What’s the investor perception (study)?
Before you get started with a perception study, you need to think about who you want to run the study with, when, why and how much you want to spend.
A perception study is meant to provide an independent, third-party evaluation of what your company is doing well and where it can improve. But one of the most important things you need to consider is what your company hopes to achieve through this process, especially if you’re conducting an investor perception study for the first time. In such situations, it’s essential that you have management buy-in, explains Rebecca Corbin, founder of Corbin Perception: you want to know that management will be receptive to any feedback that comes out of the study.
Survey the landscape before you make your decision on which provider you want to use. Many companies will look for a recommendation from peers but you should also consider a potential provider’s methodology and likely ability to deliver on what you want. Do your homework: understand each provider’s philosophy, culture and deliverables. ‘Ask questions about process, team involvement, deliverables and what to expect in terms of the recommendations,’ advises Corbin.
Timing is an important factor; studies are conducted throughout the year and even during earnings season. Many companies also plan for studies ahead of or following their investor day. This is something your provider should be able to advise you on. But how often you conduct an investor perception study depends on the type of company, the approach of the study and where the company is in its life cycle, as well as external factors. In general, companies conducting perception studies regularly will run a full survey every 12-24 months and supplement this with smaller feedback reports on a more consistent basis.
Anywhere from $10,000 to $100,000, with approach (interviews, surveys or a mix of the two), scope (number of participants and questions) and deliverables all having an impact on cost.
Once you’ve got the results of your survey, you need to put that information to work. ‘Prioritize the recommendations and develop a plan to execute,’ says Corbin. ‘Tactical suggestions can be addressed immediately, while strategy and/or communication-related recommendations can take longer to implement. Ensure you give yourself time to act on the findings and conduct a follow-up study to measure the impact you are having.’
This guide appeared in the research report Measuring & Demonstrating IR: Part I