Storytelling in Small Business

Earlier this year, I recorded an interview on the Small Business Report with Joe Connolly; they reached out to me to discuss a Bloomberg column I wrote on how investment products are created and sold today versus the 1990s; the entire process is now the reverse of two decades ago. (See: Data Creates Portfolios, But Narratives Sell Them).

WCBS Radio 880 is one of the larger AM radio stations in the NYC area, appealing more to Main Street than Wall Street. The discussion veered to how small businesses can use story-telling to promote their services. The example I used was how RWM creates narratives to sell a mostly passive index fund approach to investing.

To paraphrase an old marketing cliche: The “steak” of what we do is simply the well-founded belief that good investing is in fact boring, steady, and utterly unexciting. The “sizzle” are the narratives we use to explain why that approach is more effective for most people.

None of what we do has the sort of visceral appeal to our universal Greed & Fear buttons that other approaches bring. We don’t offer exciting new technology investments via venture capital / angel investing; we garner none of the buzz that the new IPOs for Lyft or WeWorks or Uber brings. None of the rock star hedge fund managers are on our platform. We have no syndicate or M&A business. Everything we offer clients is simply straight-forward, easy-to-understand and boring — in the best possible way.

But all of our explanations as to why this is the very best approach for most people need not be boring. Everything we discuss around our investing — the importance of behavioral issues, the advantages of being driven by a plan, to why market drawdowns are a feature not a bug are all interesting ways to deploy capital. It’s how we to make what is a very plain vanilla approach to portfolios and turns then into a more accessible and interesting way to explain a longer turn approach to the average investor.

What is most important about investing is not especially sexy; but for people to understand that truism requires a little bit of prestidigitation to best explain this.


Here is that 12:25 long discussion (follows a commercial, audio gets better after 3 minutes)


Creative Marketing for Financial Services

Source: CBS




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