FirstCapital - Investment Bank Marketing Case Study | EV

Establishing FirstCapital as market experts.


FirstCapital is an international investment bank with offices in London, Silicon Valley and Dublin. The company advises high-growth technology firms across Europe on mergers and acquisitions, private equity and growth capital transactions. FirstCapital approaches dealmaking with its bespoke SMART framework, which regularly delivers premium results with extremely high close rates.

// The Challenge

FirstCapital operates in a highly competitive environment, so maximising market awareness and building trust with the audience is essential for the company’s individual service to stand out. Before EV came on board, FirstCapital had a direct sales approach but did not focus on marketing techniques for targeting clients. This approach resulted in a brand that was not visible to the right clients or effectively portrayed the value and services the company provides.

“Although we had high success rates after engagement, our branding was antiquated and wasn’t attracting enough clients to the initial engagement stage where we could showcase our expertise”, FirstCapital Chairman Hazel Moore explains. “We needed a marketing company to create a brand and positioning that would establish us as experts in the market and with our stakeholders before the face-to-face meeting.”

That wasn’t something FirstCapital was able to find easily, despite having worked with an agency previously. But despite initial scepticism, EV’s experience and technology heritage helped put them at ease.

Hazel continues,

“EV’s background in technology marketing and understanding of our clients was a large selling point, because they understood the company’s market and clients, we knew they could help us achieve our goals.”

// The Solution

The SMART dealmaking framework.

We wanted to showcase the intelligence and expertise of the FirstCapital team in order to represent their unique position in the market to the right audience. The first stage of this strategy was to examine FirstCapital and its marketplace to create the most effective message. As Hazel recalls, “EV performed audits, did extensive research, created personas and content – all while forming a narrative which emphasised our value over our competitors.

“We had a methodical approach to deal-making focused on strategic value, which we hadn’t articulated to the market – this is what they identified as our key differentiator in the market, and it became the centre of their recommended marketing strategy.”

We created the SMART framework branding in order to showcase FirstCapital’s uniquely methodical strategies and create an individual market position for the company. This branding was to be used as a long-term infrastructure to support continued and increasing ROI.

“Using their framework, EV created a narrative of ‘Smarter Dealmaking’ over 12 months which would be embedded into the business, internally through our processes and externally with our branding,” Hazel adds.

// The Future

A tangible growth marketing strategy.

We also implemented various communication strategies to ensure the narrative was projected to the right audience and would generate viable leads. Not only was content being used to brand FirstCapital as thought leaders in the field, but digital channels were leveraged to maximise initial engagement and therefore increase successful client interactions.

Hazel found that when we began deploying the right communications consistently through the proper channels, FirstCapital was effective in reaching the desired clients and was being called to pitch for all the right deals.

“By contrast to our experiences with other agencies, EV’s marketing strategy delivered tangible and successful results – the brand position resonated with our clients and we were engaging with leads online for the first time. In that time, the business grew exponentially.”

Moreover, by marketing one of FirstCapital’s thought leadership fintech reports, Hazel was approached to be a speaker on BBC Two’s Newsnight.

Ambitious plans.

We have continued to effectively deliver on measurable objectives through methodical communications on the appropriate channels, which has created a trusting and long-term relationship with FirstCapital.

Our work with FirstCapital will now focus on strategically aligning the marketing objectives with the business objectives of the company. “FirstCapital has ambitious plans for the future. We want to establish our position as pioneers in Smarter Dealmaking across the UK, Europe and US, and build a reputation as the go-to advisers for tech scale-ups and investors alike.”

FirstCapital is well on its way to achieving this goal, too. The company already has a strategic partnership with ACXIT Capital Partners, a leading investment bank in Germany. Together, the pair operate from 10 global offices and share an impressive track record of achieving successful client sales to some of the biggest global strategic buyers, such as Microsoft, Facebook, Apple, Google, IBM, PayPal, eBay and many others.

“EV’s valuable marketing input will be pivotal in achieving these goals. It’s great working with them – they passionately want our business to succeed, and they have the background and expert knowledge to make that happen,” says Hazel.

"The EV team passionately want our business to succeed, and they have the background and expert knowledge to make that happen."

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