You can’t manage what you can’t measure

When an investor relations officer is asked what investors want, often words like finance, disclosure and transparency are thrown around. We, as an industry, are experts at defining what we think our stakeholders want to know and delivering the goods. But what if I told you that instead of speaking to investors and providing them relevant data, in order to illustrate a company’s story, we are often providing them little to no tangible information. There is a gap between what prospective and current shareholder’s want to know and what those in the IR field often provide them. Unfortunately, the investor relations industry has refined communications strategies supported by qualitative data. Regrettably, qualitative information cannot be measured and, as a result, our industry can never truly confirm what investors want to know, until now.

As consumers, we are directed to stores and websites based on historical sales data. The amount of impulse purchases I have made due to “suggested item’s” would keep my banker awake at night. More and more Canadian’s are finding love with the help of algorithms. Personally, I cannot imagine trying to navigate downtown Toronto without the help of Google Maps. Anyway you put it, data is changing the way we live our lives.

Canadian businesses continue to evolve and advance by applying actionable data to inform business decisions and improve operational efficiencies. Interestingly, this fundamental shift in business process has yet to revolutionize investor relations. How can one properly refine communication strategy without confirming what it is investors want to know in the first place? In a recent CIRI study, 58% of investors stated they wanted public companies to release three-year targets yet less than 20% of those companies did so rather focusing on short term targets. My hypothesis is that these businesses simply were not aware of what information investors genuinely desired.

New technologies now provide quantitative data that describes what investors are looking for which can significantly improve tailored communication to investors. Instead of marketing what companies think investors want to know, IR Optimizer provides actionable data that enables companies to speak directly to what investors want to know. Properly understanding your current and prospective investor base has profound implications on investor relations strategy. As data continues to revolutionize the business landscape, those who properly leverage this intelligence to refine their IR program will benefit the most and leave competitors wishing they had done the same. You cannot manage what you cannot measure, data analytics allows IRO’s to change the narrative and improve decision making and performance, so what are you waiting for?

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