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Archive for August, 2013

SxSW 2014: A mobile app to revolutionize an industry?

I have had many thought leadership opportunities throughout my 15 years as an investor relations consultant to hundreds of NASDAQ and NYSE listed publicly traded companies. I have shared my expertise on television, on top networks from CNBC to Bloomberg to FOX. I even authored a book on the subject, Investor Relations: The Art of Communicating Value.

I have also had great opportunities in my other role as Chief Executive Officer of KCSA Strategic Communications.  With all that I have done, my journey has never taken me to SxSW, the utmost thought leadership conference for all things start-up technology related…until now.

As you may know if you have been following my blog, over the past few years I have been inspired by the mobile communications revolution and how it applies to my industry – the communications industry. The power of apps is unquestionable given Apple and Google’s commitment to their respective app stores as well as the incredible proliferation of mobile devices in such a short period of time.  However, for many, apps are simply fun and games.  Very few apps have been created to address an industry at large.  Rather, they serve specific needs which, albeit useful, do not necessarily represent game changing ideas.  This need not be the case — native apps present a significant opportunity to establish an ecosystem through which people can communicate and conduct business.

At SxSW, as founder of theIRapp and theCOMMSapp, I will provide insights on how mobile technology is affecting, and at the same time revolutionizing, an industry at large — the communications industry.

If given the opportunity to present at SxSW, my lecture will:

  • Examine the paradigm shift underway as well as the opportunities and hazards that exist for businesses in the mobile revolution.
  • Outline the current landscape of apps:  business-to-business; retail sales; games; sports; travel, etc. and explain the difference between native apps and HTML5.
  • Explain, based on my own experiences, why business-to-business application development has required more time to become commonplace while mobile usage overall continues to skyrocket.
  • Share what has been my most successful strategy in approaching a conservative industry such as investor relations and working with them to understand the importance of having a mobile offering.
  • Identify the key differences between developing an app for public companies to communicate with their investors and an app for private companies to communicate with their consumers.
  • Discuss what the future holds for native apps for not only Fortune 500 companies, but also the Mom and Pop simply looking to make a living.

If you would like to hear more about how apps are taking over the communications industry, please vote for me to speak at SxSW! Thanks!

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Johnson & Johnson Announces an IR App

Just last week, Johnson & Johnson launched an investor relations (IR) application in Apple’s App Store.  Kudos to yet another Fortune 100 company for embracing the importance of creating a native app and making its critical investor information available to one of a public company’s most important audiences in a mobiley optimized way.

Johnson & Johnson is an iconic brand with a global presence which includes 275 companies in more than 60 countries.  They now join the ranks of companies such as Walmart, Colgate-Palmolive and Campbell’s Soup in establishing a mobile IR strategy and disseminating content to their investors in the most efficient way possible.

From what we can see, the J&J IR app was developed by an independent app development firm with a focus just on Apple’s iOS technology.  The one question I would have to ask is what about Android mobile devices that represent 52% of the smart phone market.  By using a technology platform that also includes an app for the Google Play store (like theIRapp technology platform), the health giant could then reach 90% of the mobile market worldwide.

Notwithstanding, J&J’s decision to create an IR app further validates the emerging category of investor relations technology – theIRapp.

 

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Mobile is Global Part II – The Investor Speaks Many Languages

Last April, I addressed the growing global reach of theIRapp™ in Mobile is Global Part I – A wake up call for the IR industry.   Four short months later, the global reach of theIRapp has more than doubled with public companies in Brazil, the Netherlands, Belgium, Israel, Canada and Australia/New Zealand recognizing the necessity of a turnkey mobile technology native application platform that works with all global stock exchanges.  The ability to reach shareholders where and how they want to be reached is a key component of any company’s shareholder communications strategy, and providing shareholders with an app in their native language is the most streamlined, easy-to-launch solution to do just that.

BRIC nations, particularly Brazil, are in the top 10 growth countries for mobile devices. Whereas there was a 47% increase in smartphones in the United States between April of 2012 and April of 2013, the U.S. is still in the bottom 5% of growth countries.

  • In comparison, BRIC countries grew by between 100% and 199% last year. On June 26th Ricca RI Assessoria e Consultoria (Ricca), Brazil’s most innovative investor & stakeholder relations agency, and theIRapp, announced a partnership to offer theIRapp’s mobile investor relations application technology platform to publicly traded companies in Brazil. The offering is called Ricca Mobile IR (powered by theIRapp™) and is available in English and Portuguese.
  • Mobile subscribers in Australia have exploded to the point where an estimated 84% of people had smartphones in 2013 – compared to only 19% in 2007.  On July 18thInteractive Investor Pty Ltd, Asia Pacific’s leading specialist Online Investor Communications Company and theIRapp,  announced an exclusive partnership to offer publicly listed companies in Australia and New Zealand the i-Interact™App. Powered by theIRapp’s technology platform, the i-Interact™App has been customized for the regulatory and shareholder needs of listed companies in the ANZ region.
  • With the European Union boasting a combined population of just over 240 million, European smartphone app users make up approximately 20% of the largest, most affluent European countries. On July 25th,  Astanford, the Dutch Online Communication Agency and theIRappannounced an exclusive partnership in which Astanford will resell theIRapp to publicly traded companies in the Netherlands and Belgium.

As all IR professionals will agree, the goal for public companies is to provide transparent and easy access to critical company and financial information.  This should apply to companies regardless of which global exchange they trade on or what language they speak. The rapid expansion of theIRapp is due, in part, to our solid and proven technology.  .  .but more importantly to the ease of our multilingual and global solution.

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