LONDON, December 6, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
The latest Living Ratings analysis, released by Living Group today, reveals a distinct lack of investment into digital brand equity amongst some of the world's leading private equity firms.
Living Ratings in-depth analysis examines the digital engagement and evidence of Private Equity International's Top 50 firms' websites and social media channels, across multiple criteria and differing audience perspectives. The findings reveal that more than 80% of private equity firms are failing to provide digital communications that provide engagement or substantive, audience centric content that evidences the claims made on their websites. Infact, two of the Top 50 do not even have a website!
Commenting on the findings, Kate Shaw, Living's CEO said: "Over 20% of our study scored less than 10%, the lowest scoring sector we have ever reviewed. Why would this be? It would appear that private equity feels that as long as the past performance and track record is good, institutional investors will allocate to them".
Why audience focus matters
Giving your audience access to carefully considered digital content has never been more relevant, as digital disruption continues to gather pace in the financial services sector. By providing specific, audience centric content, private equity firms are signaling to portfolio companies and investors their shared ambitions. In the battle for dollars and assets under management, deal flow and mandates, they are failing to demonstrate their capability and track record - so what does this say to the audience? And why are such a high number of the firms we rated, choosing to ignore the opportunity digital communications affords them?
Successful private equity doesn't always mean successful brand equity
There were a handful of firms in our Ratings that can rightly be proud of their digital performance but as a whole, the top 50 has a lot of ground to make up
- Only 4% lead with a client centric proposition
- 46% of firms failed the Google mobile-friendly test
- Whilst 92% of firms have a LinkedIn channel, 52% have never shared a single post and offer just a standard profile
- 48% have a Twitter profile but of these 24 firms, seven are yet to Tweet
- 40%of firms were rated as being 'Lacklustre' meaning they are lacking strong evidence of their expertise, low user engagement and little or no client centric content
Interestingly, most firms do place an importance in two of elements of our criteria, with 82% providing a dedicated press / media area and 72% providing a client login area.
The Top 5 firms
Living Ratings analysis has identified a handful of firms that deliver truly client-centric digital communications that combines content, functionality and purpose:
- Ardian leads the pack and clearly understands the value of a customer-driven digital presence
- KKR is a firm that understands the need to create an accessible and engaging experience
- The Blackstone Group is a good example of the role a digital brand can play in supporting a business strategy
- Bain Capital's website fulfils its promise: 'Committed to lasting impact'
- Neuberger Berman provide a dedicated private equity section on their .com and their invitation to 'learn more' does not disappoint
Our findings clearly indicate that too many private equity firms are failing their audiences with a sub-optimal digital experience; websites are over reliant on generic content and self-promotion, social media engagement is underutilised and not enough emphasis is placed on the audience's interests and access points. There is a huge opportunity for private equity firms to gain an edge by investing in a fit-for-purpose digital strategy but even if starting now, they face a game of catch-up.
About Living Ratings
Since 2010, we have been researching and publishing in-depth analysis of how marketers in legal, financial and professional service firms use websites and social media to engage and communicate with their audiences. Our findings are based on analysis of over 50 criteria, providing evidence-based insights to allow firms to align their users' expectations with their brand and their business.
The report is the 15th edition of Living Ratings.
About Living Group
At Living we make a difference. A difference for our clients, our people and the communities we work in. We employ smart thinking and industry insight to create positive outcomes for our clients in the financial, professional services and technology sectors, helping them improve their bottom-line through effective brand, digital and marketing communications. With offices in London, Hong Kong and New York, Living is creating difference.
[*]Source: Private Equity International's Top 300 Private Equity Firms (published May 2016)
SOURCE Living Group