4 M&A Integration Strategies for Marketing

Nitin Kumar2021-04-01

Creating Value from the Marketing Function during M&A


4 M&A Integration Strategies for Marketing

Creating Value from the Marketing Function during M&A

The search for revenue growth is now becoming a core driver behind M&A making revenue synergies or GTM synergies as a very important part of deal value.

Marketing (along with Sales) becomes the central force driving revenue and profitability, while being closest to the customers. Yet, integrating the marketing function is not given its due in M&A integration. Executive lip service will state Marketing being of strategic importance, but lesser resources are always dedicated towards M&A integration.

There are multiple areas to address within Marketing from an M&A integration standpoint, a non-exhaustive list is outlined below:

Brand Strategy

Managing the entire portfolio of multiple brands, creating a new brand architecture from existing brands while aligning and creating a new value proposition. Understanding brand health, brand awareness and brand equity, possibly divesting weaker brands.

Product Strategy

Rationalizing the product portfolio in alignment with branding strategy, evaluating pricing, and setting them in alignment with new markets, products, and brands; determining target markets, customer segments, product proposition and positioning.

Customer Retention

Reassuring existing customers; executing effective retention programs and promotions.

Communications Strategy and Channel Enablement

Communicating new branding and enabling channel partners; ensuring channels (including digital) are aligned to brand strategy; press and public relations to optimize shareholder value.

Marketing Organization

Aligning new organization structure and skills; selecting leadership; defining incentives, KPIs and retaining talent looking across all levers like headcount, spans and layers and locations to optimize organization design.


Identifying critical levers to drive market growth to meet analyst and company expectations such as new customer segments, new channels, and new capabilities enabling revenue synergies. Execute cost synergies from headcount, systems, tools, and contracts by rationalizing where applicable.

Marketing and Campaign Operations

Effectively leveraging scale to achieve operational efficiencies, managing agency relationships across multiple brands.

The more successful acquirers take a holistic and deep approach to integration of Marketing as opposed to peripheral view limited to individuals and incentives. To create value from Marketing, companies need to have a holistic view of the entire GTM ecosystem, details around touch points, products portfolio, lead generation, conversion velocity, account marketing support, marketing operations coverage pricing, contracts, products, and customer service. Open communication (at executive level) to customers creates trust, openness, sets the tone for their needs and expectations and creates new allies in the success of the transaction.

There are principally four integration strategies for Marketing integration, refer table below for key strategic option, perspectives, pros, and cons of each. These strategies need to be calibrated to a deal type in a specific applicable situation.

4 Marketing M&A Integration Strategies (Image by author)

An M&A Marketing Integration strategy once selected should be translated into an operational framework which not only includes everything needing to be accomplished in terms of depth and breadth but also focuses on weightage, priority, sequence, and level of rigor based on the transaction specificities and value drivers. For further details, please refer to the links below.

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M&A Integration, Creating Value from Loyalty Programs | by Nitin Kumar | Mergers, Acquisitions and Divestitures | Medium

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