As the rapid proliferation of mobile technology reshapes business practices across the globe, expanding your investor relations program to include the mobile platform is non-negotiable.
No matter your field or industry, chances are that if you’re a business person, you’re using a mobile device for work. Mobile market penetration has reached 75% in major economies the world round, with 77% penetration in the U.S., according to comScore. The rapid growth of mobile device ownership and usage has seen a consistent surge over the years, with Cisco reporting that mobile data traffic will increase nearly tenfold by 2019. Smartphones are expected to account for about 75% of that traffic, while tablets will account for over 10%.
But as most executives and board members in public companies are likely not digital natives, bridging the generational gap and selling them on the idea of allocating valuable resources to add new technologies into an existing Investor Relations program can be a challenge — but it’s certainly not impossible.
Here are some key considerations that will help you sell the board on embracing the mobile platform in order to align communication strategies with modern IR best practices:
The Benefits of Communicating via Mobile
According to the New York Times, proactive mobile communication is now a baseline expectation for businesses of all types across the globe. Modern consumers have become accustomed to instant access to information, convenience, and the ability to connect with businesses anywhere, anytime — so why should investors and other company stakeholders expect any less? Failure to remain in-step with evolving consumer expectations comes at the cost of losing relevance in an increasingly tech-savvy consumer climate.
Mobile technology also allows companies to take advantage of a range of unique tools that can improve stakeholder engagement — tools that are exclusive to the mobile app platform.
For starters, push notifications (highly-targeted, automated messages or alerts delivered to mobile devices in real-time) allow companies to ensure that all of their stakeholders remain informed, even at times when they are not actively using the app. Today, people expect companies to build a more connected relationship through the proactive delivery of information — in fact, at least 70% of smartphone users find push notifications valuable, according to Responsys.
Why Mobile Technology is a Win/Win
For board members, there’s an indisputable value in having remote access to important company information (i.e., PowerPoint presentations, earnings reports, meeting transcripts, press releases) with the simple swipe of a finger on a mobile device. These days, business is rarely confined to the office, and having one-click access to data anywhere, anytime has been a game changer in the world of corporate communications.
The Head of IR at one of the top 50 companies in the U.S. described why he added a mobile app his company’s IR program, along with some of the surprising outcomes:
“I have literally millions of investors spread across the globe, so it made sense for many reasons to add an IR-focused mobile app to our program. I had noticed that the world was increasingly turning to smart devices and mobile apps to stay connected, so it was a bit of a no-brainer for a company of our size. Even if 5% of my share register use the app regularly, it is still very much a justifiable expense.”
“Initially, my Board were a little circumspect and maybe even a bit disinterested when I first asked them to download the app, but I can tell you now that this very important stakeholder group is now the app’s biggest supporter.”
“It is because of the one-click access, the convenience, and the fact that they can retrieve information with a simple swipe irrespective of whether they are in the office, on the golf course or in an airport departure lounge. I feel good too, because I have given them a tool that allows them to quickly and factually respond to most IR-style inquiries.”
Investor Relations, and the Value of an Industry-Specific Approach
According to a recent report, 83% of investors already rely on their mobile devices for work, and 68% also use them to look at investor-related content each day, according to IR Magazine. Your shareholders are already using the mobile devices — to provide the most value possible, offer them a platform that was built with their unique, industry-specific needs in mind.
(Main image credit: Niekverlaan/Pixabay)