A Look at the Changing Investor Ecosystem: Why Target the Digital Space?

Generally, an investor marketing strategy consists of two targets: institutional and retail, through the broker network. What happens if an investment is too small for an institutional investor or too risky for a broker (normally only focused on blue-chip stocks and capital preservation strategies)? That is the value of retail the investor.

Retail investors are often the early adopters of a trending investment opportunity or sector. While institutional investors will hang back to wait for proof of success, retail investors will jump on board in the early stages hoping for a great buy. This early adoption helps generate buzz and increases the trading volume of your stock. If you tell your stock story in a compelling way, retail investors make great stock advocates across various channels. 

As a result, investor behaviour is changing and investor marketing strategies need to adapt accordingly.

Wealth Transfer 

A survey from the Financial Planning Standards Council finds that in Canada between now and 2026, approximately $1 trillion of wealth will transfer from the baby boomer generation to their children. This pending intergenerational wealth transfer – the largest in Canadian history – will challenge advisors to build relationships with new clients who have vastly different expectations than their parents. Or possibly lose these clients who would prefer to manage their own money.

Almost 2/3 of Canadians don’t use financial planners, mainly because they are tech savvy enough to invest themselves digitally. Hearts & Wallets found that the percent of assets in the US being self-managed by investors jumped from 40% to 46% between 2011 and 2014.


Our own research finds that 59% of potential retail investors are between the ages of 25 and 44 years old. Another study found that 65% of Canadians are open to disruptors in buying financial products from new entrants. From this sample, millennials were open to buying financial investing products in a very non-traditional matter.

From what we all know about millennials, their mode of communication is going to be in the digital space. 


The number of smartphone users worldwide today surpasses 3 billion and is forecast to further grow by several hundred million in the next few years. A study by TD finds that of 1,000 American investors, 21% say technology’s greatest impact on everyday life has been on how they manage money —almost as many as say it’s been on how they shop. 

According to a 2016 NIRI Social Media survey, 47% of retail investors use social media for investor relations. These investors are on social media daily using everyday digital media solutions to seek out information on their investment opportunities. They are working with digital brokers or trading platforms, educating themselves through digital publications, engaging on forums, and they are searching for opportunities using search engines. Your retail investor audience has turned into a digital, tech savvy population. This trend is only going to continue with the upcoming intergenerational wealth transfer. 

So, in turn, you need to have a digital, tech-savvy communications and marketing strategy. Companies listing in today’s markets need to reach investors in new ways and not just through traditional wealth managers. This transforms static news into conversations and allows you to bypass media to speak directly to your target audience online.

Plexus has a number of programs that build awareness and attract retail investors through a digital, multi-channel approach. Our database of over 320,000 retail investors and relationships with over 85 online communities will allow you to expand your reach to a completely new investor target market.

For more information on how to craft an engaging digital relations plan to expand your investor reach, check out the comprehensive Edge program offered by Plexus Media’s specialists. Give us a call today – 1-844-6PLEXUS ext. 108