Handling mergers and acquisitions (M&As) is a tough and multi-level process and that is why fewer than 30% of M&As are successful (source: HBS.edu). However, M&As are common in the B2B world and many marketers face them throughout their careers. This article specifically focuses on digital marketing issues with M&As, and provides ways to mitigate these challenges. By understanding the digital marketing landscape and the potential implications of an M&A, companies can take steps to protect their interests and maintain a successful online presence.
Here are the 3 most common digital marketing issues that occur after an M&A deal:
Existing customers from both companies (that merge or the acquirer and acquiree) should be your priority. Why?:
First and foremost, they contribute directly to your revenue
They are the people who already trust your brands; keeping their trust is critical
On top of that, they are the first you should try to convince the M&A was a success — make it your goal that existing users become your early promoters
How to manage existing customers after M&A’s in digital channels:
Communicate clearly what they are to expect from the merger/acquisition
Communicate the added value for them through:
Work closely with your biggest customers to make sure any integrations go smoothly and work for them
#2: No Upsell/Cross-sell
Your next best opportunity for generating revenue from the M&A is to effectively upsell/cross-sell existing clients from both companies with new services. Why?:
You have their contact information
You have a sales team that already knows them
They are already using some of your services
You have a great chance of learning more about who uses, and how they use the services
How to manage upsells/cross-sells after M&A’s in digital channels:
Segment existing users into different categories, based on their needs, and what you can offer (one thing to fit them all is rarely the best approach)
Test and identify the new product/service offers
Have the sales team consult you and test the approach
Roll out the marketing campaigns and be prepared for changes in strategy
#3: Hard to Attract New Customers
This part is the hardest. Why?:
M&A’s major goal is to increase market share of the new company above the mere sum of both companies’ individual share
Are you keeping the prices low?
Or will you be able to convince users you’re giving them more than competitors and a higher price is worth it?
How to Attract New Customers after M&As, in Digital Channels:
Redefining the value proposition is key. How are users benefitting from the merger or acquisition? This should have come much earlier in the M&A process, by the way — actually, the new value proposition should have been the main reason for a merger or acquisition. Unfortunately, this is not common.
Understand the new audience you are trying to attract — they might be different from your existing users
Avoid patching up the new products/features to match the existing messages on the website
Unclear messaging leads to misunderstandings and the loss of visitors. Unfortunately, this is all too common. For example:
Using content from both websites, which say the same thing but with different terms, is confusing
If you’re adding new features to existing products or new products to existing packages, make sure you’re communicating the additional value clearly
If you’re adding a new product to a suite of products, make it obvious it’s now part of something bigger
Look at your webpage from the point of view of a new visitor — this will give you an excellent perspective and you’ll know how to change it to improve usability, decrease bounce rate, increase time spent on site, and improve conversion rate (Google ranking factors)
Example: How to add new products to existing packages after M&A
Best Practices for Achieving Digital Marketing Success after a Merger or Acquisition
For an M&A to be profitable, companies need to achieve a simple equation: 1+1=3. To make this equation work, each company must bring something new to the table that opens up opportunities for growth. When these companies come together, they create something more valuable than what they had before. This is the real goal of the deal.
Here are some of the best practices we’ve seen work for digital marketers after M&As:
Get the product, marketing, and sales teams together to discuss:
New value proposition
Set up regular team meetings until the goals of the M&A have been reached
Work with the biggest customers on the integration of the new services
Get insights from them on what works and what doesn’t
Listen to how they speak about the new features
Restructure web content to clearly deliver the new value proposition
Look at your website from the point of view of a new-comer:
Is it clear what you provide?
Do you address all questions users might have?
Is it easy for the user to confidently make a choice?
Reformulate what makes your offer unique
Communicate the benefits the new solution delivers
Are you tackling a Merger or have you been Acquired? Let’s work on this together: book a free work session
All companies we speak with have unique problems, and we’ve yet to find anyone who isn’t primarily plagued by too few resources. Take us up on a free training/work session where we can discuss your unique problems and offer solutions from top B2B marketers. Book one here: