A merger or acquisition of a competitor is often a solution businesses consider to accelerate their growth or diversify their product portfolio. Once an agreement is signed, the next step is to determine how to integrate the new company within an existing infrastructure and make the brand transition as smoothly as possible. The last think you want to do is negatively your clients, employees, suppliers and investors.

All of these company stakeholders need to remain confident that the merger or acquisition is a great for the overall business. Your marketing plan and strategy therefore plays an important part so that you can remain focused on your overall objectives and carry out a transition that remains coherent with your vision and brand.

1 + 1 = 3

A study conducted in the United States over a period of nine years took a look at 216 company mergers. The research concluded that the 1 + 1 = 3 theory is the best approach to adopt in the event of a merger or acquisition. This theory purports that a company should create a hybrid persona, based on the notoriety of the two companies that are merging. This new brand identity is then promoted as being a major leader that is taking over a market.

The ideal recipe

Whether or not you opt for the 1 + 1 = 3 strategy, you must nevertheless add key ingredients to your marketing strategy so that a merger or acquisition is successful.

  1. Inform all stakeholders. Customers are vital for the business and you certainly don’t want to lose them in the transition. A full-scale communications plan must be put into place several months before the acquisition is publicly announced. Make a list of all your stakeholders and make sure properly communicate with each group on the benefits and logistics surrounding the transition.
  2. Don’t forget your internal communications plan. When properly informed, your employees will go a long way in ensuring that the transition is pulled off without a hitch. Communicate to them all developments, the impact on their jobs and company, and your expectations.
  3. Plan for the first 100 days. Develop a plan for the first 100 days and make sure you perform consistent and tight follow-ups for each phase and task.
  4. Centralize your communications. Make sure you centralize all of your communications so that you convey messages that are coherent and clear.

Review your plan constantly and keep it top-of-mind throughout the first year. Each action you make should be carefully strategized and evaluated. With a well-thought-out marketing plan, your merger or acquisition will be immensely successful and act as a springboard to conquering your target markets.

Sources

Kennan, Stéphanie. Mettre sur pied un plan marketing express. Les Affaires. http://www.lesaffaires.com/blogues/stephanie-kennan/mettre-sur-pied-un-plan-marketing-express/555170. March 11, 2013.

BDC. Un plan marketing en 5 étapes, plein de bon sens. https://www.bdc.ca/fr/articles-outils/marketing-ventes-exportation/marketing/pages/5-strategies-sensees-attirer-clients.aspx.

Caltabiano, Giuseppe. 7 marketing best practices in post-merger integrations. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/7-marketing-best-practices-post-merger-integrations-caltabiano. September 16, 2016.

M. Lemkin, Jason. What Should Everyone Know About Mergers and Acquisitions. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/quora/2013/05/23/what-should-everyone-know-about-mergers-and-acquisitions/#5d46fbf3345b.

Rely on specialists to develop an actionable communications strategy during your merger or acquisition.