Targeting Investor Event Audiences: Are Analysts 5th Graders?

2nd Installment of Great Investor Relations Events Just "Happen" ... Right? -- How to produce awesome Investor Relations Events by Articulate founder Brian VandenBroucke. White Paper excerpts including great tips and career threatening mistakes to avoid when talking to Wall Street. For a complete copy of this whitepaper just click "CONTACT" and request the full copy.

The first rule of any communication is “know your audience.” You may have found yourself presiding over an investor event when one of your company’s most brilliant technologists knew in his heart that the best way to convey the benefits of your newest product was to explain - in technical detail – the science behind its operation. Clearly, none of the financial analysts present could understand even half of what he was saying!

Engineers, marketers and executives, especially at business-to-business companies, often want to talk to investors using the same messages that connect with their other customers—the end users.  This approach can’t be effective because the messaging and benefits are aimed at the wrong audience. NOTE: Financial analysts are your customers, too. They  just aren’t as interested in technical specifications or an in-depth scientific lecture on your latest breakthrough product. What they want to know is the financial impact of a technology or service. What makes the value proposition different from the rest of the playing field?  And, most importantly how does that value impact them personally… by resulting in greater market share, higher stock prices, and stronger returns for shareholders? Every message at your event must be connected to something that benefits the investor.

Messages targeted at investment analysts usually can be presented on two levels, the general and the specific. The first level presents the general concept as in: “What is hydraulic fracturing and how does it generate value for investors? The second level addresses the company’s specific offering, as in: “How does your innovative technology improve fracturing and therefore increase value for shareholders?”

And keep in mind that each message must be crafted as simply as possible in an interesting way. One Wall Street analyst confided in me after a somewhat technology dense presentation: “When you talk to us, imagine that you’re presenting to a room full of fifth-graders. If your message is too complicated, we won’t get it, and if it’s boring, we’ll stop listening!”

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