Insights from managing over $147 million of investor relations media spend

Winning Media is an industry-leading, 17-year-old digital marketing agency that has now managed over $147 million USD – and counting – worth of marketing budgets.

Digital marketing has proven itself to be the most efficient, cost-effective way to reach retail investors.

Winning Media helps businesses harness the power of digital marketing and deliver targeted messages by using a combination of these channels plus others:

* A proprietary combination of hundreds of display and native ads on Google, Yahoo and numerous other ad networks.

* Custom landing pages designed to highlight your company’s narrative. These pages are some of the highest converting in the industry.

* Custom ticker tag articles released on the wire to massively spread your message along side the big board companies in your sector.

* Leveraging our exclusive influencer network to reach investors and communities across multiple social platform from YouTube to TikTok and more

Simply put, Winning Media and its experiences team has built a very powerful marketing machine gets results for companies time and time again.

Connect with Ty Hoffer

Website: Winning.Media


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John Newtson: Hi, this is John Newton, back with another conversation about shareholder acquisition. Today we’re going to be discussing how public companies can take an active role in getting their story out to investors online. Joining me is Ty Hoffer, CEO, of winning media. Ty has worked with hundreds of public companies to get their story out to investors for over 17 years now.

He’s managed over 147 million in digital media budgets for public companies, and he’s got a great reputation in the industry for both his effectiveness and for his integrity. Thank you so much for being here, Ty. I’m looking forward to it.

Ty Hoffer: Thanks John., great to see you as always.

John Newtson: Yeah. So, j just kind of jump into it. you know, the industry’s changed a lot over the past 17 years, and I think that the biggest thing is that, , what I call the mainstreaming of investor marketing. There used to be this idea that if, if you’re marketing, in doing digital marketing or any type of marketing directly to investors, that there was kind of a questionable nature to it.

Like I think that’s definitely changed, but what’s your experience been?

Ty Hoffer: Yeah, I mean, there’s no doubt, you know, 10, 15 years ago it was a very wild west environment, you know?  I was learning the business. You know, I don’t come from a Wall Street background. I come from a, a marketing background. And, back in the old days, yeah, we would sometimes get hired by companies, sometimes third parties, you know, we would work with good clients, we’d work with some bad clients.

Things have changed so much over the last, you know,  15 years, you know, today in the marketplace, , we work directly with issuers. Everything is, fully vetted by a companies legal. All the content is reviewed and approved and signed off on, and really, you know, the content has to be, it can’t be overly sensational.

It’s really more conversational in nature. You can’t make any wild claims. It has to be proper disclosure, to follow all the rules and, and, and, and regulations. And so, you know, that’s something that we’re very transparent with. You know, we usually get under an NDA with the company. We work really closely with the,, you know, with the C E O or whoever our, you know, our contact is,, at management.

And we really try to work on a, in a real time basis each week with the company as, as the campaign is progressing.

John Newtson: So basically you’re not putting any information out there that is not vetted in the same way that if the company is putting out a press release, it’s all very, very, buttoned down in terms of, , their compliance and, and regulations and everything.

Ty Hoffer: Yeah. You know, the, the, the way we work is, you know, we, we, we try to understand like how we’re going to explain the narrative to average retail investors and how to do that in a way that is, Easy to understand while also being compelling, , while also working with public information. So we, you know, we work with the companies investor deck, obviously their website, , all, all press, press releases, public filings, and that’s how we put all that content together.

And we don’t take anything live, until the company, until the company approves it. So that way everybody’s, completely on the same page.

John Newtson: Yeah. And, and I mean, anyone, anyone who’s dealt with public companies knows that. I mean, the stock market is fundamentally unpredictable. It’s volatile. You can have, the Dow can drop a hundred points in a day. you can have a news story come out. Biden can say something. you can get something that kills a sector and companies are punished in their stock price for no reason whatsoever, ever. So how would, how do you like manage, a marketing campaign and media spend and all those kind of things in, in an environment that is just so.

Fundamentally volatile.

