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At the same time as working out your PMI approach, your organisation should also think about how you’re going to communicate your new business strategy. An M&A marketing plan should be comprehensive in its scope as it needs to convey information to a wide audience that includes shareholders, employees and customers. Your PMI marketing plan could include informative material such as press releases and brochures that will help sell the transition. Videos are a great way to talk directly to people and can be posted on your digital platforms. And then there’s social media to consider.
Before you make a public announcement regarding your merger, have you defined the message of your internal and external communications?
Current and acquired customer communications, websites and social media profiles are just some of the marketing platforms that need to be reviewed. An individual from each marketing department involved in a merger should be chosen to form a PMI marketing team to co-ordinate and synchronise efforts.
Your first announcement should focus on the integration plan that will bring the two companies together under one corporate umbrella. And this provides the ideal opportunity to rebrand.
Creating a new or rebranded company with a new mission is a powerful marketing tool. You have the opportunity to lose elements that didn’t work well in the pre-merged companies and leverage the strengths of both.
Your new image should be prominent on websites, email signatures and letterhead, to present a consistent and unified picture.
Your next step is to focus on internal stakeholders. You can repeat key messages from your external marketing materials. Employees across both acquiring and acquired companies will want to know the purpose of the merger and its chances of success.
Positive messages can be reinforced with Q&A sheets. The way to create these is to either give employees the opportunity to submit questions and then answer them in a document that can be published internally.
Most companies approach acquisitions from a business-centric point of view. This can result in losing sight of the customer as it’s easy to focus on corporate strategy and internal concerns.
When you plan your customer-facing PMI marketing materials, the emphasis needs to be on what the merger means for customers. You want them to feel excited about the project.
By communicating events in real-time, your customers feel part of the journey, from signing the deal to going live as the new entity. Your customers should feel they’ve been with you on the ride – not left behind as you move on without them.
If you’d like to know how to use marketing effectively in your PMI project, contact us for a friendly discussion regarding your particular business needs on 0800 622 6719.