Increase Your Acquisition Value with These Five Digital Communications Strategies
By Cara Sloman, executive vice president, Nadel Phelan, Inc.
2019 has been a standout year for M&A activity in the tech industry and, according to Deloitte, this momentum shows no signs of slowing down soon. As industry giants offer top dollar looking to fortify their portfolios, the opportunity for acquisition is ripe. And that means a strong digital communications strategy is more important than ever for companies aiming to exit.
Having participated in over 120 acquisitions, we’re well versed in what it takes to create market buzz and capture the interest of companies with acquisition dollars. Here are five PR and marketing strategies that we’ve used for our clients to drive brand awareness and boost their market value. For the biggest return on your time investment, start employing them at least 24 months prior to your targeted exit date.
1. Strategic Messaging
Acquisition-specific messaging differs from language used for sales and press engagement. When positioning your company for acquisition, messaging should focus on company vision, differentiators, market opportunity, intellectual property, validated market share and the depth of your company’s leadership bench.
When you have tested and finalized your messaging, the PR and marketing team should disseminate it through all channels, including the company’s website, newsletters, press releases and collateral. This will ensure consistent information is distributed with the greatest impact.
2. Analyst Relations
Acquirers interact with industry analysts, who act as objective third-party experts. Thus, it’s critical to create awareness with an analyst relations (AR) program. Set up briefings with your industry’s analysts to educate them about your company and how your target markets are developing. Ask for their feedback and establish relationships. In doing so, your company will be top of mind when acquiring companies contact analyst firms in search of background information and leads.
Another key tool for highlighting business value will be supporting documents and content. As your company starts down the acquisition path, we recommend collaborating with analyst groups and content development firms to develop market research reports, white papers and customer success stories.
In our experience, this collateral helps demonstrates your industry expertise, verify market potential and gives acquisition teams data that they can show to other decision makers.
4. Media Engagement
Acquirers are searching for news stories and media coverage that will unearth potential acquisition candidates. Consequently, appearing in the relevant industry and business media outlets is a requirement.
Target well-respected publications and industry magazines to place favorable, on-message coverage about your company’s products, customer or partner wins, intellectual property, market momentum, funding and awards. For example, we’ve helped clients build market buzz and credibility in the eyes of potential acquirers by securing coverage in publications, such as Business Insider and Forbes.
Take your media engagement to the next level by creating the goal of getting mentioned in articles next to your top two competitors. The executive team of an acquiring company will keep seeing your name in the press and decide they’ve got to snatch you up before their key competitor does.
5. Press Releases
Far from being obsolete, press releases offer newsworthy information about your company to your key audiences. Releases establish a timeline of your company’s achievements and momentum. Even if you only post them on your company’s website, press releases will demonstrate to potential acquiring companies what you have accomplished.
Acquirers see press releases as a credible source of information about a company. That’s why a steady flow of one to two significant news releases per months is ideal for maintaining awareness and interest.
Thinking about starting the acquisition process? Let’s schedule a time to discuss how we can help.