Mobile has already become a requisite best practice for IR professionals across the globe. But recent research indicates that investors and analysts overwhelmingly prefer apps to all other mobile communications platforms.
The rate of mobile adoption across the globe is staggering. According to eMarketer, the number of worldwide smartphone users will reach two billion in 2016, and will encompass more than a third of the global population by 2018. In North America, smartphone penetration is already over 75%, according to 2015 comScore research.
Moreover, the 2015 GSMA Global Mobile Economy Report indicates that smartphone traffic will grow as much as tenfold by 2020, a rise that’s been made possible by the rapid deployment of 4G and LTE networks. Naturally, this larger shift has convinced many businesses to transform the way they think about communicating with key company stakeholders. As GSMA notes, “Real-time data is fast becoming the lifeblood of the digital economy.”
But this transition should take careful thought and planning for any business. There are many ways to digitally engage with shareholders and analysts, and some are more effective than others.
Integrating and Personalizing Investor Relations
With such high levels of smartphone adoption, most IR professionals have come to the consensus that relying solely on a desktop-formatted corporate site alone is insufficient. Indeed, while such sites are a great repository for long-form, in-depth content, they’re a relatively passive way to engage with investors, and don’t provide a clear, real-time channel for communication.
The obvious solution is to incorporate a mobile option, either by integrating social media into the IR regimine, formatting a traditional website for mobile use, or by creating a bespoke mobile app. Many companies have reformatted their site for mobile — which is a relatively cost-effective and simple process — but it is the addition of a mobile app that adds real power to a company’s IR program.
Users overwhelmingly prefer an app-based investor experience to a browser-based. For instance, according to Yahoo and Flurry research, users spend 90% of their online mobile time within apps. And according to recent IR Magazine research, title Investor Community Sentiment 2015, investors aren’t overly-keen on social media, either.
One Stop, One Click
When it comes down to use value, apps are winning by a landslide. According to the same research, social media options can be a serious headache for investors, as many of them are complicated, unintuitive, or provide shallow information. Conversely, apps are viewed as valued time-savers, offering a simple one-stop-shop for in-depth IR information, insight, and updates.
As one respondent said of apps: “I find them incredibly helpful. I get around 500 emails a day, so to get an app alert on my iPad is very useful.”
The report also observed that other mobile forms of IR engagement, especially social media, don’t offer vast improvements over traditional engagement — they’re not much quicker or more efficient.
Apps, however, are much easier to navigate because they’re designed with performance and usability in mind — rather than sift through an entire website, investors can reach everything they need to know with a single tap of the finger.
Indeed, B2BMarketing explains how the reason 85% of all consumers prefer apps over mobile sites is that apps have faster load times, are more convenient, and easier to use.
Moreover, targeted push notifications and alerts inform stakeholders at precisely the moment when pertinent information is released. In addition to keeping investors abreast of real-time developments, this kind of active engagement also builds trust into the investor-business relationship — investors can be confident that they are a priority.
(Main image credit: Jason Howie/flickr)