Melding the marketing efforts two (or more) companies after an acquisition or merger is no small task. Recently I was contacted by a reporter at the Austin American-Statesman who wanted to understand the importance of the Day 1 messaging and marketing efforts after Dell’s acquisition of EMC. There are the public-facing initiatives such as logo re-branding, new Twitter handles, and a shiny new website. DellEMC did a great job at launching these brand elements. These are the exciting campaigns people notice on Day 1, but it’s important to remember the other “behind the scenes” efforts that must take place in order for marketing to be successful going forward.
- As marketing has become more data-driven and IT-dependent, there’s A LOT of work to be done to combine opt-in mailing lists, marketing automation systems, sponsored search marketing, backend databases, etc. Even when combining mid-market companies, this effort can take 6-12 months.
- M&A plays havoc with search engine optimization rankings, if not handled property. Even companies with big brand names like Dell and EMC have been very careful not to lose precious search engine rankings when building new websites and new social media properties. But it’s super vital for mid-market companies who can’t buy themselves out of losing page 1 organic rankings.
- Companies often focus retention efforts on customers, but you need to keep partners, resellers, investors, stockholders and key employees. Marketing, unfortunately, is usually one of the departments to get consolidated during a merger. Key personnel you want to stay must be identified early and given job security.
You can increase your odds of a successful M&A effort by creating a M&A Merger Marketing Playbook that starts as soon as a letter of intent is signed. Having playbook and checklists in place for every stage of the process from pre-announcement through post-acquisition/merger will help ensure nothing vital falls through cracks so you can beat the odds of a 70%-90% merger fail rate.