Ty Hoffer: Yeah, that is a great question, and I will say it has changed a lot over the last 10 years. You know, 10 years ago, our business was much simpler, frankly, because we, we really were primarily marketing companies on, , email newsletters, that was, I mean, that was how most all of the media spend went towards, email.

Today, the way that we, we market with so many other media verticals, it has to be flexible based on the market. Cause just like you’re saying, the Dow can be up 500 points or a sector can be really in favor, you know, like lithium or artificial intelligence or whatever the, or biotech or whatever the sector is now, you know, cannabis was hot, cannabis is not, crypto is hot, it’s, it’s not now.

You know, we’re kind of sector agnostic. We tend to get hired by whatever, you know, wherever the bankers are raising money and what, what other sectors in favor. But I think what CEOs and CFOs in particular really like about digital as a form for marketing is its flexibility. And that’s something I think that really resonates with CEOs.

So, when we have a budget that we’re, that we’re spending, you know, we like to look at how the market is every single day. So, if the market looks like it’s going to be a good day, it’s a green day, maybe the company has news you know, the sectors in favor. Maybe the big board guys are really up.

That’s a great day to deploy budget, spend some budget, you know, drive a lot of people to. A landing page. Tell the story. Bring in new investors to learn the symbol. Learn the story. That’s a great environment. Conversely, you know, if, if something happens in the market the Fed does something, Biden does something who knows, right?

And, and it’s a terrible day. That’s a day that we want to reduce suspend. We may spend $0. And so that’s very efficient. And at the end of the month, that means that the company’s marketing budget has been spent really, really efficiently. That’s so what I just described right there is something we could never do.

10 years ago, we, we, that type of, this type of technology or strategy wasn’t used, it didn’t exist back then. You know, you’d book something out, you know, two, three weeks in advance, prepay it. You know, it’s just like running an an A in the USA today. It doesn’t, you have to pay for it in advance. And it doesn’t matter the day that it comes out on, if something awful happens in the news or the Dow drops 500 points, you can’t change.

That’s a sunk cost of ad budget. With digital, it’s completely different. It’s very flexible. So, we can control that spin, throttle up, throttle back, pushed the gas and hit the brake. And you know, issuers companies really, really like that.

John Newtson: Yeah, no, I think that’s I think one of the things that , having been around marketing to investors, both in publishing side and other areas for so long I think a lot of people misunderstand or, or don’t think about the fact that what we do in digital marketing online is you’re arbitration attention.

And so, when you have something that’s positive, focused on a sector, there’s more attention there. And so, you can ramp up the spend there and then you, you can get more attention faster for cheaper. And then conversely, when the attention is negative or low, it’s going to cost you a lot more money to get less attention.

And so, I guess that’s, that’s perfect example of what, what you’re saying here is that you can completely change. You know, the brakes or the, or or the gas based on kind of where that attention is and how that can impact the company. So, with that, like how do you, how do you, can you walk through like what you’re doing for companies and kind of how that’s changed over the past decade?

Cause you mentioned things like building a narrative and things like that, that are more than just media buying. So, what is kind of that complete. Walkthrough of what it looks like to put a campaign together.

Ty Hoffer: Yeah. Man, it, it has changed so much you know, over the last decade, you know and, and frankly, our business used to be a lot simpler, and these days it’s much more complex.

Because you just have to have a lot more contractors and staff and people to really take these campaigns live. So, like, you know, when we, we produce a landing page, so you have to have copywriters, you have to have designers you have to have media buyers that are driving traffic.

You know, whether you’re using Google and Yahoo or Facebook, you still have to use email. And we also have to use, you know, these influencers that a lot of us have heard about, whether they’re on YouTube, TikTok Instagram, you know, you have to vet those guys, make sure they’re following all the rules and that they’re they have, they have legitimate audiences.

You know, there are other ways that we can push content to investors. You know, like S S M S text list, push notification list. Frankly, there’s a, a myriad of waves. To get this narrative and story out to investors to get it on their cell phones, to get it on their laptops and, you know, so it’s like, ha having, having media buyers, having account managers.

