Financially Responsible Marketing

Where does marketing sit in the IPO process? Front and centre!

Posted by on Feb 22, 2016

Marketing taking center stage

Too often, when a new company initiates an IPO, prospective stakeholders gripe that the business lacks the communication tools to successfully go public.

And they’re right! When you decide to go public, you need that well-packaged, focused story to differentiate yourself from the competition. To demonstrate your hard-working management team.

But how?

Your slides aren’t working. Your story isn’t selling. And you don’t know why.

 

You’re targeting a new, different audience

Your objective, as in every marketing effort, is to tell a clear story to build interest and awareness. Just as you do when you create any campaign. A story that speaks to the wants and needs of your audience.

But how? That audience is investment professionals and the investing public. Plus, portfolio managers and the retail sales desk – what we call business-to-stakeholder marketing.

How do you win over this crowd?

To start, realize that your marketing plan is an integral part of your PubCo strategy. Lucky for you, there’s all kinds of waiting during due diligence and filling! Use it to focus on what can radically impact your IPO – your marketing strategy – your honed, believable, investor-oriented message!

Next, understand that investors are just like everyone else. It’s all about them. They don’t really want to hear about your technical breakthrough, your amazing new product or service – what they want to hear about is how they can make money by investing in you.  Remember, building the components of a marketing plan remains the same as your business development strategy, what changes is the message and audience.

Need more specifics? Here’s a quick guide.

 

Pre-listing: three steps to generate interest

  1. Define your target market of potential investors. This will probably include certain portfolio managers and the general public.
  2. Find investor relations and marketing experts. You can often manage this on a contract or project basis. Your IR and marketing pros will help you develop and execute your marketing strategy and tactics – including press releases, presentation materials, and website – that will help you create messages honed to your target audience. In other words, the people with money to invest.
  3. Update your website to support investor, regulatory and disclosure requirements.

 

Post-listing: generate interest; maintain interest in your stock

Don’t stop talking!

  • Constant communication to existing or potential shareholders is key! Ongoing disclosure is critical. Whether the news is good or bad, keep talking, to avoid dips in price.
  • Schedule quarterly meetings with investors
  • Leverage online marketing within disclosure parameters
    • Use social media – capture the new wealth and rising influencers
    • Keep your website fresh – your 24/7 message to your public
  • Support analyst coverage by being responsive and communicating often. Make it easy for analysts to gather the information and data they need to cover your story
  • Follow the rules of continuous disclosure

 

The big takeaway?

Too often, business owners going through an IPO get caught up in:

  • The complexity, the rules, the process
  • Your excitement about having got this far, reached this level
  • The specific, technical aspects of your product/service/business

But? Investors don’t care about the specifics of your business, at least not directly.

What do they care about? A realistic, reasoned, carefully thought out forecast of how your business is going to grow. Demonstrate your commitment to the plan that will ultimately translates opportunities to financial returns.

You want their investment dollars? Make sure you’ve carved out a message that speaks to their needs and earn their trust. A good foundation for any successful relationship.

 

Financially Responsible Marketing™ thoughts by Imaginis