Mergers & Acquisitions: What’s marketing got to do with it?



M&As offer tremendous opportunities to drive business growth. They also create opportunities to send a powerful message to your customers and the market about your new positioning.


The challenge lies in successfully managing all the moving pieces along the way. Finance, sales, operations, and HR typically take the lion’s share of senior management’s focus when preparing for, and implementing, an M&A.

But what about marketing?

If your existing customers, potential new customers, suppliers, and even team members aren’t sure about—or aware of—the recent changes and benefits resulting from your M&A, that’s a telltale sign that the marketing piece hasn’t been getting enough attention.

It’s never too late to make the most of your new positioning with marketing. But the sooner marketing is brought to the table, the better. Ideally, new marketing and communications are developed well in advance of the M&A announcement to ensure the transition is as seamless as possible once the announcement is made.

Given the investment of resources that goes into an M&A, you need to capitalize on your new value proposition without delay—with new sales from new customers, and from current ones too. (And if you’re preparing your company for acquisition, making it easier for potential buyers to capitalize on new sales will make your company more attractive.)


It takes the right kind of marketing partner to help you meet those business goals.


This blog outlines the process of how we’ve helped our clients make it happen. Whether you’re acquiring, merging, or preparing your company for acquisition, TrueCourse can bring our M&A marketing expertise to your table.

#TIWWD (ThisIsWhatWeDo)…


1. When is it time to involve marketing?


The ideal scenario is to involve marketing at the outset, long before you expect to realize any benefit from the M&A. You want everyone in the company to be prepared and reading out of the same playbook to support the new positioning and offerings starting from day one of the announcement.


Imagine your M&A launch:
  • Existing customers of both companies are the VIPs—retaining them can be critical. They shouldn’t be the last to know about the M&A—they should be among the first, and they should feel reassured that changes in your company won’t impact them negatively. This is the perfect time to promote your new value proposition and open the door to discuss new opportunities with them.
  • Attracting new potential customers is one of the main reasons to do an M&A, and first impressions count. A lot. Their first interactions with your brand—starting with your website and marketing materials, and also with sales and technical support teams, etc.—should promote the new products or services and instil confidence in your ability to deliver on your new market positioning.
  • Partners and suppliers, not to mention your employees (current and new), also need to feel they’re important to the success of your new value proposition—because they are. They’re integral to your ability to deliver on the promise of your new value proposition to customers. Much like existing customers, they need to be among the first to know about the M&A and how it’s going to benefit them.


None of the above happens by itself. Nor does it happen through staff meetings alone. It requires professional messaging (written) and professional design. It requires business-focused marketing and communications.


If your M&A has already been announced, it’s not too late to loop us in. But the sooner you bring marketing in, the sooner you can begin to realize the greatest benefits of your M&A deal.



2. What’s the first step in getting started?


We first check if there are any immediate requirements—for example, are there audiences you need to communicate with before they hear about the M&A through the grapevine? Communication is the cornerstone to maintaining trust, so staff and existing customers, partners, and suppliers (of both companies involved in the M&A) should receive special correspondence from the CEO, ideally before any public announcement. We can help craft and distribute these messages.


Otherwise, we always start an M&A marketing engagement with discovery and our brand strategy and recommendations.


Our brand strategy is the foundation for all your future marketing efforts, to ensure they support your business goals. It’s what our strategists use to effectively communicate your post-M&A value proposition, and to differentiate you from competitors while connecting you to your ideal customers—and current—through your marketing.

At TrueCouse, we have developed a proven, guided process to quickly collect the key strategic information we need to craft your brand strategy. And, even better, our process doesn’t require any heavy lifting from you—we just need to meet with you a few times. We know you’re busy. We know that you need a marketing partner with senior leadership experience who knows how to manage this process and drive results. And that’s exactly what our team brings to the table.


“We hired TrueCourse to help us manage the updated brand strategy for the Canadian division of our company after a number of global mergers and acquisitions, and I cannot recommend their expert guidance enough. Their team transformed multiple companies and product lines into one consistent brand architecture and message that clearly communicates our vision of the future to our customers, while preserving valuable product recognition for each of our acquisitions. 

Their process for getting to know our business and products was incredibly thorough, and through it all they have been a positive, collaborative, and wonderful team to work with.”

—Nick Cristello, MSc, PEng (Former Director, Operations, Lumibird Canada)


3. What does the rest of the process look like?


We work with you to prioritize the marketing tactics you need to support the implementation of your M&A and drive business growth.


Every M&A is different and every M&A marketing strategy is different. But in our experience, one thing is universal: a company’s marketing messaging needs to be updated to reflect the post-M&A positioning. Sometimes the update is relatively quick and easy, and other times it needs a complete overhaul.

What needs updating? Anything that’s market facing: website(s), brochures, datasheets, corporate presentations, and so on—in short, everything that supports sales.

As part of our process, we create a workplan to keep track of all the moving parts and adjust priorities as needed. Additionally, we schedule regular working meetings with key decision-makers to ensure everyone stays aligned with the new marketing being developed.


Does your M&A marketing need more attention? We can help.


Contact us to learn more or to speak with our Lead Strategist, Rachel Hancock.


#DontJustTakeOurWordForIt. Want to read about the importance of marketing from an M&A consulting firm? Check out what global M&A firm Benchmark International has to say about the importance of marketing in M&As:



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