Happy Holidays everyone! In our last newsletter for 2014 we wanted to highlight some recent news that has been garnering a lot of attention, particularly in major business publications like the Wall Street Journal.
The headline of this article says it all: “The Web is Dying; Apps are Killing It”. What this suggests is that there is a major paradigm shift that is occurring before our eyes. Tablets and mobile devices are slowly rendering the PC, as we have known it for the past several decades, as less relevant. You may ask, what does this have to do with the web and apps. From a technology perspective, it’s quite basic – it’s all about the operating system (OS) of the various devices. The OS of the PC (the black boxes that sit under our desks) is very different than the OS of Apple’s iPhones and iPads which is different than the OS of Android mobile devices. As a result, software that was written for the PC doesn’t work well on the various mobile devices. And that’s where apps come into play. Apps are the software for the mobile device. Their meaning is therefore much more important than just Angry Birds and Candy Crush.
As a native app developer, I definitely have a vested interest in the future of mobile and the success of apps. However, given the trajectory of what is going on with mobile, I feel pretty good about where things are heading. And when I see a company like Microsoft that for decades has been all about software for the PC coming out with a new mobile tablet, the Surface Pro 3, and an advertising campaign that says “the tablet that can replace your laptop,” I feel even better.
I encourage you to read the article in the WSJ linked above and to think about the importance of considering a mobile and native app communications strategy as we head into 2015.
Wishing everyone a very happy, healthy and prosperous holiday season and New Year!
5 Tips for Improving Investor Roadshows
As many companies are now wrapping up their IR programs for 2014 and beginning preparations for the upcoming year, it is important to reflect on what worked, what didn’t work and improvements that can be made. Below are just a few tips – logistical, tactical and practical – that you can utilize to improve upon your roadshow efforts for 2015.
- Timing – Make it relevant for the long-term investor
A majority of non-deal roadshows are conducted immediately following the quarterly results, as management has just released all public information and can then openly discuss this information with current or potential investors. However, according to a recent study published by IR Magazine, “investors are increasingly calling for company visits outside of the reporting season, when they can discuss the long-term numbers without the conversation being dominated by the noise of results.” So look at booking roadshows for the beginning of March, June and September, before the blackout period begins. Investors will understand that quarterly results won’t be discussed, so they can focus on the long term prospects of your company.
- Location – Investors also live in Milwaukee, St. Louis and Connecticut
While management teams should start off their non-deal roadshow efforts in the major financial hubs of New York, Boston, Chicago or San Francisco, it is important to note that these aren’t the only cities to visit. The three mentioned above plus the likes of Dallas, San Diego, Minneapolis and Seattle have continued to see increases in roadshow activity and generally have friendly, long-term investors that every company wants to have in their shareholder base.Don’t have time to go ‘off the map’ to one of these smaller cities? Tie in a meeting or two with other business or existing travel to efficiently capitalize on management’s time.
- Leverage Existing Pockets of Holders
Struggling to get new investor meetings, regardless of location? Long-term investors want other long-term investors to understand and appreciate the value of your company. Don’t be afraid to ask current investors if they have colleagues or friends at other firms that may be interested in hearing your story. A number of the larger institutional firms will have separate divisions with a different investment focus – and your company could appeal to these different investor styles (e.g. momentum and growth) within the same institution.
- Leave behind – Hard copy presentations are nice, but how will you keep investors informed of new information?
Utilizing mobile technology can be a great way to keep your investors informed following your meeting. Plus, you can host presentations, videos and other great content on the app so you don’t have to print hard copies of these documents for your entire week of meetings. Ask your investor to download your IR app, either before the meeting so they can take notes on the presentation, or after so that they can stay up-to-date with all of the latest communications from your company. This will help show investors that your company is thinking about IR and its shareholders, and will allow you to consistently and instantaneously communicate with all of your investors.
- Record your Progress and Gather Feedback
Whether utilizing the sell-side or setting up meetings on your own, make sure that you record every meeting that takes place. At the conclusion of the roadshow, gather feedback from every attendee in the meeting, including management, when possible. Some investors may not want to provide feedback, and others will want to do it anonymously. But gathering this data in a timely fashion will help improve the corporate story as well as the productivity of the meetings going forward.
