From the majors producing metals the global economy desperately needs to the intrigue of a world-class prospector travelling the globe searching for a monstrous mineral deposit, the mining sector is never short of compelling stories. But these quests are rarely told, at least not in the public forum. Such a lost opportunity...
Most companies within the mining world fail to tell their unique tales engagingly… it’s a sea of sameness from a marketing perspective and they miss out on a vast amount of potential shareholders. The typical pitch deck, for example, is a quick industry glance, then pages and pages of grade and size discussion with a few comps sprinkled in.
As a result, publicly traded mining and exploration companies haven’t been able to attract a broader/new cohort of investors like, say, the tech industry has.
I hope that the academic marketing style of mining companies changes with the forthcoming metals bull market…
When it’s good, the money flows
No other venture capital market attracts the type of money junior miners can in a metals bull market. International money pours into Canada’s preeminent venture capital marketplace when metals prices rise (Canadians are internationally known for their prospecting and geological expertise). We see it in the lithium space today, with one oversubscribed equity financing after another. And other juniors, particularly those targeting metals related to the ‘green transition,’ will soon see it too.
The downside to easy money: bad marketing habits
Unfortunately, the ease with which junior miners can raise money when their respective commodities are hot has contributed to making it one of the poorest sectors on the planet for marketing. Tout the grade and size potential; that’s about the gist of the marketing material...
It’s a space I’ve worked in for roughly fifteen years, and it needs a fresh approach to cast a wider net of interested investors. It’s ripe for a marketing renaissance.
Mining companies must target a new investor group
In this next bullish commodity cycle, it’s paramount that mining companies and their respective management teams understand they’re no longer marketing their company to the boomer crowd.
In 2023, the risk profile of junior miners (and even majors) is far too high for most boomers who are entering retirement age and seeking a fixed income. So, for all intents and purposes, the crowd that provided massive liquidity in the last mining bull market (2002-2011) is gone.
Mining companies must learn to market to millennials and zoomers, two demographics they have little experience with and don’t speak the same ‘language’. To drive this point home, the last bull market for miners was when some millennials were barely out of high school or college; zoomers were even younger.
These two generations care about very different things than boomers, and culturally they couldn’t be more contrasting. They also prefer newer forms of communication. Boomers loved PDFs and calling companies to speak with the IR reps. The mere thought of picking up a phone and calling a company would likely send chills down the spine of a zoomer...
Yet, millennials and zoomers want to connect with brands and companies more than boomers ever did. Just don’t expect a phone call or even for them to pick up your call.
The mining industry is fascinating! Companies must showcase that through story
Mining and exploring for minerals is a fascinating, exciting industry that merges culture, geopolitics, science, economic expansion, and, in some cases, romantic or tragic quests for wealth. It's filled with real-life epic stories, many of which could be New York Times Bestsellers.
But only the people involved in the industry know this!
Think about the trials and tribulations that went into every significant mineral discovery on this planet. These are sagas and must be told to create broad interest in the sector and specific miners.
Mining and mineral exploration is made for online content creation, a favourite past-time of millennials and zoomers. Mining companies just need to find a way into their ‘feed’.
Companies must create various types of content (reels, vlogs, blogs, pitch decks, etc.) and explain the history of their mineral project, the local culture, and the respective commodity’s ties to the regional and national economy. Create content that provides the backstory so many miners gloss over or never tell. Millennials and zoomers love this type of context.
CEOs must get onto podcasts to tell their personal and professional backstory, discuss the historical challenges involved in the project, how they plan to utilize technology, their end-goal, and the opportunities and wealth created in the region from the related commodity in years past. They must create a connection by finding common interests with new prospective shareholders; and meet them on an online platform they're familiar with (the discoverability certain online platforms provide is key to audience/shareholder expansion).
All miners and explorers have size and grade. It’s a tale as old as time. However, no two mineral companies have the same story. And the new generation of investors values a unique backstory. They want a connection.
Mining isn’t merely an exercise of moving rock around to turn a profit. Companies must tell their compelling story... all miners and explorers have one.
To better marketing,