Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) are a key strategy for business growth. The outcomes of successful mergers like Disney and Pixar, Sirius and XM radio, or Exxon and Mobil can’t be denied. But make no mistake, even the most symbiotic corporate marriages have overcome major pains along the way. One way to keep mergers and acquisitions from getting ugly is by communicating about the impending change – clearly and consistently – with your stakeholders. Clear communication can break down the fear associated with change and set the standard for motivating employees, minimizing disruptions, inspiring innovation, and adapting to new ways. Because it’s not only the organizations’ employees who feel the pains that accompany mergers and acquisitions, it’s the customers, shareholders, analysts, and media who feel it, too.
During the change, Marketing, Sales, HR, Operations, and other departments have different concerns specific to their needs. As such, it’s critical that organizations are prepared to invest in the right tools to help manage the communications around the M&A process. One such tool is digital asset management (DAM).
At the core, DAM is a solution to help organizations – big or small – easily manage and share their digital files. A DAM solution can be as simple as an image library that centralizes digital assets for users to access (photos, logos, graphics, videos, layout files, Word docs, PDFs, PowerPoint presentations, audio files), or it can be as robust as a governance-based system with roles and permissions, searching and sharing, approvals and expirations, and file formats that convert on-the-fly. The kind of solution your organization needs will depend on what you want to accomplish for your business.
When major areas of a business like culture, people, products, and brand are impacted, it’s best to communicate with stakeholders in a controlled, yet simple way. Here’s how a DAM solution can help you do just that:
1. A central source of truth
Perhaps the most important thing you can do for your M&A communications is to provide ONE centralized location for your stakeholders to go and find the right communications about what’s happening before, during and after the change. A DAM system can be that secure, central repository.
2. Customized messaging
Segment your messages about the merger or acquisition – by business group, location, department, or other – and allow certain stakeholders to access certain information when you assign them different roles and permissions (see video). This saves everyone time and minimizes the risk of a mixed message debacle.
3. Employee training
Employees need to understand new reporting structures, processes, and policies, as a result of the merger or acquisition. Collections are a great way to serve up training materials to employees about process, products, brand, vision and values, and culture. You can create collections around any subject and include documents, imagery, and video/audio files as part of the training mix (great for sharing videos from the CEO, department presentations, HR documents, and brand videos).
4. Brand consistency
All logos (old, transitional, and new), layout templates, campaigns and product photos, should be readily available to the stakeholders who need them during the change. If your stakeholders can’t find what they need, they’re likely to create their own materials and that can result in miscommunications as well as the dilution of your brand. When your organization is under the microscope, it’s critical that you present a clear and consistent brand. Brand consistency is crucial to retaining the loyalty and trust of customers. Especially for global organizations who share sales presentations, brand guidelines, web pages, and corporate communications on demand, around the world.
5. Managing the media
Don’t waste valuable time answering emails or phone calls from the media about your merger or acquisition. Simply create a public collection of pre-approved assets/files – like press releases, logos, and media kits – and send them a link to the web page, then let them download what they need, when they need it.
Mergers and acquisitions are a lot like any relationship – you get what you give. So when you’re going through your line items of must-have tools for your merger or acquisition, think about how to make the brand management portion a bit easier. What you get in return will be more than worth it.
To learn how our customers are using DAM to better their organization, reach out to our DAM advisors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or to see Widen’s DAM system live, request a demo!