Corporate Eye

What Makes for Effective Investor Relations Sites? Part 13: Make Your Site More Mobile Friendly

It is a cliché, but like all clichés, there is a grain of truth to the saying “We live in an increasingly mobile society”. I know it is true for me. I seldom use a landline telephone any more, my email comes over my iPhone and my children never write me letters – it’s always a text or an email, sent from a coffee shop or the back seat of a car. Even my dictionary is contained in an app on my iPhone. Yet when it comes to investor relations web sites, many companies expect shareholders to be seated in front of a desktop computer with a broadband connection. Yes, I can get to corporate investor sites on my phone, but waiting for an image rich page to download on my mobile is like watching paint dry – and I’m much more patient than my twenty-something children.

This is all by way of saying that more companies should pay attention to methods for delivering their message to mobile devices quickly and easily. I have seen more of this type of accessibility on web sites of European companies than for American companies. I’m not quite sure why this should be other than a general observation that Europeans seem to have been quicker to adapt many types of mobile phone technologies.

The insurance company Aviva does a good job of this. As you can see from the screen shot of their Stay in Touch page, you can access news feeds and email updates. Further, they make available a mobile site, which is devoid of graphics and therefore loads quickly. And they put all of this on a single page. It is a very efficient design that quickly allows shareholders to decide how they wish to receive information when not seated at their desk.

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John Palizza

John recently retired as a Lecturer in Management at Rice University’s Jones Graduate School of Management, where he taught investor relations. Prior to that, John was in charge of investor relations for Sysco Corporation and Walgreen Co. He holds a MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University and a law degree from Loyola University of Chicago. You can learn more about John’s thinking about investor relations at his blog, Investor Relations Musings.