As the FinTech sector expands more rapidly than ever before, mobile applications have become incredible resources for IR activities — but that’s just one of the many essential business values that apps can provide.
Since mobile devices like smartphones have become a ubiquitous facet of daily life with a 76.8% market penetration rate, according to comScore, it’s become absolutely essential that companies engage their various stakeholders on the proper platforms — and in the proper way.
With the growth of mobile device usage has come a shift in the way people access the internet. In 2014, global mobile internet usage eclipsed desktop internet usage for the first time, and the gap between the two groups is only growing, as Dot Com Infoway reports. On the devices themselves, mobile browser use is being trounced by native applications at a staggering rate: 90% of time spent accessing the internet on mobile devices is through apps compared to just 10% through mobile browsers, according to Yahoo Developers.
What’s clear is that in order to attract and ultimately retain retail investors, publicly held corporations need to recognize these broader consumer trends and adapt their IR programs accordingly.
Adapting FinTech to the App Era
The creation of mobile apps forms a symbiotic relationship between the user and the business behind it — especially if that user is a stakeholder in the company. Apps, especially industry-specific ones like ShareholderApp, give the user the option of receiving push notifications, which function as real-time alerts.
Live updates on earnings reports, press releases, new presentations, or anything else that can be optimized for a mobile screen is shared quickly and directly via the app. This kind of regular, proactive contact and increased transparency fosters a sense of engagement and trust between shareholders and companies.
Indeed, all of these features come together for a seamless, modern Investor Relations platform for savvy companies to better communicate with their shareholders — an important part of any good business strategy. But if companies are only using their apps for communicating with retail and institutional investors, they’re missing a huge opportunity for even better, larger-scale corporate communications.
Using Mobile to Reach Everyone
Investors aren’t the only demographic looking for IR-related materials. Research analysts, brokers, pension funds, employees, journalists and sometimes even politicians are all potentially on the lookout for corporate reports, news, insights into strategic decisions, and potential strategy shifts. A push notification can just as easily transmit such information to journalists, for example, creating a more connected relationship with them and therefore potentially improving the company‘s ability to reach new and existing investors via the media.
Moreover, companies need to control the public dialogue surrounding their enterprise — it’s become clear that stories can often drive the market, literally shifting the company’s value up and down. Therefore, embracing a platform that allows your organization — and not third-party platforms — to be the primary source of information will help ensure the market is fully informed and your business fully valued.
Businesses new to or still hammering out their app development needn’t worry. The Huffington Post suggests several flexible options that can cater to each individual company’s needs: native apps (those created specifically for designated mobile platforms); web apps (mobile websites that serve many of an app’s streamlining functions, but may not be downloadable from an app store except for an HTTL5 code); and social collaboration (including file-sharing or other platforms enabling information exchange between users).
However, the key bit of insight here remains simple: mobile apps are — and should be — the primary method that businesses, corporations, and companies utilize to connect with their user base via mobile. In addition to aligning with current consumer expectations, they enable proactive, targeted communications, help maintain control over the market narrative and keep company stakeholders well-informed in a timely manner.
As smartphones continue to penetrate new markets across the globe, it’s a sink or swim moment for companies looking to update their IR programs in order to remain in-step with market trends the world over. Simply put, the industry has spoken, and IR apps have emerged victorious — so what’s your mobile solution?
(Main image credit: Mark Robinson/flickr)