I mean, it takes a, takes a village as they say, so to speak, to pull off these campaigns. You know, we usually have to have, you know, You know, several weeks in advance to plan and put all the ducks in a row to finally take a campaign live and and run it effectively. So, you know, frankly, it, it, it has become a much, much more complex process.

Which is, which is, you know, it, it’s, it’s tough internally because there’s a lot more moving parts because it is more complex. I guess on the positive for us, you know, it’s definitely thinned out the herd because it is so extremely difficult to make these campaigns work if you don’t know what you’re doing and you can lose a lot of money very quickly.

You know, again, if you’re, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you know, you, you mentioned, you know, we have run. You know, several hundred, you know, a hundred million dollars worth of worth of budget in my career. And when you do that, you learn a lot, you know, and you learn what works. You learn what doesn’t work, you know, and, and you, you learn where you’ve wasted marketing budget.

And so, you know, when we work with people, obviously our clients get to, you know, kind of leverage our experience that we’ve that we’ve had over so long.

John Newtson: I think with the, the complexity of innocent increasing complexity in the digital media environment that I think you run into, or I run into this a lot when I talk to different people, different CEOs, where, where it’s like, oh, well this doesn’t work.

And it’s like you kind of have to point out like, are you sure it doesn’t work? Because. Or is it that the, the way that you were doing it or the person that you had, it didn’t work because it, it’s, it’s very successful for a lot of people. It’s just an increasingly complex game. And so things that worked, like to your point earlier, 10 years ago, five years ago do not work anymore.

It’s not enough anymore. And so things that like don’t work are often, it’s really like the, the, there’s a lack of expertise and we, we’ve seen this. Generally over time that when things are simpler and there’s money there, you have a lot of, there’s a lower threshold to entry. And you have a lot of people who are putting themselves out there to say that they’re marketers, they’re gonna help companies, they’re gonna do this.

And the reality is, is the game moved past their ability to do anything. And they weren’t, they were only doing things that were simple or they were just trying to get money in. And and so that, that complexity and that increasing complexity, I think is like, it’s important to note that it’s, it’s.

There’s a difficulty rating, but there’s also an opportunity there because that means that with that complexity, there’s lots of pockets of attention that are not being over monetized and so that some, that somebody like you is really good at is I think getting things in front of multiple pockets of attention at any given time so that the ROI on that can get, you know, much higher.

Ty Hoffer: Yeah, if, if it was, if it was easy, everybody’d do it. Believe me. Exactly.

John Newtson: So like at what point in a company’s like business and, and what’s going on with the company usually when they engage you, where do you think that engaging with a marketing firm to, to help kind of get their story out makes the most sense for a company like that’s

Ty Hoffer: Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a good question.

You know, we kind of get hired at different sta stages of a company. Usually catalyst events. So it could be like a brand new listing. You know, an I, an I P O, or it could be a, a company’s doing a financing. Of course, everybody says they’re undervalued, so they’re, they’re undervalued. Maybe they don’t, don’t wanna raise money at the, at those levels, or or maybe they just completed a financing and so now they’re all cashed up and they really want to tell their story.

You know, a lot of times when they have material news like. You know, if it’s they have their phase three coming out or their drilling results, or a big acquisition or, or they’re doing a road show, you knows, you know, news today because, you know, we’re also barrage with information on a daily basis.

Right. On these, on our phones, you know, on our computers. And the, the challenge is, is to break through the clutter. And, and, and that’s, that’s something that is, that companies are realizing. You know, that they, they, they have to embrace digital, you know after covid, after the meme, stocks and all, and all that, you know, a lot of CEOs are starting to just lean in and, and, and embrace these things.

So you know a company, maybe a company’s doing a bought deal, they might have some warrants hanging somewhere. I talked about material news flow. So we try to understand where the company is. You know, sometimes they’ve fallen outta compliance they need help. There’s a multitude of scenarios of where we’ll get engaged.

