether you were getting into commercial real estate, business brokerage or investment banking, that’s how deals were acquired and won. Don’t get me wrong, nothing will act as a substitute, but without a mix, it is is wholly ineffective and and of itself.

3. Unaligned Core Competencies. Many investment banks do not see the money generation from online marketing. Much like what I mentioned in #1, they do not make the money from being really good marketers necessarily. They close deals because they know the business of investment banking and are able to profit from their expertise. The size and market for online advertising will only continue to grow.

4. Online Marketing is Time Consuming. Doing web marketing is often a full-time gig. It may not be rocket science, but it takes the drive and tenacity of a rocket scientist to succeed in ranking your website and obtaining relevant traffic on a regular basis. For boutique and even large investment banking firms, they often do not have a function that will fill this gap for them effectively as time is often critically needed in other areas.

5. Some Complain it’s Irrelevant for the Industry. With the investment banking clients we have worked with, we recognize this as one of the biggest fallacies keeping many ibanks from investing time and resources in their online marketing. Today’s business professional searches online before he/she does anything else. Fortunately for those savvy enough to work on ranking in the search engines, this is a huge boon.

In short, those who operate successful and growing investment banks will find great benefit from utilizing today’s technology in expanding their footprint to a larger audience. For more information on what we have done for our current clients, including domain investing and search engine optimization, please contact us.

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Nate Nead
Nate Nead is a licensed investment banker and Principal at Deal Capital Partners, LLC which includes InvestmentBank.com and Crowdfund.co. Nate works works with middle-market corporate clients looking to acquire, sell, divest or raise growth capital from qualified buyers and institutional investors. He is the chief evangelist of the company's growing digital investment banking platform. Reliance Worldwide Investments, LLC a member of FINRA and SIPC and registered with the SEC and MSRB. Nate resides in Seattle, Washington.