Annual Reports for Marketers
An Annual Report is a statement prepared by companies that are traded publicly. The development of an Annual Report provides inherent value in the process of reviewing major financial and operational achievements that occurred during the past 12 months.
An Annual Report does not have to be viewed as a staid document full of boring figures. In fact, an astute marketer can mine the basic elements for marketing gold. Just as promotion tactics are devised with marketing segments in mind, in like manner an Annual Report can be tailored to speak to the concerns of its audience.
The contents of Annual Reports may vary by industry, but usually includes the following:
- A Balance Sheet
- An Income Statement
- Company stock pricing trends
- A Letter to Stockholders
- An Individual Report from the Chief Executive Officer
- An Individual Report from the Chief Financial Officer
- Major Accomplishments during the past year
In the United States, the contents of an Annual Report became more stringent after the passage of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Prior to that act, some companies had been less than forthcoming or in some cases even deceitful in their reports. The financial aspects of an Annual Report are audited by a certified accountant.
The more detailed disclosure was required in order to better inform potential stakeholders such as those outlined below:
- Current Shareholders
- Potential Shareholders
- Current Donors (if applicable)
- Future Donors (if Applicable)
- Potential Business Partners
- Applicable Government Entities