It happens. Often. Too often.
Marketing departments and the departments that support them spin up digital accounts ad hoc. An account here, an account there and before you know it, no one knows how many accounts exist or who is doing what with them.
That’s a messy state of affairs at any time. But when your company is acquiring or being acquired, an inventory of your digital properties – all of them – becomes crucial.
So, it’s important to get ready before the ready-or-not M&A moment. We’re here to help, with useful tips for three critical areas: websites, social media, and marketing automation.
Website properties are your main communication tools with the outside world. To prep for M&A, address these questions in the marketing and technical categories.
- What are the domains of the websites? List all URLs associated with your website. For example: nwsdigital.com, www.nwsdigital.com, etc.
- Do you have sub-domains? Double check and account for them.
- Are vanity URLs in use online or in print? Make sure to capture them.
- Who has access to the Content Management System (CMS) to make website edits?
- Who has access to analytics for the websites?
- What marketing or ad campaigns are current? Where do those ads point?
- Are forms on the site? If so, who receives them when site visitors fill them out?
- Who has access to the DNS to make domain changes?
- Who holds the Security Certificates (SSLs)? When must they be renewed?
- Who has logins for any third-party tools or integrations, such as job search software or class registration?
Take inventory before decision time. Spotty knowledge + deadline pressure = bad results.
Social channels, like the website, express and shape a company’s brand and voice. Take time to assess the channels you have and to decide what you need going forward.
Here are some questions to ask:
- What social media accounts do we have?
- Who has log-in credentials for the accounts?
- What type of following/engagement do the channels have?
- Do we have the means to create meaningful content that works on all of them going forward?
Marketing automation manages your contacts and sends email regularly to share important news, thought leadership, upcoming events, and more. It’s critical.
- If acquiring a company, find out what automation tool or tools they use. If you’re being acquired, be ready to share the tool you’re using, how you’re using it, and a list of users.
- Develop a plan to determine which platform to retain and how to migrate content to that platform.
- Do new branding parameters require new email templates?
- Do your websites use marketing automation forms? Be sure to account for them.
- Are you using any landing pages created in your marketing automation tool? Make sure to create a list.
If you checked off all the bullet points, hats off to you! If, like most of us, you’ve checked some but not others, perhaps it’s time to look into them. But now, at least, you’ll be armed with awareness of the issues and with the right questions to ask (of yourself and your colleagues).
Even if a merger or acquisition isn’t in your immediate future, collecting all of this information now will help in your current day-to-day work, as well as ensure you’re prepared should you find yourself in an M&A situation down the road.
Our expert team of digital strategists and marketers can help assess the effectiveness of your digital strategies and tactics, and partner with you to develop new ones to achieve your goals. Reach out to us anytime!