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Tell me something I don’t know: Five principles for solving the equities communications conundrum

Greentarget | 05.04.2024

For equities market participants, stirring excitement around new products and technology is a major challenge. One of the most traded asset classes in the world and a technological trailblazer, the evolution of equities has been well-documented. However, for the investors, brokers, exchanges, market infrastructure firms and vendors that keep the market moving, cutting through the noise is difficult in a market where several new solutions are launched every week.  

Early electronification and the proliferation of enormous volumes of market data have made the asset class a breeding ground for innovation, resulting in a trading technology and analytics boom. The burgeoning demand for the best trading solutions is reflected in the vast annual attendance at TradeTech Europe, Europe’s biggest buy-side equities conference. Each year a growing number of delegates travel to Paris to gauge how the industry is harnessing new technology, navigating regulation and adapting to evolving client demand.  

For attendees, conferences are a highly effective way of gaining visibility and meeting their network under the same roof. However, when the conference hall lights dim and delegates return home, the question for many is how to maintain momentum and stay front of mind.  

Getting your story straight  

Despite equity market participants’ broad range of roles and functions, their communications challenges have a common denominator: how to humanise the problems that their technologies solve. While blood, sweat and tears go into developing algos, reducing latency or creating the smartest data tools, the end user’s primary concern is not how the sausage is made but how these technologies can improve their day-to-day lives.  

Someone with shared experience at the coal face or who knows a specific issue inside out can weave a compelling narrative that reassures buyers by demonstrating their expertise and understanding of nuance. Whether you are targeting heads of desk, CTOs or COOs through speaking to journalists, writing content or social media, it is important to take a step back and think about the broader trends that got you to this point and how technology can change their future for the better.

To do this, an effective campaign should be underpinned by five key points: 

1. How it makes lives easier

Clients need to understand how technology can improve workflows or let them do something that they couldn’t do before. They also need to understand how the technology can be implemented as perceptions of an inconvenient or lengthy implementation can be a barrier to adoption.  


2. How it is different

For every firm selling a solution, there will be many others chasing the same market. Being the biggest, fastest or best-in-breed are good selling points, but these badges cannot be claimed by everyone. More importantly, firms need to demonstrate how ideas on how to solve client problems have been enabled by technology – not the other way around. 


3. How it adds value

Cost pressure will never go away and firms are increasingly having to do more with less. Showing how your solutions help clients to achieve this while staying on top of their game is key. 


4. Why now

The market context is everything. Whether we’re facing surging stock markets, intense bouts of volatility or a wave of regulation, buyers need to understand why to act now and what will happen if they kick the can down the road. Will they be unprepared for incoming regulations? Will they lose their competitive edge? Will they miss an opportunity? 


5. How it helps clients stay one step ahead

Staying fresh and relevant is a constant challenge for all market participants. In rapidly changing markets, solutions with a short shelf life are unlikely to prevail. Demonstrating genuine thought leadership to highlight potential hurdles and explaining how you are helping clients to navigate them is essential.  

Getting your story out there 

Using credible personalities and effective messaging that addresses problems at a human level is the key to cut-through. Technology on its own will never sell a solution – firms buy into a brand based on its story and the people behind it, whether its developers, strategists, brokers or traders. It is then up to the technology to achieve their vision.  

Effective communications are crucial to achieving this. In a market where many think they’ve heard it all before, thinking long-term about your story, why it matters now and how it will play out in the future builds credibility and demonstrates relevance. The next step is delivering these messages strategically and ensuring that they reach the audiences that matter – through the media, content and social channels. With so many voices vying for attention, the technology arms race has taken to the airwaves, spurring firms to think about the purpose, features and values that define them. 



Greentarget will be on site in Paris for TradeTech Europe, managing the press stand – if you want to pick our brains on how to stand out or just grab a coffee, come say hello! 

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