marketing and mergers

The Power of Marketing in Mergers and Acquisitions

Over the past few months, we’ve seen our long-term clients Capital City Comfort Solutions, McGeorge Toyota, and Touchstone Bank go through successful acquisitions. That got us wondering, in the fast-paced world of mergers and acquisitions (M&A), where does marketing fit in? Can great marketing help shine a spotlight on a company looking to be acquired?


In the case of McGeorge Toyota, our partnership spanned more than a decade and our work focused on their extraordinary customer satisfaction resulting in a 57% increase in website traffic, 20% increase in showroom visits, and 12% increase in sales (year over year). Shortly after we began working together, McGeorge was awarded “Best New Car Dealership in Richmond” and kept that distinction during our partnership. Today, McGeorge is part of the Ourisman family.


The playbook of M&A strategies shines a bright, well-deserved spotlight on financial analyses, synergies, and operational efficiencies. While these factors are the primary decision points for any merger or acquisition, the significance of branding and marketing should not be underestimated. In fact, marketing can be a key element that transforms a merger or acquisition from a transactional event into a strategic triumph.


Here’s why:


Brand Perception and Value Proposition: In most M&A scenarios, the combined company inherits the legacies and brand equities of the involved parties. Effective marketing strategies are instrumental in aligning brands, communicating a unified value proposition, and fostering positive perceptions among key stakeholders. For Capital City Comfort Solutions we took them through a complete rebrand developing a new name and look for the entire company. The results were immediate and dramatic — direct website traffic was up 70%, website sessions were up 15% and visits to their social media were up 242%. We are proud to say Capital City held on to their strong brand after they were recently acquired.


Customer Retention and Acquisition: It’s not unusual for customers to question how the results of M&A activities will impact them and their community. Marketing plays a crucial role in offering transparency to reassure customers and communicate the benefits and/or changes of the merger or acquisition. At the same time, strategic marketing initiatives can also target new customer segments that leverage the expanded resources and capabilities of the merged entity. For Touchstone Bank, our work highlighting big bank offerings coupled with community roots delivered more than 500 new checking accounts and a 4,257% increase in web traffic.


Employee Engagement and Integration: Successful mergers and acquisitions hinge on both financial integration and the cultural alignment of employee engagement. Marketing-driven internal communication campaigns can build a sense of unity, purpose, and shared vision among employees, helping to create a smooth transition and ensuring a culture of collaboration within the newly merged organization.


Stakeholder Confidence and Investor Relations: Beyond the customers and employees–mergers and acquisitions are scrutinized by investors, analysts, and regulatory bodies. Transparent and strategic communication, supported by robust marketing efforts, instills confidence among stakeholders, mitigates risks, and enhances the perception of the merged company’s long-term viability and growth prospects.


Three successful client deals in recent months is pretty rare but that doesn’t mean we are taking credit for our clients’ acquisitions. By partnering with our clients we helped to develop compelling narratives, build strong brands, engage with stakeholders, and build valuable, sought-after brands. In the ever-evolving landscape of mergers and acquisitions, one thing remains abundantly clear: marketing is one piece of the M&A pie that can’t be ignored.

The King Agency is an award-winning marketing agency offering a full suite of communications services including advertising, branding, digital, and strategic marketing, at any scale. Based in Richmond, Virginia, with offices in Atlanta and Virginia Beach, The King Agency has been helping turn businesses into brands for more than 25 years. To learn more visit thekingagency.com or email hello@thekingagency.com