01 Dec The Importance of Marketing during an M&A Process
While marketing is normally top of mind when you are deciding to market your company for sale it is important to take into account. We are not referring to the awareness that you are considering a sale or merger but the presentation of your company, culture, products and services is just as important to a suitor looking at an acquisition as it is to your clients and prospects. In this blog, we will walk you through the often overlooked step of fit and finish during a process and why it matters that you don’t forget.
Marketing your company (and industry):
When clients visit your website they want to feel good about who they are considering working with. They will look for consistent branding, tones and a pleasant visual experience that closely couples the digital journeys you will set them on. Laying out information about products and services in a way that it is easy to identify. Suitors/Buyers are looking for the same thing.
Providing them information about why you started the company, the leadership, the mission, values and focus is equally important to both prospects and industry buyers. This information gives suitors a sense of depth for what they could be acquiring (talent). Defining the industry and industry problems shows readers you know their pain.
- Why leadership bios matter
- Location matters
- Category significance (where you fit in the industry)
- Partners & why they matter
Marketing Products & Solutions:
IT services companies are not the most consumer-conscious marketers when it comes to product marketing. These efforts are often supported by strong value statements, solution based messaging, industry references, ROI analysis and other derivatives that come from leveraging the products or services. While this is a solid basis for explaining why people have bought in the past, it is quickly becoming not enough. Buyers are looking for more content, knowledge and information about the problems they are facing, best practices and sure; how using a product or service can help.
The reality is that industry buyers are also looking for that depth and knowledge when it comes to finding the ideal acquisition, especially if they are looking to expand a service offering and ensuring the talent that comes with a transaction is proficient, credible and confident.
- Industry knowledge is key
- Problems and solutions vs just solutions (know their pain)
- Content is king (all forms – like this podcast)
- Polish shows pride and confidence (make what you’re doing look good)
Why it matters during an M&A process:
To summarize the ability to accurately, visually, and confidently define your business and your offering to a buyer is just as important as it is to a prospect comparing you to your competition.
- Buyers will see what the industry sees
- Why can bad marketing hinder your process?
- Knowledge on the industry and solutions
- Testimonials (loyal clients)
- The better you look the better suitors you will attract
- The better suitors you attract the higher likelihood you’ll get a higher valuation
How do we evaluate our clients’ marketing readiness?
When we start working with a seller (or buyer) we perform an in-depth analysis of the marketing, branding, and positioning through a series of audits:
- Brand consistency on digital assets (websites, social media, product, decks, product documentation…)
- Consistent messaging and value statements on all sales material
- Visually appealing and easy to navigate digital journeys (forms, contact us, call to actions..)
- Leadership and corporate explanations
- Industry focus and content (proper nomenclature and lingo)
- Why evaluating a client’s marketing is important
- When evaluations lead to zero recommendations
- Why tailoring content to a specific target suitor makes sense? (potential buyer)
- It’s not an all or nothing recommendation – we prioritize the changes based on the industry trends.
Tidy up your marketing ahead of promoting the transaction:
If you feel like you are not ready, you are not alone. Over the years we have helped many clients prepare their digital identity for a process to ensure they capture top interest and eventual top dollar for their business. After our initial audit of a clients marketing readiness we offer suggestions and to repair, augment or adjust a company’s digital presence. Consider how your company looks:
- Design (logos, iconography, infographics, images & photography…)
- Copywriting (content and positioning across corporate and product positioning)
- Presentations / decks and other documentation
- Ensure your advisor takes your image into account and helps shore up deficiencies
- It’s not about who does the work, it’s ensuring it gets done.
- We take pride in our image and how we market ourselves to the industry – we want our clients to share in that passion
- Fit and finish is important
- Get out of it what you put into it
- Invest in your image if you want people to invest in you.
- We are here to help
For more information on marketing your IT services business visit us at www.revenuerocket.com and check out our “knowledge center” section.