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We all know dating can be challenging, but when done right, it can become a life-long beautiful and fruitful relationship. Building and implementing a digital marketing strategy during an acquisition or merger is a lot like dating, and if not treated properly, the investment made can quickly become a company's loss. Follow these tips when working on your migration's digital marketing strategy to help create a healthy environment and to further your successful business.

 

Get to know each other (and bring the family): THE PEOPLE

 

In many new relationships, bringing the date home to Mom or Dad can be daunting. Most of the time starting with some casual introductions is preferred to showing up on their front porch for the first time with an engagement ring in hand.

When going through a migration or acquisition, there are a lot of “family” and feelings at stake. Introduce the new team to yours (at Salesforce, we call this our “Ohana.”). Bring in business partners and supporting team members so departments and org charts are less of a front door engagement announcement and more of a comfortable meet and greet. No matter the plan to reduce redundancy down the road, get to know the people, their skills, and their efforts to bring the migrating company to where it is today - you are one and should ensure the family makes them feel welcome!

 

Read and respond to the signs: THE DATA

 

When dating, there are signs all around us to hint as to whether things are working well or should probably end.

The same goes for an acquisition. It is critical you track and review any data available to you to understand the digital landscape you have inherited. Read the signs and make decisions that are healthy and data-based to protect the brand and ensure leads continue to flow into the desired channels.

 

Be prepared to deal with the baggage: THE TECHNOLOGY

 

Each of us comes into a relationship carrying a bag, or two, or three. Some of us open the bags, others sweep them under the rug or dump them in a storage unit with a big lock. But rugs get changed and bills revealing a storage unit fee eventually reveal what you have been hiding and may spell the end of a relationship.

When merging or acquiring a company, learn as quickly as possible the technical challenges they have faced, as well as any contractual obligations and expirations for their digital marketing technology stack. The sooner you reveal challenges and procurement efforts, you can act appropriately to further support the technical infrastructure while you continue to learn and build on your digital marketing strategy. Ignore the baggage and be prepared to be stuck with renewed agreements or miss an opportunity for negotiated terms that can reduce cost but sustain the current digital process until you are ready to make changes.

 

Don't move too fast: THE CONTENT

 

While some of us believe in love at first site, many of us skeptics can prove through statistics that relationships require time and care to blossom and grow. In many cases, relationships that make rash decisions can become the means to an end. The same can be said for the digital strategy behind a migration or acquisition.

If circumstances allow, taking time and care of having a content analysis of the acquisition will allow you and your team to learn the website's content landscape. Blended with analytics tracking, you can help ensure the migration strategy takes key components of the existing digital content plan and incorporates it into the new or improved digital experience.

 

Put a ring on it: THE BUSINESS

 

Ever talked to someone in an arranged marriage after years and heard they grew into a loving, solid relationship?

While an acquisition may seem like an arranged marriage, by the time it gets to you, remember how special it is. It was either a major competitor taking business away or provides a service you could not or did not do well. It is very rare to find a reason for M&A that was not positive in the beginning, so remember, it was founded with meaning. Learn the business, understand its past and present, and bring its history and heritage into your culture. You're right - you didn't get to date and perhaps didn't make the decision to become one unit, but dive in head-first. Ensure the people, process, teams, and digital strategy support the acquisition process and promote continued growth for your customers, prospects, and the people who serve your companies every day.