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Love your roadshows? Here's how you get more from them.

Every passing year.

Attention spans get shorter. We are all more, and more, contactable. The lines between work and private life blur more

How we communicate and interact with each other changed drastically with the arrival of the smartphone and the evolution of the internet. Not only do those interactions scale, but they don’t even need our calendars to align. 

What you’re reading is the perfect example. I write this article on a Thursday morning but hundreds of people read it on a Saturday afternoon.

Asynchronous, but at scale.

Introducing scale to a roadshow.

I’ve studied the roadshow and it’s a beautiful thing. It’s a shining example of a personal interaction in an age of generic ones. 

But it has two faults

  1. It doesn’t scale, and
  2. It hasn’t evolved to leverage the increase in reach that modern technology affords.

So we’ll break down the benefits of a roadshow (to both the company and the investor), and how we can scale those benefits without losing them.

The benefits for you.

As a company, you get real benefits from a roadshow (and I don’t mean the actual buying of stock). I’m talking about feedback from potential investors

Roadshows are a rare opportunity to pitch your company, time and again, to drive what’s attractive (or unattractive) to investors, what to concentrate on, or where to skip over.

These are nuances that come through visually, verbally - that don’t show up in a PDF on CommSec. And you get the feedback directly from investors, live

And even if you’re not doing a roadshow, I think in general, you should be doing practice pitches anyway. Don’t practice when potential institutional investors are in front of you - get your pitch out and tweak it early

You can also get your reps in by doing recordings. Using a product like Loom or Fathom, record your pitches, get feedback internally, or just rewatch yourself - and you’ll improve.

Roadshows help you and have a place in direct-to-investor marketing. So don’t stop doing them, but be aware they are only useful for your known professional investors!

The benefits for investors.

By now, you’ll know my view.

There’s a huge difference between the experience and insight a known professional investor gets in a roadshow, and the balance that the market gets via ASX announcements. Because if it were the same experience, you wouldn’t need to do a roadshow. 

It’s much, much better.

The issue is, only those you meet get that massive benefit. Any (1) current investor not on the list or (2) potential investor (of any size) not yet known misses out.

 

We need to break down the benefits so we can replicate them at scale.

  1. Get to look you in the eye.
    Investors are desensitised to the quotes we see in ASX announcements because they all start with “we’re pleased to announced…” whether the news is good, bad, or ugly.

    It’s why verbal cues from actually seeing you present the news are so important.

    The way you replicate this is through videos. Get on camera, on screen, in front of investors, more and more often. Letting them see your authenticity is key here, so don’t worry about the polish because it scales 100’s of times for the time invested.

  2. Get to see where you focus.
    A 15-page deck or a 9-page PDF is long.

    But there are probably 2 or 3 key things in there that are useful. In a roadshow, you direct specific attention to those items. To scale that, again it’s videos.

    Take your last sizable announcement and do a 2-minute video on it. You’ll pull out the key items and leave a lot of the fluff and detail behind. This use of video has another benefit, but I might save that for next week.

  3. Contextualise news into the strategy.
    Individually, most ASX announcements either require a lot of existing knowledge or are individually quite… meh.

    Both in the written content (and in video), you should be drawing the reader through the strategy and this is important. Why?

    Because, “it’s in line with our strategy”, “sets us up for the next level here”, “generates more commercial interest”, “highlights our predictions are holding up”… etc.

    Treat the news as a journey, joined together, rather than individual news pieces.

  4. Raise questions that are important.
    Everyone has their own process. The documents hit differently when their prior knowledge of the business shifts their approach differently than you, and most others.

    In a roadshow, it’s super easy to ask questions. It’s expected, so it forces the barriers and hurdles to investing to surface where they can be addressed.

    With an ASX announcement, it’s quite difficult because most companies have either (1) a phone number and/or (2) an investor@ email.

    These might seem easy to do, but they’re still high friction as they’re neither clear nor inviting.

    Try either (1) having the ability to ask questions on your investor centre, or (2) change the language in your announcements to invite questions. Rather than “Investor Contacts”, change it to “ACME Ltd invites all current and potential investors with questions to reach out to us at X@Y.com or submit questions at www.here.com”

Making these tweaks helps scale the same outcomes investors get in a roadshow - that personalised, one on one, approach - to hundreds or thousands of eyeballs rather than a dozen.

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