Every company wants to grow and has its eye set on the prize: more prospects, customers, regions, market share and, ultimately, more revenue. To take advantage of market opportunities and scale rapidly, businesses must often rely on financing from key financial players, such as private equity firms, VC funds and individual investors or even investment from the general public through crowd-sourcing or the various public stock and bond markets.
To help their clients grow, marketers and PR pros generally focus on customer and reputation outcomes, but according to corporate communications expert Glen Orr, it’s important to also consider financial audiences in the corporate marketing mix.
We were thrilled to have Glen speak recently to the Idea Grove team on how to address financial audiences. With many of our B2B technology clients laying the foundation for rapid growth, Glen provided insight into how our PR and marketing programs can address the various financial audiences we’ll meet on the road ahead.
1. Understand the Financial Audience and Goal
According to Glen, financial audiences and/or goals should be addressed by marketing at all times. Even if the company’s next financial step is a few years out, financial players could be making decisions now – that will play out over the course of a year or more. There are always potential investors watching your industry, and they may be determining now which players are positioned for growth or to gain the most market share over the next 5-8 years.
Because of this, it’s important to communicate ahead of potential financial maneuvers with appropriate targeted messages that could include: discussion about the company’s size and growth, market scope and potential and its growth rate compared its major competitors. Companies might also benefit from incorporating analyst commentary on the market’s future growth.
2. It’s More than Just Product
Although product-focused messaging is vital for targeting buyers, it’s important to position products and/or other developments within the context of the company’s direction, vision and market potential. This will help ensure that financial audiences are addressed with relevant information, and shape your reputation among those closely tracking your industry for emerging players.
The answers to some key questions on the mind of financial audiences could uncover messages that address their curiosity and concerns. Consider including them when communicating product or company news. Questions might include:
- Will this development allow the company to address a new market or industry vertical?
- How will this development grow the company’s market potential?
- What is the total addressable market served by this product or company?
- How is this development fueling the company’s growth?
- Does it create a barrier for competitors to enter the market? Does it give the company a significant competitive advantage? If so, how?
- Was another competitor first to market? If so, how is the business planning to aggressively gain market share?
Glen also pointed out the importance of understanding and sharing the big-picture story. He suggested ways to do this could include highlighting the big-picture issues addressed by the company, its role in regional growth, how it fuels industry developments, how it profits from the growth of important business segments and more. Insights like these might enable investors to see synergies with their other portfolio investments or could identify opportunities to create value through unique combinations or partnerships. They could also help media craft stories that provide greater understanding of your client’s long-term value drivers.
3. Tell a Story
Instead of just sharing facts and figures, there’s a tremendous opportunity to paint a picture that captures the intrigue, excitement and momentum of a company’s growth and development.
What is the story behind the company’s success, and how does this fit into the broader narrative of the industry’s growth? Telling a compelling story that explains the company’s long-term potential for growth and success could help audiences understand market potential, draw parallels with other value-creating industries and highlight similarities with the successful companies.
No matter what the future holds, or where your company is headed, it’s never too early to begin expanding the marketing mix to include financial audiences by the “what”, “how” and “why” behind growth, value creation and the long-term financial benefits of business developments.
Note: Glen recommended that those in the Dallas/Forth Worth area check out the regional chapter of the National Investor Relations Institute to learn more.