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5 Tips for Acquiring a Marketing Company

Acquiring a marketing firm can be a strategic investment for printing company owners looking to broaden and deepen relationships with existing customers. Additional services can spur new business — and under the right circumstances, the marketing firm’s customer base can be a valuable asset, both in the short and long terms.

That said, there are as many post-merger war stories as success stories. More than a few printing company owners will tell you that a year after the acquisition, all they had to show for their investment were half a dozen used PCs and a handful of customers who chose not to follow the talent, wherever it went.

So what should a printing company owner looking to acquire a marketing company look for? 5 suggestions to set you on the right path:

1.   Identify a marketing firm whose services are a good fit for your existing customer base.

2.   Negotiate at least a two-year employment contract with the marketing firm’s owner(s), and be sure to structure a substantial portion of their compensation in earn-outs.

3.   Unless a marketing company owns its own real estate or runs a substantial fulfillment operation (in which case it may have its own servers and proprietary platforms), intangible assets are the only assets likely to have any serious value.

4.   Make sure that at least some of your sales force is willing and able to sell marketing services as well as printing.

5.   Work with professionals you trust, both to help you identify potential acquisitions, and to carry them out. 

Acquiring a marketing company can be an excellent growth strategy for printing company owners. Just do your homework — carefully — for your best chance of minimizing the risks and maximizing the rewards.

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