Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) happen all the time – especially in the world of small business. After the hustle and bustle of signing paperwork and merging staff and offices, it’s time to integrate two completely separate brands into one newly revamped marketing message. That means new marketing collateral, websites, email blasts, signage — the list goes on and on. One way to ensure that your marketing message is consistent across all channels of communication is to focus on the partner community, as this is where a hefty volume of products are sold.
M&A can be a tricky process from a brand and content marketing perspective, especially as you build out core assets responsible for communicating your updated brand. These processes are always part of the overall merger/acquisition launch cycle and, when ready, can be inserted into existing web, mobile and social spaces. Unfortunately, I’ve found that when it comes to pushing new content through or across a partner channel, members can be slow to adopt, and uptake can easily take several months to a year for partners to become effective agents of your new products, services and messaging.
Brands that push out their digital content through content syndication solution providers have an enormous leg up on the competition when it comes to launching or rebranding any part of their business. Content syndication services make it extremely easy and cost effective to push out digital content consistently and in real-time across a partner community without requiring the traditional manual processes of informing, selecting, replacing and updating assets. When a syndicator changes any part of their branding or messaging, it is reflected automatically across all digital partner sites or product detail pages where brand content lives.
Here are my five steps to add to your next M&A strategy when an indirect sales channel is involved:
Consider a Content Syndication Program – If your plan involves M&A and you sell through channel partners, it is worth it to invest early in a channel content syndication solution. Time savings, speed to market, and accuracy create a clear ROI for a syndication solution and will legitimize the budget expense.
Enroll Channel Partners into Content Syndication Program – If you chose to go the content syndication route, I recommend making the subscription process for your indirect community as simple as possible. Once they enroll, you will see the benefits of real-time, “through-partner” marketing and set the groundwork to quickly incorporate new messaging and products whenever the need arises. You will also retain your new channel partners that could have moved away due to a slow or ineffective merger. That means more happy partners and a positive effect on that indirect channel’s bottom line.
Communicate the M&A Change Through Your Partners – As you bring your new brand, products and messaging to market, it is important to provide social and email messaging through partners to drive conversations and interactions around your new brand assets. If you can effortlessly drive new leads across your partner channel, they will be more likely to engage with your new content as it rolls out.
Investigate Performance of Partners – When acquiring an organization with an indirect channel, content syndication solutions will automatically show you what type of traffic and leads the newly acquired channel attracts. By having this information, you can easily see what you need to focus on with your new partner network.
Analyze Strengths and Weaknesses of Your Content – Once the partners are enrolled and the right tools and branding are in place, it’s all about optimization. With analytics, you now have the insight to turn up what content works.
Keep in mind as you follow these tips that one of the most important elements of an M&A strategy is the effective communication and incorporation of your new brand assets into partner sites within a short window of time. This involves communication on several levels to push your partners the tools they need to make the switch and generate results. Content syndication solutions have help significantly as they change what was once a notoriously slow enablement phase to a dynamic switch that can be flipped on a moment’s notice to fill your partner’s digital shelf space with content that will drive leads, conversions and new sales in the shortest period of time. Have questions? Leave them in the comments below!
by Brian Tervo, CEO & President of TIE Kinetix, North America