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Archive for June, 2013

Brazil’s Mobile Movement

Brazil’s emerging middle class is driving rapid adoption of smartphones, making mobile technology critical to a public company’s ability to connect and communicate directly with its investors.  Many Brazilian companies are at the forefront of using technology in their investor relations efforts, and a mobile strategy based on native IR apps is imperative.

Across the globe, interest in mobile strategies is rapidly expanding – from Australia, Europe, Israel, Canada and, of course, the United States.  But it’s particularly fascinating in Brazil, where forward looking companies like TIM Participações are leading the way in app strategies and where theIRapp now has a partnership with Ricca RI Assessoria e Consultoria, Brazil’s stakeholder relations agency that is helping companies lead through innovation.

BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are in the top 10 growth countries for mobile devices. Consider that mobile analytics firm Flurry measured a 47% increase in smartphones and tablets in the United States between April of 2012 and April of 2013. That actually puts the U.S. in the bottom 5% of countries for connected device growth in the past year.  Worldwide, however, growth of devices is exploding: the mobile markets of all of the large BRIC countries grew by between 100 and 199%.

Mobile IR apps are the new and growing phenomena in the IR industry and as mobile device penetration drives public companies to do more than communicate with investors through their IR websites, I expect emerging economies like Brazil will continue to lead the way.  Fabiane Goldstein, founder of Ricca, said she believes 100 percent of the investment community is already using mobile devices as their primary tool for keeping up with company news.

“Mobile technology is critical to a company’s ability to connect and communicate directly with its investors,” Goldstein said.  “Leading U.S. companies such as Colgate-Palmolive, Marathon Oil and Campbell’s Soup have already embraced mobile strategies, and we’re excited to see how these large companies are inspiring companies across Latin America.”

There’s no doubt apps have changed the world, the way we access information, and the global economy.  Yankee Group’s Network Research Group report “Mobile Leadership Strategies – Leading in the Mobile Economy” forecasts the size of the new mobile economy to reach U.S. $3.1 trillion by 2017.

As the world becomes ever more mobile, and the investment community embraces apps, mobility is changing the rules of the game and reinvigorating the global IR industry.

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Psyched For NIRI National Next Week

For the past 15 years since I began my work in investor relations consulting, I have attended the NIRI National conference probably a half dozen times – always a great learning experience and opportunity to meet cool people from around the U.S. and beyond.

Last year in Seattle was a different experience for me.  I was there as a vendor in the Exhibitor Showcase launching theIRapp.  My takeaway last year was that it was an “ah ha moment” for the IR industry.  Everyone knew in June of 2012 that mobile was the latest and greatest in technology.  What was new and exciting was the realization that the platform of mobile could provide direct access to the investor.

What a difference a year makes  — in less than 12 months, many great American institutions – Campbell’s Soup, Colgate-Palmolive, Marathon Oil, Sysco Corporation – and dozens more have embraced not only mobile as a means to communicate with investors but also theIRapp’s native  app technology platform.  In addition, we now have great partners like PRNewswire and American Stock Transfer who also have embraced the importance of offering a mobile product to their clients and are using theIRapp’s technology to power their solution.  Whereas we focused initially on the U.S. public company market, we learned quickly that mobile is global with companies from Australia, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and Israel subscribing to theIRapp.

Needless to say, I am pumped for next week.  I am looking forward to seeing a lot of friends as well as to meet many of the IR professionals that I have had the opportunity to speak with this year (albeit over the phone) when introducing theIRapp to them.  I am psyched to have what I know will be real interesting conversations about social media and IR, especially since this topic wasn’t even on the radar last year.  I am looking forward to demo’ing version 4.0 of theIRapp, our institutional product – theIRappFOLIO – and helping to educate the many individuals who will be curious to understand the nature of the IR mobile market today and the potential that it holds in the years to come.  And I hope to find a little spare time to do a WOD (workout of the day) at a local CrossFit gym and then hang at the pool covered in one of theIRapp’s giveaways – SPF 30 (anyone do CrossFit and want to join me?).

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