Post-M&A, It's Time to Sync Up Your Channel Marketing Content
Oct 16, 2013 5:00 AM PT
In the world of small business, mergers and acquisitions are a dime a dozen. For marketing organizations, however, they can cost a lot more in terms of the effort required to communicate them effectively.
M&As mean integrating two separate brands into a unified message -- one that must then be collated into hundreds of pieces of collateral and distributed to a broad range of global constituents. After all, with all the marketing documents, websites, email blasts and signage, it is critical that your marketing message is consistent across all channels of communication.
M&As can be tricky 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.
Where to start? For many, the partner community is a key audience that is often overlooked. However, by focusing on getting the right content out to your partners at the right time, you can reach that critical mass of global customers to whom a hefty volume of products are sold.
Consider a Content Syndication Program
Unfortunately, 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.
To make an M&A work for you, you need an efficient and effective strategy to roll out content to an indirect sales channel. 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, increased lead generation and accurate communication create a clear ROI for a syndication solution and will legitimize the budget expense.
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, resource-intensive 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.
Once you've created this program, it's time to enroll your channel partners. It's critical to make the subscription process for your indirect community as simple as possible. The most effective approach is to make enrollment a one-time opt-in process. Automate your sign-up and code dispersal to allow partners to access the tools they need to implement at the time of sign-up. Following sign-up, the implementation process should require no more than some copying and pasting code snippets into partners Web pages, taking only five to 10 minutes.
One area to consider is the level of detail your partners can opt into (or out of) with their syndication. Depending on your requirements, you might want to allow partners to add or remove entire product lines or even make selections all the way down to per-product.
Once enrolled, 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.
Crossing the Communication Chasm
Once setup is complete and partners are enrolled, you can begin communicating the M&A to end-users via the channel. 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.
Keep in mind that it's important to track the performance of your 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.
With this information, you can easily see what you need to focus on with your new partner network. If performance is not tracking to your expectations, take a step back and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your new message. 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 -- and what doesn't.
One of the most critical 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 can help move the needle 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 partners' digital shelf space with content that will drive leads, conversions and new sales in the shortest period of time.