Posted by & filed under Hedge Fund Marketing.

The following post is courtesy of Diane Harrison who is principal and owner of Panegyric Marketing, a strategic marketing communications firm founded in 2002 specializing in alternative assets.

According to, 5.4 million applications for new business startups were filed in 2021…and yet 90% of new businesses failed in the same year. This alarming statistic is not unusual for new businesses trying to get off the ground, but it does reinforce the need for any business—new, growing, or established—to stay cognizant of what it takes to keep moving in the right direction.

It begs the obvious, but there are some simple, timeless rules for success in marketing. One, know your customer, and design your communication, in all forms, to speak powerfully to them. Two, create some kind of urgency, referred to as a call to action in marketing lingo, in which to compel these customers to interact with you. And three, devote as much, if not more time, to efforts that will KEEP your customer engaged, satisfied, and wanting more from you. Sounds simple, but obviously the reality is a lot harder than the theoretical. 

The editor of, Jason Feifer, recently wrote a piece on the importance of your customer, ‘Listen Closely to What People Ask of You. That’s Where to Find Your Hidden Power.’  He emphasizes a key observation he realized over the course of his position as editor: Keep track of the questions people ask of you. It could be the most valuable data you ever get. Why? Because when people ask you questions, they’re really telling you this: ‘Here’s how I think you are valuable to me.’

In addition to gathering intelligence from your customers on what they want and need from you, every business should look inward and ask some pointed questions about how well they are or aren’t doing to meet or exceed their customer expectations. The following checklist might prove useful to framing this internal workshop.


  • What proof can you offer to demonstrate the value you bring?
  • How does it stack up in your competitive universe?
  • How can you explain the value and future efforts are likely to scale and continue?


  • Where have you been and how did you get here?
  • What do your past and/or present clients say about you?
  • Can you point to any extraordinary achievements, certifications, or awards?


  • Have you quantified your current circle of influence?
  • Have you identified the next likely level of target prospects you should be reaching?
  • Have you built or partnered with the sales resources you need to widen your network?


  • Are you fully operational at the level your optimum client expects?
  • Have you budgeted for the upgrades needed as you begin to scale up your  business?
  • Have you created an org chart with current and planned for skills that matches the growth trajectory you are trying to build?

In addition to capturing and compiling your customers’ questions and feedback, your organization can and should spend some introspective time on challenging your marketing and customer service habits. By combining this with your external feedback, a more focused and targeted marketing plan can be developed to spur both growth and customer satisfaction going forward. And this, my fellow business owner, is a powerful tool to advance your impact in your industry.

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