To reach investors you need a duck

BY Mike Riches

I’ve heard clients talk about investors who “just need a pdf to print off and read in the taxi” and in the next breath they tell me about the investor that spent most of the meeting “getting lost in their corporate website”.

So which one do we need to accommodate?

The truth is both skim-readers and deep divers.

But although the answer is obvious, delivering it is a much harder task.

The skim reader

People in the City are busy and important and don’t always have time to go through pages of text and figures to form an opinion of an organisation. These users are looking for content to be delivered ‘at a glance’ and it should be available to download and print.

I say should because we are in 2016, and you would imagine that most businesses would have embraced responsive web design. The skim-reading investor could then access the ‘at a glance’ content from their smartphone or tablet without the need for downloading and printing.

This is not the case as Gather has shown. Our research into which of the FTSE 100 companies have responsive websites shows fewer have embraced responsive web design than you’d think.

The deep diver

Depending on the size and sector of the organisation, there could be multiple digital touch points for the inquisitive (or lost) investor to stumble across and although the content won’t be aimed at them, they will form an opinion of you based on their experience.

In this instance, clarity is key. It needs to be clear when a user has moved from one area of the site to another, which can be a challenge if the investor content is embedded within a consumer facing site. It should also be clear who the audiences are and where they can find content relevant to them. Shell do this well by listing their audiences by name in the navigation.    

It seems that one of the biggest differences between online and offline is the order in which users can consume content.

Reports and presentations are in a very obvious order with a helpful content page to help the impatient investor flick straight to the preferred content.

Websites are not built in this way but instead need to accommodate multiple journeys that allow the user to define the order in which they want to consume the content based on their immediate needs. You need a duck to reach investors, because a duck is built to both skim and deep dive.