BKM Marketing's Managing Director of Banking & Finance Services, Rick Hall, was recently featured in a panel discussion "What No One Tells You About M&A Communications" hosted by Digital Onboarding on M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions) communications in the financial industry.
As summarized by Digital Onboarding, U.S. bank and credit union M&A transactions cooled last year after a two-year spike, but experts predict 2023 could be a year for dealmaking. The reputational risks associated with a botched conversion are enormous, yet anticipating and managing all communication risks can feel impossible.
To help banks make the most of their investment and learn what to expect, Digital Onboarding compiled a team of industry executives with real-world M&A experience to discuss common mistakes, the importance of effective communication strategies, the challenges faced during the transition period. This expert team featured BKM Marketing's Rick Hall, alongside Mitchell Skoien, Vice President & Product Manager at First Foundation Bank, Yvonne Garand, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at VSECU, and Tricia Hrotko, Chief Customer Officer at Digital Onboarding.
Panel Discussion on M&A Communications
What No One Tells You About M&A Communications
The panel discussion highlighted the importance of effective communication strategies during mergers and acquisitions. The panelists discussed various aspects of M&A deals, including due diligence, cultural integration, and post-merger communication strategies, with a specific focus on:
- Typical communication mistakes that institutions make during M&A events
- What’s most important to customers and members during the transition, and
- How to build a communications strategy that maximizes satisfaction and minimizes attrition rates
One of the key takeaways from the discussion was the importance of due diligence in M&A deals, with an emphasis on the need for thorough research and analysis of the target company before making a decision to acquire it. This includes understanding the company's financials, market position, and potential risks and opportunities.
Another important aspect of M&A deals is cultural integration - stressing the need for companies to understand and respect each other's cultures, values, and operating styles. This can be achieved through open and honest communication, as well as by involving employees from both companies in the integration process.
Post-merger communication strategies were also discussed in detail. The panelists emphasized the need for clear and consistent communication with all stakeholders, including employees, customers, and investors. This can help to minimize uncertainty and anxiety, and ensure a smooth transition for everyone involved.
The panelists shared their experiences of successful and unsuccessful M&A deals, providing valuable insights into what works and what doesn't. One of the key factors in successful M&A deals, according to the panelists, is a clear and compelling vision for the future of the combined company. This can help to create a sense of purpose and direction, and inspire employees to work together towards a common goal.
Overall, the panel discussion on M&A communications provided a wealth of insights and best practices for companies considering or undergoing a merger or acquisition. Effective communication, cultural integration, and a clear vision for the future were identified as key factors in successful M&A deals. By following these best practices, companies can minimize risks and maximize the potential benefits of M&A deals.
Click to Watch Digital Onboarding's Panel Discussion
(6) KEY TAKEAWAYS
#1 - INVOLVE THE MARKETERS EARLY
Marketers are often not involved in the planning process for M&A communications, and their budgets may be decided without their input.
#2 - BOTH INTERNAL + EXTERNAL MESSAGING IS CRUCIAL
Crafting clear and consistent messages is crucial for successful communication during M&A, both internally to staff and externally to clients and customers.
#3 - FOCUS ON TRANSPARENCY + ENGAGEMENT FROM DAY 1
Communication efforts should start with the initial announcement and continue throughout the entire M&A process, with a focus on transparency and engagement.
#4 - CREDIT UNIONS HAVE UNIQUE CHALLENGES
Credit unions, in particular, face unique challenges in terms of membership voting and awareness during the merger process.
#5 - OVER-COMMUNICATION IS YOUR FRIEND
Over-communication is key to ensure that stakeholders are informed, and utilizing different communication channels based on audience preferences is essential.
#6 - KNOW YOUR STAKEHOLDERS INSIDE + OUT
Deep understanding of all stakeholders involved in the M&A process is necessary, considering their specific needs and engagement levels.
ABOUT THE EXPERTS
Learn more about the industry experts who led our way through a challenging, but critical, discussion.
- Mitchell Skoien, VP, Product Manager, First Foundation Bank
- Yvonne Garand, Chief Brand and Marketing Officer, VSECU
- Rick Hall, Managing Director, BKM Marketing Associates
- Tricia Hrotko, Chief Customer Officer, Digital Onboarding