At Method Mark, we push ideas forward. Whether those ideas are our own or our clients, we never stop striving for growth. We work with high-potential small businesses and entrepreneurs around the country to help accelerate their growth through strategy, brand, and marketing. One such client we have the privilege of working with is Metonic. Method Mark has worked with Metonic through a variety of services, including messaging strategy, brand strategy, document design, copywriting and other creative services. Today we take a closer look at the work Method Mark did, and how we helped them raise $20 million in just one year.
First, let’s get to know the client. Metonic is a commercial real estate investment firm that currently owns 10,000 apartment units across the central United States. They also sponsor real estate investments, then manage those real estate assets for their clients. In fact, Metonic has sponsored over $500 million of investments since 2009. When Metonic came to Method Mark, they asked us to help define their brand and messaging, then translate that information into their investor communications. This included everything from communication with existing investors, to marketing to potential investors.
In the past, Method Mark President Micah Yost has worked with other commercial real estate companies such as Tetrad, CBC Realty Investments and White Lotus Group. With Method Mark’s unique experience and knowledge in the commercial real estate industry, Metonic knew they could trust their brand and messaging to us.
Developing the Brand Strategy
The first course of action with Metonic was developing their overall brand strategy. In general, there are five main steps during this phase: discovery, strategy, content, design, and channel. While the first four steps are part of every project, the channel stage is when we focus primarily on marketing and communication—and actually begin to push that content out through various channels. Too often, marketing professionals want to start with the channel stage. They think, “I want to focus my efforts on Facebook,” or “I need more email marketing.” So, they work backward from channel into the content and design of the brand they want to send. However, this type of thinking often leaves out strategizing all together.
At Method Mark, we start with the discovery phase, then move into strategic. Our method of building a brand strategy for any client, particularly for Metonic, focuses on defining the purpose, or the why around a project. We identify a client’s vision, their attributes and understand the competition. Having a strong brand strategy is vital to a business. Brand touchpoints include everything from emails, to internal documents, to Facebook advertisements. All of these are integral in promoting who a business is, but the brand strategy serves as the point of inception from which every touchpoint should originate. If a business or entrepreneur isn’t strategically aligned with a brand strategy, its brand touchpoints will be inconsistent, and the business will struggle because of it. The best brands are consistent and do so through the use of their brand strategy.
Defining the Messaging
As with any company out to raise money, pitch decks are an ideal tool. Pitch decks have become the generally accepted format of presentation on a deal for everyone from real estate to startups. While the deck is merely a tool, the real value comes in outlining the content and messaging. Creating an exceptional pitch deck requires spending a significant amount of time understanding a company’s business and the potential opportunity they’re striving towards. Therefore, once the brand strategy was created, our second order of business with Metonic was to establish well-defined brand messaging.
Through a series of discussions, questions and learning more about Metonic’s vision for their brand, we were able to strategize on how best to define their messaging when working with investors. During the strategizing phase, Method Mark developed a black-and-white wire frame of Metonic’s pitch deck. This helped us to better craft the content and the structure of the deck through the desired messaging. As we worked more with Metonic through their brand identity, we were able to craft their content into the appropriate messaging they desired. This messaging included everything from copywriting for their pitch deck to crafting charts, maps, and illustrations. Every message we developed we kept in line with the brand strategy created early on, focusing on how to send Metonic’s most important messages to their investors.
Building the Pitch Deck
Once the branding and messaging was identified and content curated, it came time to build the pitch deck. At Method Mark, we’re not just a simple design shop. We work as a strategic partner, and as such, we do more than just make a deck “look nice.” We steer a company’s strategy and help them craft valuable content to build the most effective deck possible. Because of this, our pitch decks have been used to raise nearly $24 million since 2016—with Metonic making up a large component of this success.
Our process for executing a successful deck is discovery, strategy, and execution. During the discovery phase, we learn as much as possible about the opportunity facing a client—the type of investors they plan on meeting with. We review pro formas, read market studies, research competencies, look into investors and investigate competitors. During our design phase, we take the original black-and-white wire frames and make them visually relevant and compelling. Our Method Mark team thinks through the best ways to represent the data, how to visually present the maps on slides and the overall content layout. This result is a finalized deck which captures the opportunity in a compelling way for Metonic’s investors.
Because of Method Mark’s unique background in raising money for our own joint ventures, we know the complexities and challenges of raising both debt and equity because we’ve done it ourselves. Overall, at Method Mark we have created pitch decks and appropriate messaging to work towards raising nearly $100 million. Through these various projects, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. We know how hard it is to raise capital—which is why a pitch deck must be razor-sharp and compelling. So, that’s exactly what we did for Metonic, and other clients last year.
What does all of this boil down to? Through a cohesive brand strategy, defined messaging and strong pitch decks, Metonic was able to raise $20 million in 2017 through Method Mark’s pitch decks and investor communication pieces. We have been thrilled to be a small part of the success they’ve seen.
Identifying the Takeaways
First and foremost, razor sharp communication is critical. Once your brand strategy is built on a solid foundation, the biggest step is ensuring all of your communication aligns well with the strategic brand. This allows you or your business to present a unified and consistent identity.
Secondly, a powerful pitch deck is an artful balance between complexity and brevity. A successful pitch deck has two main areas: (1) compelling executive summary slide and (2) valuable team information. Research has said that a typical investor spends less than four minutes on average reviewing a pitch deck. They read through the first two or three slides, then skim the rest to see if the project is something they’re interested in. Therefore, the first page of the pitch deck must be captivating enough to pique their interest through a summary of the opportunity. Additionally, a pitch deck must have solid information about the team. People don’t invest in just an opportunity or an idea; they invest in people. Having engaging content about yourself or your team as a whole is an integral component of creating a successful pitch deck.
Method Mark enjoys a partnership with Metonic to help them define their message, build their pitch deck and identify their strategy. In 2016 alone our team built a total of eight pitch pieces for Metonic through our process. Through these combined efforts, we were able to help raise $20 million for their various projects in the commercial real estate industry. The Method Mark strategizing process has proved successful for our clients time and time again, as we cultivate growth together. If your business is interested in working with Method Mark, then let’s get connected and see how we can help you grow.
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