5 Ways to Increase Employee Engagement Among Baby Boomers
While there is a huge focus on millennials and their impact on how we work, Baby Boomers were the original demographic that changed the job and consumer landscape, and today, still make up a large part of the U.S. workforce. Additionally, given the recent financial crisis, boomers are working well past traditional retirement years. However, according to the Gallup Organization’s State of the American Workplace Report, boomers are also the most disengaged segment of the workforce – and this costs corporate America almost $500 million a year.
So, what can be done to increase engagement of baby boomers in their work? Here are a few ideas from Talent Management.
- Celebrate Performance – While millennials aren’t as motivated by salary as they are by other factors like a company’s mission, values and work-life balance, rewarding Baby Boomers, whether through title changes, raises, etc. is a core way to keep them engaged with their work.
- Provide Mentorship Opportunities – With the wealth of experience Boomers have collected over their careers, knowledge sharing is an opportunity to reconnect with their workplace and pass along advice to those who are just starting out or less advanced in their career. It will remind them what they love about their career and enable them to support a colleague’s growth.
- Cut through the Clutter – Typically Boomers have robust lives outside of work, many with families and other obligations. With that said, it’s important for employers to communicate with their boomer workforce in an efficient manner. Mobile technology presents an opportunity to directly push information to a device – i.e., a phone or tablet – that most boomers have on them all the time.
- Smaller Teams – Allowing employees to work in smaller teams can make them feel more productive and accountable for their work. In turn, they feel more engaged with their company.
- Challenging Assignments – Baby boomers thrive on challenges as they have intense work ethics and are extremely goal-oriented. Keep Boomers engaged in the workplace by offering them challenging projects that call upon their vast wealth of experience and knowledge.
Baby boomers have changed the way we work. They are tremendous contributors to our businesses and ensuring that you have the right programs in place to connect, motivate and engage them is critical. Just because they are seasoned, does not mean that they aren’t tech-savvy and providing programs and technologies that take into account their busy lives, decades of experience and that recognize their accomplishments will go a long way in keeping them motivated.
The Changing Role of IT: What iPhone 6 and iOS 8 Means to Business
Did you buy the new iPhone 6 or 6 Plus yet? If not, I bet you know someone who did. In a recent piece for Wired Innovation Insight, APPrise Mobile Founder and CEO, Jeff Corbin, discusses the correlation between Apple’s new iOS 8 operating system found on the new iPhone and the future of business computing.
Corbin believes that mobile apps will continue to play a bigger role in the way that companies do business. Apple’s larger devices continue to make it easier for iPhones to become business tools. He also believes that innovations in mobile will change the dynamic between business unit leaders and IT departments.
Read Jeff’s article here, and tell us what you think.
Need to Know
Without much fanfare or extravagance (by Apple’s standards), Apple announced its new iPad Mini 3 and iPad Air 2 in the middle of October. Complete with a thinner design, better camera and faster processor, among other enhancements, both devices are major improvements to their predecessors. IDC predicts that tablet growth is only expected to increase by about 20% in 2014, largely due to the fact that consumers aren’t trading in old devices as they are getting the job done for a longer period of time. However, IDC also expects that tablets will continue to infiltrate small, medium, and large businesses around the world.
Hear what CNET’s Kara Tsuboi had to say about Apple’s latest products in the short clip below.
APPrise Mobile Welcomes
Who: Rust-Oleum is the leading manufacturer of premium consumer and industrial paint and coating products.
Interesting Fact: Rust-Oleum was founded by sea captain Robert Fergusson when he noticed that an accidental splash of fish oil had stopped the spread of corrosion on his rusty metal deck.
Who: Tyson Foods (NYSE:TSN), with headquarters in Springdale, Arkansas, is one of the world’s largest producers of chicken, beef, pork and prepared foods that include leading brands such as Tyson®, Jimmy Dean®, Hillshire Farm®, Sara Lee®, Ball Park®, Wright®, Aidells® and State Fair®.
Interesting Fact: Founded in Springdale, Arkansas in 1931, Tyson Foods currently operates in the U.S., Brazil, China, India and Mexico and sells food all over the world.
Mobile Music of the Month
In light of Mariah Carey’s ‘Awful Holiday Performance’, we wanted to highlight her original performance of “All I Want For Christmas Is You”.