Earlier today, we announced our newest offering, which focuses on delivering the best-in-class customer experience for investor relations. We call this our IR Success Platform, which combines our market leading IR products with a new white-glove service model, and partners ex-IROs with our customers to help them achieve their objectives in cost-effective and highly impactful ways.
Our new approach to helping our customers be successful in their IR roles is rooted in the fact that the role of IR has become more challenging than ever before. In today’s market, technology and regulation are changing the capital markets. The decline of the sell-side is a great example, forcing the role of IR to expand while budgets and team sizes stay the same. You’re being required to do more with less, which makes for a challenging time.
As the sell-side declines, IROs face new challenges
For many companies, there’s been a reduction in research coverage, along with less corporate access assistance from the sell-side. What this means is that IR teams have to simply do more. Targeting, for instance, used to be a once a year activity. But in today’s world, this is evolving into a consistent effort. The days of calling up a broker to ask about targets and arranging a NDR are becoming few and far between.
As part of a recent Rivel Research study, the global buy-side was asked: “How do you prefer that public companies conduct NDR meetings?” It’s clear, the sell-side is declining, with only 18% now expecting IR teams to use the sell-side to run their NDRs. (source)
So what does this mean for IROs? They are now responsible for managing both the outbound aspects of arranging an NDR (from targeting to outreach and logistics), while also having to orchestrate the inbound interest from the buy-side and arrange meetings directly. All the while budgets have not increased, and if you’re like most IROs, you are a team of one, or maybe two. So your workload is increasing, but your resources aren’t.
With this as the backdrop, we kicked-off an intense “engagement roadshow” with our customers last year. We wanted to learn more about what was changing in their world and how we could help. I personally was able to have many one-on-one conversations with IROs from across the US. They provided us with deep insight into the challenges of IR and delivering strategic value to their companies.
One of the most important things that we came to understand was how varied the role of IR is and how differently companies function. It’s rare to find IR being managed the same way.
Taking the insights learned from our customers, we set out to design a customer experience that would first understand our clients needs, and then fully support them in achieving their objectives.
A new customer experience designed to partner with IROs and help achieve their objectives.
The most important thing that we are adding to our offering, beyond our amazing products, is our people. And to take things to the next level, we have committed to hiring ex-IROs to lead the strategic engagement with our clients who utilize our CRM and intelligence tools, in combination with our web and webcasting products. Our customer experience model is broken down into three tiers:
- Communicate: includes our web and webcasting products, supported by an IR lead, along with our industry-leading 24/7 customer
- Engage: includes Q4 Desktop CRM, web and webcasting, supported by a dedicated IR manager who is focused on executing tactical support across all of your IR functions (this is literally adding headcount to your team).
- Elevate: includes our web, webcasting, CRM and intelligence products. This is our most strategic experience supported by a dedicated IR Partner, an ex-IRO, whose mandate is to align with your strategy and partner on helping you reach your objectives, whatever they may be.
In each of these tiers, the IR Lead, IR Manager and IR Partner are included as part of the existing pricing of each of the products. This is not about adding expense to your budget. It’s about adding to our value proposition and giving you more. We want to help you get the most out of Q4 and ensure that we are doing everything that we can to support you in achieving your objectives, this year and beyond!
Personally, I’m very excited about what this means for our customers and our ability to assist them in delivering strategic value to their companies. I’ve always believed strongly that good investor relations is a value driver and I couldn’t be more proud in our ability to support our customers deliver this value to their companies.
Here’s to crushing your 2019 goals!
Darrell Heaps is the CEO and founder of Q4 Inc.