Developing a winning roadshow and marketing strategy
Glossophobia — the fear of public speaking — regularly ranks high on the list of what people dislike the most.
Whether it be fear of failure, fear of being caught out saying something wrong, or just fear that their message will come across badly, there are a number of good reasons why people don’t like standing up and presenting in front of others.
Unfortunately for CEOs or managing directors of listed companies, you don’t get a choice in the matter.
You are the public face of the company and need to be on the front foot delivering your sales message to investors.
As with most things, some do this better than others. Some people find it quite natural and could talk all day if required. For others, it is a tortuous process (for everyone involved) that must be endured, rather than enjoyed.
But if you are taking your company on the road through a roadshow, there’s little getting out of it: you will have to talk, publicly and persuasively, about what makes your company great.
Fortunately, there are strategies that can reduce the pain – if followed.
What to do:
- Target your audience. When planning a roadshow, target your message and material to the brokers, analysts and fund managers who are most likely to invest in your company. Your time is valuable, so make sure you use it wisely.
- Keep your message succinct. You will feel a collective groan if you walk into a room for a 30-minute presentation and hand out a 50-page slide deck. Work out what the three to four key takeaways should be and focus on them.
- Repeat the process. It is unlikely that you will convince an investor to invest at the first meeting. A winning roadshow strategy should be based around seeing the same investors at least three to four times a year, bringing them up to speed with your achievements over the past few months. Of course, the more you deliver your messages the better you get, so repetition works in your favour.
What NOT to do:
- Turn up late for meetings. When planning your itinerary, allow enough time to get from one meeting to the next. That means going into Google Maps, typing in the two addresses and allowing for the inter-meeting travel time. Running late increases your stress and makes it more likely you will struggle to deliver your message clearly.
- Keep talking after they’ve stopped listening. This should be an easy one to spot. Once you see investors go for their phone, it’s a sure sign that they’ve stopped listening. Plan a roadshow presentation that goes for 25 minutes rather than an hour and you’re more likely to have kept investors’ attention until the end.
- Stack presentation slides with bullets. Apart from being boring, lots of bullets mean that prospective investors can’t get a sense of what the most important fact is on that page. Keep your presentation simple and use lots of pictures.
A winning roadshow and marketing strategy involves communicating your point of difference and showing how you will add value to shareholders over the coming year. Regular follow-ups should reference these metrics so that potential investors can see that you are achieving your goals.
If you are going to spend at least six to eight weeks a year on the road seeing potential investors, you need to ensure that your time is well spent and delivers results.