Marketing Your Investment Banking Services: The Time Has Come

by Trisha Gallagher | May 10, 2022

Merger and acquisition activity skyrocketed in 2021—exceeding $5 trillion globally—and strong balance sheets have industry experts forecasting that trend to continue.

That’s great news for the more than 4,000 investment banking firms in the US!

Wait…there are more than FOUR THOUSAND investment banking firms in the US?

Yes, there are. That means more than 4,000 firms now have the potential to compete for the same pool of clients, thanks to the digital world we live and work in.

If your investment banking firm wants to keep getting its share of the deal flow in this new environment, you can’t afford to rely solely on who you know or who refers you. You need to engage in strategic modern marketing.

Investment Bankers Are Getting on the Marketing Train

Over the last decade, professional services firms have been easing their way into modern marketing. CPA firms and wealth advisors were the first to get on board, recognizing that changing dynamics had shifted professional services marketing from a nice-to-have to a must-have for successful, thriving businesses. Those firms that fully embraced strategic, modern marketing have been rewarded with ever-growing revenues.

Now, we’re getting calls from investment banking firms that are ready to take the same approach.

Why is marketing so much more essential to your investment banking firm today—and why are more firms looking to turn marketing into a true competitive advantage? Consider all the ways the industry is changing and what that means for your ability to attract new business.

1. The old geographic barriers are crumbling.

In the past, when it came time for a business owner to find a partner to help sell the company, most didn’t look much further than their own backyards. That was back when business primarily happened in person, across a conference table. (Remember those days?) The digital transformation began to tear down those geographic boundaries. Then COVID-19 rewrote the whole playbook, demonstrating that even the most relationship-based services could happen remotely. Your competitors are now just as likely to be across the country as across the block.

2. Your competitors are educating your prospective clients.

The most progressive investment banking firms are using content marketing to educate business owners on what to look for in a partner that can help you sell for the right price and terms, or the pitfalls to avoid in selling a company. (Kudos to them!) When those business owners are ready to sell, which firms are they going to think of first? The ones that have been steadily building a relationship and demonstrating their value as trusted advisors.

3. Many business owners are convinced they can DIY it.

Maybe it’s because of point #2 (all the educational information they’re getting) or maybe it’s because there’s so much demand for good acquisition targets that these owners have buyers knocking on their doors. For whatever reason, investment banking firms tell us there are business owners who believe they can go it alone when it comes to selling a company, even if their attorneys or CPAs tell them otherwise. To reach this audience, you need proactive marketing that keeps you top of mind with these passive buyers and convinces them they need a trusted partner to navigate the journey.

How Marketing Can Make a Difference

Changing dynamics like these mean local referrals are no longer enough to fuel the growth of your investment banking firm and earn you a fair share of the deal flow. If you’re serious about competing for the wealth of business out there, your investment banking firm needs strategic, modern marketing.

It starts with a research-driven strategic marketing plan that delves into your customers, competition, market, and objectives. That sets the foundation for your investment banking firm to:   

  • Differentiate yourself from the sea of firms clamoring for clients’ business—so you can present clear, strong messaging in a crowded field, especially if you compete in the middle market
  • Identify, articulate, and demonstrate your brand pillars—the characteristics of your brand that set you apart from other investment banking firms
  • Tout your industry-specific experience and show you can speak the client’s language—increasingly important to business owners and a key reason they don’t just call the first investment banker their attorney recommends
  • Trumpet your successes through case studies that demonstrate your approach, your processes—and most of all the strong results you can achieve, as evidenced by the deals you’ve closed
  • Use storytelling to share what you do and how you do it—painting a vivid picture of what it will be like to work with your investment banking team as a trusted advisor
  • Highlight your strong relationships with private equity groups and strategic buyers—relationships you can leverage to achieve the best possible outcome for your clients
  • Provide content that educates investment banking buyers—engaging with owners who are actively selling and those who aren’t ready yet (because, as one of our investment banking clients always says, “We can never engage too soon with a potential client”)
  • Illustrate your value beyond executing a sale—with content that shows how your experts can improve a business’s valuation in the years leading up to the sale
  • Create an appealing, seamless experience for investment banking buyers—starting with a website that is modern and easy to use, engenders trust, and demonstrates your value     
  • Give business owners confidence and comfort in the process of selling a company—removing the uncertainty and fear of the unknown that can keep owners awake at night

If your investment banking firm is ready to differentiate from the thousands of competitors you could be vying for business with and gain a greater share of the burgeoning deal flow, you’re ready for strategic, modern marketing. And you’re ready to work with an experienced, strategic B2B marketing firm that knows how to develop and execute strategic marketing plans that generate strong results.

That’s exactly what Marketri does! We have extensive experience working with professional services firms, including investment banking firms, and our approach is proven to help drive predictable revenue and higher profitability.

Ready to snag your share of the deal flow through strategic marketing that drives revenue for your investment banking firm? Schedule a free consultation with our CEO Deb Andrews.