Everyone knows her as "Marty." That conversational style has helped Martha B. Willis build from scratch a strategic marketing function at OppenheimerFunds.
When she joined six years ago, she noted the firm had a well-known name and a highly regarded distribution team, but its marketing team wasn't trying to expand into new markets.
She focused on creating investment products to fuel expansion into new markets while increasing the focus on digital marketing.
Her team has since introduced over 17 new products across OppenheimerFunds' expanded distribution channels (retail, high net worth and institutional) and integrated the offerings of SteelPath, an energy-focused investment company and recent firm acquisition. Willis helped lead that acquisition in an effort to expand OppenheimerFunds' range of mutual fund product offerings.
"Having the right products is table stakes; in order to set yourself apart you need to bring clients the right content to grow their business," says Willis. For example, she helped launch "Managing Compelling Wealth Conversations," a tool that gives financial advisors a spectrum of content to share with their clients, from behavioral finance principles of investing to current macroeconomic viewpoints.
Willis last year hired advertising agency MRM//McCann to develop a new brand strategy and campaign for the fall, and worked with her team to build a multimedia studio at the firm's New York headquarters. "Technology enables us to deepen our relationships with clients on their terms," she says.