Technology & IR Sample
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected public health in a manner unparalleled in modern times. The measures taken to combat it have dramatically impacted...
Technology & IR 2020 Sample
What is in the report?
IR has become increasingly reliant on the application of various technological tools. Changes to working practices as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have in some areas exacerbated this reliance: how investor relations teams currently operate would not be possible without these tools.
This report examines what technological tools IROs use in their work and how this has changed since our last report on technology two years ago. It also looks at how satisfied IROs are with these tools and what they consider to be the key benefits and challenges in using them. We further examine changes to IR technology budgets over the past two years.
Findings from this report are taken from IR Magazine’s Global IR Survey, conducted in Q3 2020. Data is presented globally and also broken down by geographical region and market cap size. For the purposes of this report, the regions are North America, Europe and Asia, while market cap is categorized as follows:
IR technology spend
2020 spend versus 2018 spend, by region and cap size
The amount IR departments spend on technology has dropped slightly in the past two years. While the median spend range remains at $20,000-$49,999, 36 percent of IR teams now spend less than $20,000, compared with 28 percent in 2018, while 37 percent spend upwards of $50,000, compared with 43 percent two years ago.
Median technology spends for both North American and Asian IR teams have fallen a range since 2018, with more than two thirds of Asian IR teams having spent less than $20,000 in the past year. More than half of small-cap IR departments spend less than $20,000 on technology, while more than three in 10 IR teams at large-cap companies spend the same, compared with two in 10 in 2018. Half of mega-cap IR teams have spent less than $50,000 in the past year, while two years ago 38 percent spent at this lower level.
How much did your IR department spend on technology in the last 12 months?
Increase in use
Use of technology change in the past two years
The overwhelming majority – 97 percent – of IROs who regularly use videoconferencing have increased their use over the past two years, while none has seen a decrease. Websites, the most common technology for IROs, have seen 42 percent of regular users increase their usage. Use of newswire services, perhaps the most traditional of technologies for investor relations, has largely remained the same.
Social media, workflow tools and video-marketing materials have all seen a substantial rise in use by IROs, but still remain the least regularly used technologies of all those listed here. No technologies listed have seen any notable decrease in their use.
How has your use of these technologies changed in the past two years?
An analysis of newswire use over the past two years
Just over half of IROs globally regularly use newswires in their work. This figures varies significantly according to region, with North American IROs being more than twice as likely as their Asian counterparts to regularly use newswires.
As one of the most traditional tools of IR, newswire service use has not increased as much as other technologies over the past two years. Just 6 percent of European IROs have seen an increase in the use of newswires in this time, rising to 27 percent in Asia. Large-cap IROs have seen a net decrease in newswire use over this period.
Globally, three quarters of IROs who use newswire services are satisfied with them, with just 1 percent not satisfied. More than eight in 10 in Europe are satisfied, compared with just 67 percent in Asia. Newswire users at small-cap companies are less satisfied than those at other cap size firms.
How has your use of competitive analysis tools changed in the past two years?
How satisfied are you with competitive analysis tools?
Benefits and challenges
Targeting tools: Benefits and challenges
IROs who use targeting tools see the benefits of them as complementing and sometimes even replacing the traditional service they receive from brokers. They are useful in preparing for roadshows and enable IR teams to engage more in direct targeting.
On the challenges side, these tools can be seen as complicated and inflexible. Many IROs are concerned about their accuracy, in terms of both how up to date the information is and how users can be sure they are hitting the right targets.
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