3 Marketing Principles That Can Lead to Acquisition
Not every growing business hopes to be acquired, but many do. In 2021, the slowdown seen in 2019 and 2020 in mergers and acquisitions was finally reversed; last year was a record-breaking year for mergers and acquisitions, with announced deals exceeding 62,000 globally in 2021. That’s up 24 percent from 2020, according to PWC.
One of the ways my company, Hawke Media, has grown so rapidly over the last eight years has been through a strategic acquisition strategy, so I know a thing or two about buying and selling businesses.
Our most recent acquisition is Social Nucleus, a digital marketing agency based in Manchester, UK. Between the well-timed acquisition of a company across the pond, and the release of my first book, The Hawke Method, I started thinking about how the three principles of marketing that the book is centered around play not only into growth, but also into making a company get acquired.
Those three principles are:
- Awareness—making prospects aware of your brand and their own unmet needs;
- Nurturing—honing in on the problem, educating the customer, providing solutions; and
- Trust—establishing your company as a solution and having the rapport to ask people to buy.
I’ll explore how these principles make certain companies hot commodities and how you can use them to make your own business more sellable.
Awareness Creates Buzz
One of the biggest, most important factors for making a company successful and a target for acquisition is creating a buzz around your brand.
That not only makes your business more successful and raises awareness for making more sales but also raises awareness for potential investors. When I consider acquiring a company, I ask, will this company help me create more buzz around my brand?
So, this awareness is two-fold. You create awareness and buzz about your company or customers, and it is that much more likely investors will notice you. Some ways you can create awareness are:
- Create content in well-known publications,
- Determine where investors spend time,
- Reach out to the press, and
- Be innovative on social media.
Nurturing Creates Value
Nurturing is basically a value play. Consider how you can create value to your potential customers and investors.
Nurturing does just that. It is showing off your brand’s know-how, providing useful actionable information within your niche.
Some ways to nurture value include:
- Sending useful, action-based emails to subscribers,
- Running value-oriented retargeting campaigns, and
- Highlighting customer reviews.
Trust Creates Conversion
What does trust mean? It means that the buyer believes in the brand and its mission enough to spend more on it.
This is applicable to both marketing to those who want to buy from your brand and those that want to buy your brand. Both parties need to believe their money is going to be well-spent before taking the gamble.
These are some of the questions I consider if I will spend money on a brand:
- Has the founder created a company that can run without him or her?
- Do others want to buy from or buy the brand? Demand is an indicator of success.
- Do they need to be bought out or are they successful on their own?
As many as 50 percent of business owners try to sell their businesses but because many business owners are trying to juggle both operations and learn how the selling process works (with their biggest financial investment), it often fails.
Use the three principles of marketing—awareness, nurturing and trust—to both build your business and make it that much more attractive to investors.
Erik Huberman is the CEO and founder of Hawke Media and author of The Hawke Method: The Three Principles of Marketing that Made Over 3,500 Brands Soar (March 2022). Founded in 2014 and now valued at over $150 million, Hawke Media is the fastest-growing marketing consultancy agency in the United States.