Marketing and investor relations: twin sons of different mothers

We recently published a whitepaper discussing what, in marketing parlance, is called “earned” media. Generally speaking, earned media is news mentions, social media shares & reposts and services reviews. This is always placed in discussion alongside paid media (ads, etc.) and owned media (corporate website, etc.).

For marketing, a company earns “earned” by creating great content (blogs, infographics, videos, press releases, webinar and whitepapers) that their audience proactively share. A simple (and artery damaging) example is when you liked and shared that video recipe for Buffalo Chicken Stuffed Baked Potato Skins recipe in Facebook.

How does this relate to investor relations, in context to “content?” Investor relations departments are the quintessential content marketers– specifically because they cannot embellish from the facts at all. They cannot buy ads* (paid media) promising benefits. What IR does is tell their corporate story – generally by offering a mosaic of facts (past performance), introduce the drivers (senior management) and then sit back and hope the customer (the investor) buys.

Let’s compare the tools:

In our marketing whitepaper, two graphs illustrated what 1,500 CMOs told us about the effectiveness of their communications: lead generation and brand building.  As you see, a lot of stuff in the marketing mosaic. What is obvious is that the marketing tools deemed most effective by CMOs – upper right quadrant – are the same tools that IROs have always used. This became very apparent when the marketing vocabulary is replaced with IR vocabulary.

The charts with the orange dots are the original marketing charts. Clicking on any of the four charts will enlarge them.


Same chart with superimposed IR vocabulary. Extra stuff removed.



Same chart with superimposed IR vocabulary. Extra stuff removed.


The mosaic theory is not new to IR. It is newer to us product marketers, mostly as social media has given us a stronger opportunity to build our own publishing network in balance with existing traditional channels. Thank you interwebs!

If you are interested in what media your investors favor, I suggest this whitepaper.


And yes, I appreciate the irony of this earned media in a blog about earned media.

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