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Marketing Strategy

M&A marketing: 4 steps for successful integration

By May 7, 2024No Comments

While early-stage M&A programs focus on due diligence activities and evaluations of corporate financial statements, solvency, revenue performance, and even corporate reputation and cultural “fit,” one of the key components of a successful merger or acquisition is the communication, marketing, and integration plan.

As of July 2023, 50-90% of mergers and acquisitions fail to achieve the expected value.

However, executing a successful M&A marketing integration strategy can greatly improve these numbers.

Beyond the boardroom: M&A marketing integration and planning

So, your executive team has found the perfect companion company, at least on paper. A Letter of Intent or Memo of Understanding has been signed.

This next phase will likely be more focused on public and internal communication and the integration plan that will bring two organizations under one corporate umbrella.

Four key M&A marketing steps must be taken to ensure a smooth transition internally, in the public/media eye, and in your customers’ halls and boardrooms. A well-planned acquisition marketing plan will be your silver bullet to put your company on track to reap the financial gains the merger was intended to deliver.

Step 1: Pre-announcement

During this phase, key messages are defined that will be part of every internal and external communication.

Think your M&A is too small to worry about this? You’re wrong. Even the merger of a single product line needs to be properly positioned for customers, key analysts, sales teams, etc.

Other M&A marketing items to consider include:

Pro-tip: Identify members of key cross-functional teams early to guarantee a synchronized plan.

Step 2: Day-1 tactical execution plan

This is the “go-live” day when the transaction is announced. M&A marketing tactics might be as simple as hanging a banner in the lobby of a new location or as big as launching a full media blitz.

Make sure you have a plan, complete with collateral, press release, Q&A, and a management team that has been prepped and knows how to address key customer and employee concerns. Step 1 helps ensure announcement day goes off without a hitch.

How to create a M&A marketing plan

Step 3: The first 100 days

The key M&A marketing integration phase, the first 100 days, really tells the story of how prepared you are and how much up-front planning you did in the earlier steps.

Teams come together, operations have to flow smoothly to avoid interrupting current sales cycles (for both companies), and employees need to feel good about the new path to corporate success.

During this phase, “walking the talk” is critical. Don’t fail to communicate internally and externally.

Marketing tech stacks should be integrated and alignment with sales discussed.

Repeat key messages and keep everyone “in the know,” from customers to employees. Leverage the cross-functional teams that were identified in Step 1 to keep the momentum going strong and communication lines open—the success of this merger depends on it.

Step 4: One year post-acquisition

In this phase, the newly joined company transitions to a smooth-running, fully integrated team unit. If the plan was to integrate fully, there should be no more “them and us” in the hallways or with customers. Everyone is on board and the letterhead, domain names, email addresses, etc. are all one company.

Operationally, the marketing and sales teams have a common CRM and marketing automation system, prospect database, sales funnel, and forecasting methodology.

Companies that allow lingering division in essential departments risk never having a truly integrated team. This is the root of many failed mergers and acquisitions.

What’s your M&A marketing strategy?

Following a merger or acquisition marketing plan based on the above steps will put you on the road to a successful merger.

Need help crafting your M&A marketing strategy? Partner with a healthcare tech marketing agency that understands your organization’s needs in this ever-changing M&A business climate.

Want more actionable marketing strategies? Learn more about my book, Stop Starvation Marketing.

Note: This post was originally published in 2017 and has been updated to reflect current trends.

Chris Slocumb

Author Chris Slocumb

Chris is the founder of Clarity Quest Marketing and Chief Growth Officer of Supreme Group. To learn more about Chris' experiences and qualifications, visit our leadership team page.

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