Transaction professionals are bad at proactive marketing. Which is to be expected. Transaction teams (lawyers, bankers, financiers, accountants,…) work with tight deadlines on complex and time consuming situations. Then after one engagement is complete, the team is disbanded and assigned to the next deal. This cycle does not allow much time (or energy) between engagements to create thoughtful marketing content.
At Pitchly we are strong advocates for professional services firms to invest in creating sustainable fee generating opportunities through proactive content marketing. We believe the most profitable way to make this investment is to create an embedded marketing and business development team to sit alongside deal team members. The sole responsibility of this team is to create marketing collateral after a transaction closes. A good marketing team pays for itself quickly and scales because well written, researched and referenced content lingers on the internet and the mind share of readers for a long period of time.
Now we are biased with this view, after all we provide transaction marketing and intelligence automation software to record and market closed deals. However, our customers are not biased and are often already doing a combination of the following marketing tactics in their embedded marketing team. We have summarized our favorite ways to market a closed transaction below.
Proprietary transaction database. Recording detailed information about the transactions your firm has closed to market your services is a great way to demonstrate subject matter experience. Transaction information is often kept confidential between transaction parties and their advisers, therefore outside observers are extremely interested in understanding more about transactions they consider important to their business and operations. Our customers present transaction data in a range of marketing materials. One of our favorite use cases for this information is a quarterly publication which includes data and charts promoting the number of transactions completed by their firm during the quarter. This information is supplemented with commentary regarding market deal terms, the types of buyers they have been in contact with, and valuation insights. Get ready for a shameless plug…Pitchly provides the only dedicated transaction database software for deal professionals. Please shoot me an email if you are interested in checking out our transaction database.
Transaction review deck. When you close a deal in a specific sector you learn valuable insights about the current M&A environment of that particular niche. Insights such as current buyer universe, current valuations, strategic drivers, etc. are learned during as your solicit prospective buyers and progress them through diligence. This information is extremely valuable and of great interest to companies operating in the same sector. In a prior life we had huge success marketing the key transaction highlights of a mid-sized sale of a business process outsourcing business. A business like that never goes out of fashion and assets are continually trading hands. This strategy is great for private equity owned assets because they are constantly in the market and interested in current trends that affect their portfolio. Depending on the level of detail you include, we recommend you receive a release from the outgoing shareholders and the new acquirer prior to presenting this information to potential industry competitors.
Infographics. A simple and elegant way to summarize transaction metrics and numbers, infographics have become very popular as an integral part of a marketing teams content and social strategy. An example of this, is we have seen a fantastic infographic summarizing the number of parties that progressed through the various stage of a sell-side auction from initial contact to close. This information visually displayed the breadth of the process and the length of time the process took, two very interesting insights for private shareholders looking to hire a financial advisor to sell their business.
Client testimonial. A good testimonial should promote your experience, professionalism and the outcome achieved from the engagement. To capture this information you want to ensure your clients are happy with the outcome and that an outcome has been determined. For instance, capturing their insights when your deal team is preparing the CIM or peppering management with questions during due diligence is not the ideal time for them to speak candidly about the services you have been providing.
Social media. Transaction professionals are valued by the size of quality of their professional network. If you are not currently building a firm and personal professional social presence you should be. A simple way to display experience to your network is to post transactions completed by you and/or your firm and tag the deal team members. This promotes the deal externally for the firm, promotes individuals who acted on the deal and will peak the interest of market observers wanting more information about the transaction. Pitchly’s tombstone management software makes it easy to post consistent and beautiful tombstones (that was the last plug I promise!).
Marketing transaction content is a specialization and should consist of more than the standard reactive response of stuffing tombstones in pitchbooks and RFPs. A skilled marketing team can align automation tools with strategies designed to target the audiences most important to your operations. Great marketing teams can refine strategy and content that is picked up by the Wall Street Journal and then repurposed to be an insightful document for private business owners to read. So what are you waiting for? Go hire a business development team now before they all get snapped up!
Pitchly makes it easy for advisory professionals to use their completed transactions as a proprietary database for marketing and intelligence to advise private businesses. Pitchly is a single integrated platform with two products: Engage and Intelligence. Engage is used by business development teams to store transaction information relevant to the firms marketing endeavors including transaction tombstones. Intelligence is used by transaction professionals to value private businesses, negotiate deal terms, and provide analytical insights into firm transaction history. Sign up for a free account here.