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Top NZX50 companies improve their web communication

Investors the winners as top NZX50 companies improve their web communication

The sixth annual Best Investor Website Awards (BIWA) organised by Wired Internet Group shows a marked improvement for NZX50 companies that focus on communication and a good visitor experience for the investor.

The awards evaluate and rank how well listed companies’ websites meet the needs of investors. The BIWA 2012 shows that of the ten sites redesigned since last year, seven have improved their ranking – five of them by 20 places or more.

Cavalier Corporation has gone from second-worst to second-best, the most startling improvement in the history of the award. Cavalier Marketing Manager, Desiree Keown said “the company is thrilled with the result and it proved that good websites didn’t require massive investment to succeed, just a focus on the basics of good navigation design and relevant content for the audience.”

The New Zealand Shareholders Association Chairman, John Hawkins said it was clear that the BIWA Awards were having a positive effect. “It is particularly pleasing that not only is the overall standard improving, but the gap between the best and worst is narrowing significantly” he said. “Retail investors use web based information portals widely now, and will appreciate the ongoing upgrading that the awards seem to have stimulated”, said Hawkins, adding that “the NZSA endorsed the BIWA Awards and congratulates Wired Internet Group on their continued sponsorship of the event”.

Apart from Cavalier, the biggest gainers this year have been Goodman Property Trust, Michael Hill, AMP, and NZ Refining. Judicious site redesigns have increased all their rankings more than 20 places (and in Cavalier’s case by 47 places). Last year’s winner, Fletcher Building, have retained their first place again this year, while new entrants, Chorus and Precinct Properties NZ, came in at sixth-equal.

BIWA judge Bruce Russell is author of “Preparing for Take-off” a guide to effective online communication, published by Wired Internet in 2010. Mr Russell said that this year’s results show the BIWA message about good online communication with investors is getting through, as the best sites were clearly those that had based their re-design on the needs of an investment audience.

Key trends from the BIWA report are:

1. ‘The Gap’ closes - This year’s BIWA reverses the trend established since 2008 – ‘the Gap’ between the best and the worst sites closed, mostly as a result of the bottom sites getting better. The overall average score took a jump, for the first time in four years – the mean increased from 64.4 to an impressive 70.2.

The average score of the Top 10 sites increased by only 1.5 points to 82.4 but the average score of the Bottom 10 increased by a massive 13.9 points to 56.7

2. New sites can be better – Previous BIWAs revealed that new designs were not always better for the investment audience. In the past, this was blamed on an emphasis by businesses on their online retail experience, with retail customer’s needs put before those of investors. This year it is very clear those sites using good investor user experience as a driver, have made significant improvements in their BIWA rankings.

3. Ethical marketing continues to increase in importance - The number of sites in the NZX50 appealing to the social and environmental conscience of investors’ has been increasing for several years. This year the trend seems to have levelled off, with only 32 listed companies using either social or environmental responsibility (or both) as a plank of their investor and customer relations strategies. This is a dip from 35 last year.

4. Social media are being more widely used in IR - This year for the third time we surveyed the NZX50 sites to see how many were using social media to enhance communication with investors. We found that 15 sites in the NZX50 use one or more of these ‘social media’, of which nine used both Twitter and Facebook. This is slightly up from 13 sites using social media in 2011.

The BIWA also found that corporate blogging has completely lost its lustre, and both listed companies doing this use it only to communicate product information and support, rather than investor information. By contrast an area of growth is in the use of corporate YouTube channels to make multimedia presentations to customers and investors. Last year only four companies were doing this (the first year we noticed this tool in use) while this year six are doing so.

The best and worst websites of the NZX50 companies in BIWA 2012

Top five

RankBusinessNZX Listed Website
1Fletcher Building Ltd www.fletcherbuilding.com/
2Cavalier Corporation Ltdwww.cavcorp.co.nz
3OceanaGold Corporation www.oceanagold.com
4Auckland International Airport Ltdwww.auckland-airport.co.nz/
4Goodman Fielder Ltdwww.goodmanfielder.com.au

Bottom five

44Restaurant Brands NZ Ltdwww.restaurantbrands.co.nz
47Sky Network Television Ltdwww.skytv.co.nz
48Freightways Ltdwww.freightways.co.nz
49Pumpkin Patch Ltdwww.pumpkinpatch.biz
50Sky City Entertainment Group Ltdwww.skycity.co.nz

A copy of the full BIWA 2012 report can be requested here:
http://wired.co.nz/News/BIWA-Press-Release-12.asp

ENDS

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