Two days ago, I wrote about a company called Heron Global Partners. Between January and October 2016, the company raised £10.8 million in “investments”. It did so, not by cold calling, but using “inbound marketing”.
Yesterday, REDD-Monitor received a response from Richard Wood,director of Six and Flow, the firm hired by Heron Global Partners’ to run the inbound marketing campaign.
Wood seems keen to distance himself from Heron Global Partners. But at the bottom of Heron Global Partners’ website is a note explaining that Six and Flow built the website:
And Six and Flow’s website gushes about the Heron Global Partners’ sales campaign:
And the end result? A rather impressive £10,853,000 in investments raised and a healthy ROI of 3616%, thanks to HGP’s very efficient, now-10-strong sales team. Happily for us, they love using HubSpot’s sales dashboard and CRM to manage all their activities. This alignment between sales and marketing makes everyone’s lives easier, and enables ongoing campaign analysis and improvement.
HubSpot is the software that Six and Flow used for the marketing campaign.
Self-certified sophisticated investors and High net worth individuals
In his response, Richard Wood mentions sophisticated investors and high net worth investors. The Financial Conduct Authority has a very specific definition of a sophisticated investor. In order to self-certify as a sophisticated investor, you have to be able to sign on to the following statement:
I am a self-certified sophisticated investor because at least one of the following applies:
- I am a member of a network or syndicate of business angels and have been so for at least the last six months prior to the date below;
- I have made more than one investment in an unlisted company in the two years prior to the date below;
- I am working, or have worked in the two years prior to the date below, in a professional capacity in the private equity sector, or in the provision of finance for small and medium enterprises;
- I am currently, or have been in the two years prior to the date below, a director of a company with an annual turnover of at least £1 million.
Similarly FCA’s definition of high net worth investors is precise. To qualify you have to be able to sign the following:
- I had, throughout the financial year immediately preceding the date below, an annual income to the value of £100,000 or more. Annual income for these purposes does not include money withdrawn from my pension savings (except where the withdrawals are used directly for income in retirement).
- I held, throughout the financial year immediately preceding the date below, net assets to the value of £250,000 or more. Net assets for these purposes do not include:
(a) the property which is my primary residence or any money raised through a loan secured on that property; or
(b) any rights of mine under a qualifying contract of insurance; or
(c) any benefits (in the form of pensions or otherwise) which are payable on the termination of my service or on my death or retirement and to which I am (or my dependants are), or may be, entitled; or
(d) any withdrawals from my pension savings (except where the withdrawals are used directly for income in retirement).
Richard Wood agrees that some of the statements on alternative-investing.uk and Heron Global Partners’ twitter account are “potentially misleading” or “a hugh oversight”.
Wood has removed the video from the alternative-investing.uk website, because “the line highlighted is potentially misleading”. Here are some screenshots from the video:
While you’re considering whether or not this could be misleading, bear in mind that this is an unregulated, high risk investment, and that it is only suitable for sophisticated investors or high net worth investors. But only in the small print on alternative-investing.uk do we learn that anyone who isn’t a sophisticated or high net worth investor should “exit the Website immediately”.
Name: Richard Wood
Comment: With reference to your article: http://www.redd-monitor.org/2017/02/18/alternative-investing-with-heron-global-partners-and-renwick-haddow-inbound-marketing-is-the-new-cold-calling/
My name is Richard Wood, the MD for Six & Flow, the inbound marketing agency working with Heron Global Partners.
If possible, I’d like to respond to a few of your points and if at all possible remove my name from your post as our work with HGP is limited to a supplier basis and unfortunately, my name was used when registering the domain.
In response to your comments about inbound being the new cold calling, part of the strategy used is to only target users who fall into High Net Worth of sophisticated categories by utilising the data available through channels such as Facebook and then also those actively searching for investments across Google PPC. Remarketing, the process in which site visitors then see the ads after originally visiting the site is also used.
Data lists aren’t used in the process and any calls are requested by virtue of the user filling in a request for contact. This is essentially where our involvement stops.
However, I do know that before any bond introduction is made to the user, they must first self-certify. Although this is very much something you would be better positioned speaking with someone on the HGP team.
With regards to some of your marketing points, there are some very valid concerns raised. I’ll try to respond to each but if I miss anything, please do ask and I’ll try to clarify.
1. Images used with the quotes – While these are genuine quotes, and we have explicit permission to use them, we did not have permission to use photos of those quoted. Our design team took the decision to find stock imagery available for re-use. I appreciate this may seem misleading, however that was not our intention and we have now removed those images from all relevant landing pages – just retaining the written quotes.
2. With regards to the video, while this was signed off by the client, we appreciate that the line highlighted is potentially misleading. Again, this is not our intention, so we have removed it and will re-edit.
3. While it’s not really for us to say, the addresses highlighted in your article for HGP, they are actually serviced offices, not just virtual. I would be happy to introduce you to a member of their team to arrange a tour?
4. The Tweets you mentioned, this is a huge oversight and have now been removed. All other channels are now being scanned for anything else that may be seen as advisory. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.
If you have any questions or would like to speak on any of the above, please do get in contact. I’m happy to help or clarify where needed.
Time: 20 February 2017 at 10:18 pm
Contact Form URL: http://www.redd-monitor.org/contact/
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