Saturday, April 23, 2011

Our Acquisitions Have Been Unified "In Name Only"


In my experience with clients who have grown by acquiring others with similar products and services, I've noticed a common thread, which smacks of short term thinking.

While adding the revenues [albeit for the short term] from newly acquired customers, they do a good job of cutting costs wherever duplicate administrative jobs exist.

However, these quick hits to the income statement don't produce a sustainable boon to the balance sheet or pro forma income statement.

I believe that these company leaders are following financial and operational paths, but not assimilating acquisitions into a unified marketing culture that reaps the benefits of consolidated business development processes.

I've noticed that they allow individual sales, marketing and customer service environments to continue to operate as if the newly acquired businesses were still independent entities.  They do not follow simple logic that suggests a centralization of processes like lead generation and lead nurturing.  They do not systematize one sales process across all business entities.  They do not subscribe to a common approach to ensuring customer satisfaction which breeds retention and referrals.

Is it a lack of courageous leadership where short term thinking is the path of least resistance? Or, does the acquiring company not have a strong marketing culture in which to assimilate new acquisitions in a planned fashion.Or, maybe the acquiring company does not have bullet proof sales, marketing, support and business development processes that will enable a "whole greater than the sum of its parts"?

It's easy to cut costs, but there's only so much that you can squeeze out of the sponge.  The marketing, sales, customer service and business development stuff is tough - the things that great companies are made of.

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