The data revolution advantage for public markets
In the throes of a mega data revolution, the problem with numbers is not with the numbers, but in their translation. “Too often we see them as an end point – the holy grail of research, evaluation, analysis, planning – rather than a step along the journey of better understanding. When numbers become the end game, the pressure to manipulate their journey, fiddling, adjusting and otherwise reconfiguring them is immense.” (source: click here).
Frequently in my discussions with our fearless leaders in the public markets, they cast a die in my direction that startles me. “Can you provide me with the names and email addresses of everyone that reviews articles about my company?” asked one CEO in a breakfast meeting I had recently. “That’s impossible…” I started, when he interrupted me quickly to tell me how a competitor of mine was making this claim. I retorted with such disgust, that it was necessary to send him a bottle of wine as an apologetic gesture to offset my humanness.
“Good heavens” I continued – “please tell me what site this is, so we may warn our audience.” After all, a smart investor does not want this kind of data being collected on them. So keep in mind that some of these sites that ask for your name, email and insist on securing a password coded entry are often there to insure that they are capturing everything — and I mean everything you are reviewing. Now for the sake of your confidence on InvestorIntel, allow me to start by saying that we do NOT collect IP addresses, nor do we distribute any email addresses to anyone who signs up for our daily news feeds or participate in what I affectionately refer to as “spyware” for the benefit of capital means.
Never in the history of our Universe have we ever had so many numbers to f**k with towards creating miscellaneous conclusions that ultimately mean nothing. And this social data revolution, which is not only rocking public markets, is also forcing critical lines between generations…and the way they invest.
It amazes me how many clients we have that still refuse to have a Twitter account. “We get our news through Twitter and direct emails from companies…” said two rising stars in the senior management of Paramount Gold & Silver (TSXV: GGD) when I entertained myself at the New Orleans Investment Conference by asking the different companies how and where they access news online. Note that they both appeared to be under 40 and have money to invest.
What’s my point? If you’re not online, and you do not have a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and news feed infrastructure – your no longer in the game with the Gen-X or Y’s….you do not exist. This said many Baby Boomers are still utilizing receiving physical copies of the New York Times, but this too seems to be changing.
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Wikipedia describes this data revolution as “the shift in human communication patterns towards increased personal information sharing and its related implications, made possible by the rise of social networks in early 2000s. This phenomenon has resulted in the accumulation of unprecedented amounts of public data.”
Flip to yesterday when an unhappy CEO wrote me with “there is no retail market for the rare earths” and basically had concluded that online marketing was passé for his leadership role in the industry.
Frankly, he is wrong – very wrong. This data revolution has created an abundance of opportunities to build explosive and powerful online market presence. Am I saying this because I own an online site? Perhaps, but I tend to believe I am like a moth to a flame when I see opportunity – and anyone involved in the marketing of public companies via online media has seen the light. And when I invest in more social media, our audience and clients are happier.
So for those of you that start saying “but we are doing everything and our stock is not moving….” – here is my response. Well, at least you’re on the playing field and when investors are seeking a tantalum, antimony or gold or whatever you are in: if you do not have an online media presence, then investors like the “Twitter twins” at Paramount will not be able to find you.
And that’s half the battle – being somewhere you can be found. If this market is turning, and history supports this theory, then now would unquestionably be the time to get your game on.
Tracy Weslosky is the CEO of InvestorIntel Corp., a company formed to provide investor relations in 2001 that today now provides online media marketing, social ... <Read more about Tracy Weslosky>