There seems to be a general misconception when it comes to marketing that the sole purpose of it is to generate leads. Whilst this is a crucial goal for many businesses it is far from being the only outcome and purpose of marketing.
In our new series, There’s More than one Marketing Goal, we will be exploring the many reasons why marketing is important and what the different goals of marketing can be. From growth to consolidation, internal comms to external coms and increasing profit to staff retention, we’ll be looking beyond building revenue. The first cab off the marketing goals rank – making your business fit for sale or investment.
How does Marketing relate to the sale of your business?
Thinking about selling your business? Have you considered how marketing fits into your sales strategy? Over the past 18 months we’ve helped several Mogrify clients prepare their business for sale from a marketing perspective. Whilst there is no magic one-size-fits-all approach to marketing a business ahead of selling it, in our experience, there are several common areas of focus.
The details are in the data (or at least they should be)
These days it’s all about the data. Any experienced investor or buyer will want to know about your database. How big is it? How current is it? How easy is to communicate with? Building a healthy database will strengthen your value proposition when it comes to selling so having a slick platform with ready analytics is a must. Marketing automation platforms such as ActiveCampaign, HubSpot, LeadSquared, Dynamics365, Salesforce and Marketo are popular choices. Remember that it’s a case of quantity and quality. You need a nice long list but you also need to show engagement. If your list yields high bounce rates it may be time for a health check to bring it back to peak condition.
Your staff are part of the deal
Make sure you don’t forget about the people that make your business. As well as a brand and a service / product offering you are also selling your people. Invest in marketing your staff to elevate their public profiles and build their reputations. Buyers want to see that your business has the best staff with the best ideas and the best experience. Promoting your staff and giving them a voice can also help improve your brand’s reputation.
An established and proven marketing process
Your processes are important. Obviously the process behind your business delivery is crucial when it comes to selling but, in our experience, the focus on marketing should also be part of the business sale. A business sale is not just about product and service, it’s about how the whole operation runs, this includes essential supporting activity. Buyers often want to know what sort of marketing support you have in place and how effective it is.
Investors want to see that there is a clearly defined marketing strategy and that goals are being met.
Simply sending a quarterly newsletter will not cut it. There needs to be ongoing activity, noise about your business, your staff and your service. Without a clear marketing footprint amplifying your product and services, investors will struggle to see value in your operations.
You should be on social media, sending regular newsletters, blogging and attending / speaking at events. And all this activity needs to show clear thought, direction and strategy. The marketing team should be driving this with clear objectives underpinning all activity.
What is your USP?
It may sound like a silly question but sometimes rehashed messaging can water down your brand and the USP can get lost. How strong is your proposition? Can you tighten up your messaging? Buyers or investors will pull apart your messaging and USP so there needs to be a solid offering at the heart of your brand communications.
Focus on your relationships
It may be a given that you need strong customer relationships to secure a sale or funding but do you know how marketing can help with this? Profiling long client relationships in your newsletters and on social media helps promote your business as a trusted and reliable one.
Investors will want to know how many clients you have and how long they have been clients. Creating case studies for marketing use will help with this process and publicly position your organisation as one that creates long term partnerships adding value to its clients.
In the news? That’s something to shout about
Businesses often put a lot of time and effort into winning awards and generating news but don’t always do a great job at promoting the outcome. Awards or news articles hold more credibility than a company issued press release. Create a news and awards section on your website and drive traffic there via social media. Take to your platforms and shout about your success – let your future investors know that you are doing an excellent job.
A quick word of warning
Are you a dynamic business leader? Don’t get fooled into thinking the sale of a business is about you. Build your brand around your service offering and the assets that will be transferred. It doesn’t matter how great you and your ideas are when it comes to selling a business.
What Mogrify offers
We take a holistic approach to promotion, distribution and amplification – in fact, to all your marketing needs. When we first work with you, we look at your big picture and determine the best strategy based on business needs.
If you are looking to sell your business then we recommend this be a primary driver behind your marketing activity. Once the marketing strategy is aligned with your business strategy, we work with you to implement it. We scale costs up and down depending on the opportunities and your business needs.
Is your business ready to take to market?
Whilst there is no set lead time for a business sale or getting investment, where possible a long lead time for marketing is best. Buyers and investors want to see a solid track record of marketing activity, not a quick spike. How does your current marketing approach stand up?
Take our super-quick 3.5 minute Marketing "M.A.P." assessment and get your free M.A.P. Report. With just a few questions we'll be able to give a very high level indication of where the major gaps and roadblocks, if any, are in your approach to marketing. Click below to get your report!
If this article has struck a chord and got you thinking that you could be doing more to get your business ready for sale, Mogrify are offering new clients 12 months of free sales and marketing automation, valued at up to $50,000. Sound interesting? Click below.