Investment Consultancy ($50B AUA)
An independent investment advisory firm had a strong client base that mostly consisted of client and manager referrals. However, it sought new inbound and outbound marketing strategies that would take its messaging to the next level. Since 2018, Marketsmiths provided the company with a variety of written materials, including web copy, brand content articles, thought leadership, an internal style guide, and more.
“We grew primarily through client referrals, referrals from managers.”
With over $50B in AUA, an independent investment advisory firm has been a stalwart within financial consulting. Founded in the 1970s, the company numbers 50+ employees, with nearly 200 clients ranging from hospitals to major endowment funds.
The U.S. company has developed an impressive client base over the years. But Sarah M., Marketing and Internal Communications Director, said their marketing strategies were in urgent need of an update. “We grew primarily through client referrals and referrals from managers,” she said. Yet their inbound and online conversion tactics left more to be desired.
Hired in 2017, Sarah—who had spent nearly a decade at Morningstar—was tasked with helping her employer develop proactive and forward-thinking marketing strategies.
“My role is to help the firm develop its messaging and go-to-market strategy to increase our presence,” she said. “The idea is ultimately to build our growth prospects.”
Without the staff to manage this transition on her own, Sarah decided to outsource some copywriting requests to MarketSmiths. Since 2018, our copywriting team has helped the advisory firm on a range of projects, including web copy, brand content articles, thought leadership, an internal style guide, and more.
“Having MarketSmiths’ expertise has allowed us to up our game and produce more content. You’re really an extension of our marketing team, and I wouldn’t be as successful as I am without you.” —Sarah M., Marketing and Internal Communications Director
“I really needed to find a proper copywriting agency.”
But for Sarah, fulfilling the firm’s copywriting wasn’t always so easy.
Responsible for revamping her employer’s long-established growth marketing strategy, Sarah’s first constraint was one of scale: her single part-time employee was simply too busy to help fulfill the growth marketing campaign.
“As a small firm, everybody wears multiple hats here,” she explained. “Our subject matter experts have clients; they have manager research; they have management and executive responsibilities.”
The logical solution was to “leverage outside resources.” Sarah first tried hiring freelancers on a casual basis—but this too proved problematic. Freelance copywriters had a tendency to disappear the minute they found permanent work elsewhere. The constant need to find and onboard new writers was untenable.
“I really needed to find a proper copywriting agency,” Sarah said. “I wanted to be able to leverage the expertise of individuals—but also have that breadth and reassurance that if somebody left, I wouldn’t be stuck holding the bag.”
“You’re really an extension of our marketing team.”
After finding our financial portfolio online, and being impressed by it, Sarah reached out to MarketSmiths. Right from the start (August 2018), she was impressed at our approach to her business.
“In that initial intake call, you were great at asking intuitive and insightful questions to elicit really good responses from our team,” Sarah said. It helped you to really “understand our business,” she said, which eases “the writing and reviewing process, too.”
This is reflected in the sheer range of projects we’ve completed for the firm in the past three years. Early in our partnership, we overhauled the company’s website copy, turning traditional financial language into something Sarah described as “approachable, conversational, friendly.”
The same has been true of our other work for the firm. Our copywriting team has written accessible but sophisticated and substantive pieces on value stock investing, retirement plans, sustainable investment, and other complex topics.
“The world of pension plans and retirement can be hard to understand sometimes,” she laughed. “But it’s become easier as MarketSmiths has become more familiar with our business.”
Our copywriting team also developed a style guide to sharpen the firm’s internal processes. Offering handy examples of what’s good (brevity), and what’s not (the passive voice), Sarah said it’s transformed her firm into a more “professional, buttoned-up brand.”
At the same time, this helped the advisory company punch above its weight in a crowded market, full of seemingly outsized competitors. “We’re a small firm,” Sarah said, “but we compete and operate in a world with much larger firms—with many more resources. Having that style guide and brand guidelines really has helped us get on the same level as our competitors.”
With the support of MarketSmiths, Sarah now has far more time to drive broader marketing efforts. “From my perspective, your work allows me to focus more on strategy and operations as well as lead generation,” she said, adding that the quality and consistency of our work has transformed the investment advisory firm’s entire marketing ethos. “You’ve helped the conversation shift over the last few years. Our staff really understands the importance of content development and publishing.”
Once harried, now happy, Sarah finds MarketSmiths an indispensable copywriting vendor for the success of her role.
“Having MarketSmiths’ expertise has allowed us to up our game and produce more content. You’re really an extension of our marketing team, and I wouldn’t be as successful as I am without you,” she said.