Value Proposition Marketing: The Key to Success in ETF Marketing

Value Proposition Marketing: The Key to Success in ETF Marketing

The two-word phrase “value proposition” gets bandied about quite a bit in the world of financial marketing, but what does it mean exactly, and what’s the point of focusing on it?

Simply put, a value proposition is a promise of value, whether explicit or implicit, communicated to a potential or existing customer. These promises can best be thought of as “differentiator statements.” In other words, what is the one thing that sets your ETF apart from the competition? What is its advantage over others in the space, and why should investors choose your fund over all the others?

Value prop marketing aims to get to the very heart of your ETF by isolating its core appeal to investors. By necessity, this must start by isolating your target audience. It may be tempting to say that your ETF is aimed at “all investors,” but this universe is impossibly broad and difficult to target. Rather, think carefully about what sort of investors would be most interested in your ETF. By picturing this ideal investor, you’re getting closer to drawing parameters around your key value proposition. For example, if your ETF’s target audience is an experienced, sophisticated investor, your value proposition can be framed in more complex, nuanced language. If your target audience is less experienced or sophisticated, the reverse is true—you’ll need to keep things straightforward and simple when appealing to this demographic. By zeroing in on your target demographic you’ll have a much better idea of what their concerns are, and by extension which aspects of your funds are most relevant to them.

Of course, your fund is more than just one core value proposition; this is part of the fun. Your ETF is a collection of advantageous characteristics that should appeal to an investor, but if you want to hook their attention, you’ll have to focus on the one key characteristic that is most salient to your target audience. After months or even years developing every nuance of your ETF, it can be difficult to gain an outside perspective. For this stage of formulating your value prop marketing plan, you may want to bring in an outside firm that isn’t “too close to the product” and can provide some needed insights on which aspects of the ETF may prove most appealing to your desired target audience.

Related: ETF Issuers: Here's How to Reach Financial Advisors

Once you’ve isolated the most relevant, most impactful value proposition for your ETF, it’s time to formulate a plan of attack—what’s the best way to communicate this to your target audience? First of all, you should keep in mind that all marketing materials should build off of this foundational value prop. The fund’s website should locate this key value proposition front-and-center. Fund materials should trumpet this concept in call-out text and headlines. Lengthier enhanced fact sheets or investment cases should all position this value proposition as their main point, around which all supporting arguments revolve. Animated explainer videos, a critical component of any new ETF roll-out, should attempt to explain this key value proposition, piquing investors’ interest so that they seek out more detailed information.

By identifying their target audience and isolating the key value proposition regarding their ETF, ETF issuers will be better-positioned to provide structure and consistency to their marketing campaigns, and get investors that much closer to investing. The road to growing ETF AUM is never a straight, easy line, but value prop marketing goes  long way towards simplifying messaging.

Alexandra Levis
Public Relations
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Alexandra is founder and CEO of Arro Financial Communications, a full service marketing and PR firm specializing in the asset management space. She is responsible for new busi ... Click for full bio

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Most Read IRIS Articles of the Week: Feb 19-23

Here’s a look at the Top 11 Most Viewed Articles of the Week on, Feb 19-23, 2018

Click the headline to read the full article.  Enjoy!

1. Don’t Get Pinged by the Social Security Earnings Limit

I’d like to introduce you to Peggy. Born in 1956, Peggy will be 62 in 2018. She has worked in retail her whole life, the past twenty-five years spent in management. Peggy divorced from her husband 14 years ago, is still single and has no children. — Dana Anspach

2. We're Back to “Bad News is Good News” and “Good News is Great News”

This week the markets shrugged off last week’s fears and went back to the slow and steady melt up, despite economic news that looked likely to once again rock the boat. — Lenore Elle Hawkins

3. Q1 2018 Factor Views

Themes established in 2017 across a wide range of markets and factors continued to resonate through the fourth quarter. Economic growth was strong and supportive of equity markets across the globe, a range of volatility measures reached all-time lows, and business and consumer sentiment remained elevated. — Yazann Romahi and Garrett Norman

4. A Beneficial Basket of Commodities

Advisors and investors that feel they are hearing more and more about commodities and the corresponding exchange traded products in recent months are right. That is a natural result of dollar weakness and yes, the greenback is floundering again in 2018. — Tom Lydon

5. 3 Trends Shaping the Future of Asset Management

As the industry works to cope with new regulation, wades through an outpouring of new products, learns to satisfy investors’ shifting priorities and manages the active-passive debate, the viability of business units will be questioned, and at times radical measures will be taken. Peter Hopkins

6. 5 Ways Advisors Leave Money on the Table, and What to Do About It

My hope is that this article points out some opportunities for you to make more money and serve your clients at a higher level and that you decide to do something about it. — Bill Bachrach

7. The Market Has Gone Wild! Is It Time to Change Your Investment Strategy?

Whether the market is flying high or taunting your emotions with new lows and some bumpy volatility, here are four things every investor should keep in mind ... — Lauren Klein

8. How to Deepen Client Relations and Capture New Business Using Engaging Content

Why financial advisors NEED to understand much more clearly the power of good digital market. With tools like AdvisorStream, it’s easier than ever to get the content you need to drive leads and referrals today! — Kirk Lowe and Matt Halloran

9. Three Ways The Most Successful Gain Big Attention

How do some firms and ideas go from nowhere to everywhere in a few short months? All of a sudden a restaurant becomes popular, a gas station gains a cult following, or a Broadway show becomes too popular to get a ticket for years. — Maribeth Kuzmeski

10. Who Are the Hottest FinTech Firms and Influencers Around the World?

"Worldwide, $27.4 billion poured into fintech startups in 2017, Accenture reports, up 18% from 2016. With so much in play, it’s not surprising that 22 companies are new on this, the third edition of our list."  — Chris Skinner

11. The New Stock Market Normal Is Not What You Think!

Many sensational headlines have been written the past few weeks about market declines, but two things have increased for sure: the viewership and the ad revenues of financial media organizations — Preston McSwain​​​​​​​

Douglas Heikkinen
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IRIS Co-Founder and Producer of Perspective—a personal look at the industry, and notables who share what they’ve learned, regretted, won, lost and what continues ... Click for full bio