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Mergers and Acquisitions Marketing Strategy & The Pros of Outsourcing
Businesses are created, thrive, and fold with the fluctuation of the economy. Almost as common as a business closing is the announcement of a merger between two brands or of the acquisition of one company by another.
Mergers and acquisitions are rarely a fluid and seamless process. They often take many months to complete and require careful coordination to blend both businesses together.
Marketing efforts – or more specifically, mergers and acquisitions marketing strategy – typically require special attention (usually an overhaul) as joining two companies is complex.
Entrusting your marketing efforts to an external marketing agency during this time of flux not only frees up internal capacity, it means that an experienced team remains focused on the future and facilitates forward momentum.
Overview: Mergers, Acquisitions & Marketing Strategy
In the event that your company merges with or is acquired by another, a marketing strategy – and accompanying adjustments (including budget) – are required. These adjustments should be based on several factors, including:
- The intention of the merger
- The ease of consolidating assets
- The capacity to monitor the adjusted strategy & accomplish its goals
Mergers come in many forms. However, there are five common types of mergers carried out by companies that:
- Operate on the same supply chain
- Are competitors offering similar products
- Offer completely different services or products
- Offer products that are complementary and operate in the same market
- Offer products that are comparable but operate in different markets)
For companies hoping to simply gain an additional cash flow stream, changes to a marketing strategy are likely nominal. Meanwhile, companies planning to do more may take drastic action, thus requiring a complete overhaul.
Company assets are also a consideration for the scope of the merger. A small business does not have the capacity (whether it be in the budget or staff hours) to handle the entire scope of an effective marketing strategy during a merger on its own. Therefore, hiring a marketing agency with experienced staff in place is a financially savvy move (more on this later). This allows you to allocate tasks for coverage without the commitment to training and oversight of new employees.
6 Considerations | Mergers And Acquisitions Marketing Strategy Breakdown
There are many moving pieces to consider when overseeing a merger or acquisition. However, the various aspects of the marketing strategy can not be ignored.
Transparency and a realistic timeline for all client-facing processes are beneficial, even if they seem to take up considerable resources during the acquisition process. The following are some considerations to prioritize when resetting a marketing strategy:
- Overall ROI
- Social Media
- Create a Merger & Acquisition-Friendly Website
- Consider Potential Audience Changes
- Monitor Analytics Closely
- Branding Considerations
1. Overall ROI
During a merger, the marketing strategy should be prioritized to maximize ROI within a defined market.
Likewise, the projected timeframe for the merger to reach completion should also be kept in mind as new marketing strategies are implemented.
2. Social Media
When handling a merger, determine which company’s social media platforms will be the most effective to use to represent both companies. Then adjust the hashtags, branding, logos, and pertinent information accordingly.
It’s also a good idea to post regularly for two to three weeks to announce the move from the secondary account to the primary one and redirect the followers to the preferred account for future announcements.
3. Creating a Merger & Acquisition-Friendly Website
Most prospects and customers interact with a brand online. Thus, it’s important to create a flexible website that’s easy to update during the merger or acquisition process. This provides a better user experience for clients at all times.
4. Consider Potential Audience Changes
Reaching the right audience during a merger is key to the process as well. While staying engaged with clients and prospects is important, informing employees, partners, and prospective new hires of the changes underway also matters.
The most effective messages should be tailored to each group to show your recognition of their importance.
Resource: Define your ideal customer. Download our Ultimate Buyer Persona Guide today:
5. Monitor Analytics Closely
While monitoring analytics is part of the marketing process, it becomes a higher priority during a merger. It’s important to see the results of your efforts to reach your audience.
A merger is a good time to take a realistic look at the marketing systems currently in place for both companies, evaluate what works and what isn’t working, and combine effective strategies.
Streamlining the marketing process and incorporating different strategies that show conversions help reach the defined target market. Monitoring the analytics shows if efforts are successful.
6. Branding Considerations
In mergers and acquisitions, branding adjustments between both entities happen several ways:
- One established brand is used while the other is scuttled
- Both brands are combined (think Exxon-Mobil)
- The brands kept separate in a parent-company/child relationship
- Both brands are abandoned in favor of creating an entirely new representation
Every merger is different, based on the needs, preferences, and intentions of the companies involved.
Repurposing images and logos can be helpful if the task is easy to accomplish. Consider whether these visuals will provide a benefit in the long term, then determine the most effective approach to the project. The change in branding based on the merger strategy and goals could mean that most previous visual representations won’t provide an adequate ROI.
Working with An Experienced Marketing Agency Through a Merger or Acquisition
A potential side effect of acquisition is turnover amongst the staff. Working with an outside agency (such as us) that can continue marketing efforts on behalf of the company means a reliable cadence regardless of transition within the ranks.
A marketing agency with experience handling merger and acquisition marketing strategies provides resources and a knowledge base that can’t be easily obtained.
What does an experienced agency bring to the table?
Objectivity, resources, and a focus on appropriate long-term goals (our specialties).
Outlining goals and immediate milestones helps identify a realistic timeline for the projected outcome. In addition, the agency can determine when it’s necessary to loop in additional resources to avoid plateauing the forward momentum.
Furthermore, an experienced marketing agency also has a dedicated team behind it that’s devoted to helping you reach your goals.
The team (like ours) typically includes:
- Strategists who examine the big picture and set the course for effective marketing efforts
- A graphic designer who can help determine what assets are worth revamping or redesigning
- A web development specialist(s) to oversee the consolidation of the two companies’ websites (if necessary)
- Content specialists for content creation, such as press releases and social media posts
For a customer-centric merger strategy, communication and transparency are two characteristics deemed essential during a merger. Meanwhile, for a brand-centric strategy,
the focus is culture and balancing the elements to integrate or prioritize.
An experienced marketing agency can help facilitate either strategy and customize it to fit the situation at hand.
Expert Insights for Mergers and Acquisitions Marketing Strategy
Market changes lead to the creation, success, or failure of a business.
During a merger or acquisition, having the right resources and support mechanisms in place makes a world of difference. An experienced marketing agency that understands the situation and provides expert guidance ensures nothing is left to chance throughout the process.
Bring Our Team Into Your Fold
When it comes to getting things done right the first time during a merger or acquisition, the team at protocol80 is at the ready.
Our staff has insights and knowledge to help you reinvent or repurpose your marketing strategy during a major change in your organization. Reach out today to gain an outside perspective with a strong foundation of experience:
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