So every, every every client is different. We try to be really discerning with the projects that we take on, and, and I, you know, again, I’m kind of sector agnostic. Some sectors, frankly, are easier than others. Right. When the, when the wind’s at your back and. Everybody’s, you know, talking about chat, G p t and artificial intelligence.

Hey, AI stocks are pretty easy, right? You know, and if you’re a, if it’s a, a crypto based company, it may be a pretty difficult story to talk about. So we can’t control those sectors, right? So we are sector agnostic and we just try to, I just try to listen and understand. Where the company is in that life cycle.

And then we’ll build a custom campaign around that company and what they need at that time. Mm-hmm.

Yeah, no, that makes a lot of sense. And then, you know, you mentioned in there just you mentioned the meme stocks, and I think that one of the things that I hear a lot it’s kinda like the dream, right?

Like public company. You’re doing your thing and then all of a sudden some investor community picks it up and you become a meme stock and it goes viral and you don’t have to do anything, and then all of a sudden you get this huge amount of investor attention. What’s your experience with that


Yeah, I mean, going viral is really fun. I, I wish there was a exact formula for how to do it. The, the truth is there’s not, you know, I, I, I’d say, you know, I, you know CEOs or bankers will ask me, you know, what’s, What’s your secret sauce or what’s the secret sauce? And the, the answer is there is not a secret sauce.

You know, I, I think the, the way I would answer that question, John, is in order to go viral, you have to be in the game, so to speak, right? You know, unless you’re on the field playing, you’re not gonna win. So unless it’s to go viral, you have to be. In the digital landscape, right? So you, you’ve gotta be, you know, on you, you’ve gotta be marketing your company.

You’ve gotta, you’ve gotta be out there with, with your landing page, you’ve gotta be driving traffic every day and through all these different verticals. I mean, there’s so many different verticals that you have to have to focus on. And I mean, look, I, I think that covid changed a lot of things. I mean, we’re talking on a Zoom call, right?

I mean, now Zoom is just a, is a, is a norm, right? And and I, and that, that really can’t be debated. And, and you know, our, our industry exploded after Covid because so many companies had to turn to digital. Mm-hmm. And so that, that, that that’s, that, that’s really not up for debate either. So I think companies have leaned in and started to use digital.

And so it’s really, you know, there’s two camps. Those, there’s camps that are. Finally deciding to lean in and market to investors through digital. And there’s those that are just still on the fence, or they’re old, they’re old school and they, they don’t, they’re not going to. And I think what I usually tell CEOs, cuz I mean, I watch all the sectors I see who’s marketing, I see who’s not.

And you know, often he, who has the best marketing wins, you know, not he who’s raised the most money or has the best, you know marketing team or whatever the case is. You know, smart marketing can solve a lot of problems.

John Newtson: Yeah, I agree. I think that’s definitely the case. I think that it, it’s one of those things now where it’s just kind of the nature of doing business anymore in public markets, I think is, and that’s kind of that point we started with of, of how it’s mainstreaming. I mean, even now with like kind of you, you start to see more and more talk about direct listings on like major exchanges and that to do a direct listing you have to handle the, the, the marketing yourself this is becoming a very. Normal part of doing business. And it’s kind of like you’re e it’s, you are either in it or you’re gonna be losing to the people who are. And so,

With that, I think What is it or what’s the best way for somebody to reach out to you? I know you’re at winning.media on the website, and what would be the best way for a company who’s interested in kind of exploring what’s possible for them given their circumstances, their sector and their budgets and things like that?

Ty Hoffer: Yeah, I mean, just going to winning.media. We, you mean we try to vet every company. We, you know, we do a, a kind of a exploratory call. You can sp submit your information. We’ll do a zoom like this, we’ll talk about what’s needed, see if it makes a, makes sense for a fit. There’s a, there’s a form you can fill out on the site and you know that that’s usually the most effective way.


John Newtson: Okay. Wonderful. So I’ll post that link with this video for anyone who’s interested and I really appreciate you taking the time today. Ty.

Ty Hoffer: John a pleasure as always. Thank you my friend. Thank you. Take care.

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