How using your marketing department can maximize your valuation.
Last month, Mountain West Capital Network met for their annual Deal Flow conference where they gathered entrepreneurs and investors together and discussed all things Utah business related. And just like previous years, Fluid helped them create their Deal Flow book for attendees to take with them.
The book not only has a record of the previous year’s business tradings, but it also houses several articles from contributing members. This year, I had the privilege to submit my own article about the importance of marketing in a company’s potential value. But you don’t need a Deal Flow book of your own to read it. Below is exactly how I advised hundreds of financial professionals to help them grow their own business. Hope you enjoy!
MWCN Deal Flow
We’ve all heard that the average consumer sees 4,000 to 10,000 ads a day, whether they realize it or not. The Italian-branded coffee cup at a gas station. The Swiss Alps image on the side of a water bottle. The billboards and business signs on our commute to work. The sponsors on the radio. Even the organic posts in a social media feed – exposure to advertisements throughout our day is such a common event that we hardly even notice anymore. That’s also why it takes seeing an ad an average of seven to 20 times before we make a decision to purchase (unless it’s a great ad that sticks in your memory, of course).
That’s why you may want to reconsider if you think your company doesn’t need to invest in marketing.
Investing in your company’s marketing can really make a difference not only in your public presentation, but also in your year over year gross revenue as well as your stock value. We should know. Here at Fluid Advertising, we’ve seen the difference a little marketing can do in the overall growth of our clients’ businesses.
Marketing Brings in Customers
Emotion prompts a much stronger urge to buy than any rhyme, reason or logic. The efforts your company puts in toward understanding your customers – who they are, where they go, what they need and why they need it – and creating an ad that speaks directly to them can build a stronger conversion funnel than any efforts put toward an elevator pitch.
Not only that, but marketing spreads the word that you exist. The larger the audience you can build, the more revenue you can see in return. The more spending you invest in advertising, the larger the target becomes. But without any efforts put toward reaching that larger audience, how would you expect your business to grow?
Marketing isn’t just pretty colors and catchy slogans. It’s a strategic game plan to lay the groundwork for future growth. It’s a refined technique that identifies exactly who your customers are (their concerns, their motives, their backgrounds) in order to craft a message that lets them know you are the solution they’ve been searching for. It’s a mastered approach to develop who you are as a company and grow your value in the public’s eye.
Branding Builds Long-term Stability
In their article “Why Brand Building Is Important,” Forbes magazine explains the importance of brands right off the bat: “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products. Brands convey a uniform quality, credibility and experience. Brands are valuable. Many companies put the value of their brand on their balance sheet” (Goodson, Scott. “Why Brand Building Is Important.” May 27, 2012. Forbes Magazine).
A well-recognized brand is one that people know off the top of their head: one that clearly communicates who the company is, what they do and why they make a difference in their customers’ lives. Maybe a company creates top-notch products, or employs people who have been experts in their field for decades. Their value as a company is in the eye of the consumer, and no one likes to spend money without knowing what they’re getting.
Let’s take Apple for example. Sure, everyone wants to be like them. But the reason why is because they know that consumers want to buy an Apple product. Does that mean that Microsoft or Dell or Sony haven’t balanced their budgets, designed fast-performing technology or offered the same reliability as their competitor? We won’t choose sides here. But we know that consumers are already familiar with Apple, for any number of reasons. And familiarity is a powerful emotion that’s hard to shake.
Exposure Attracts Investors
That connection between investing in your marketing and selling your company may sound like a stretch, but the truth is that it’s really not. Marketing strengthens your value as a business, both operationally and financially. By investing in a cohesive marketing campaign, you strengthen your brand. By building your brand awareness, you easily grow your sales. And by building your brand value, you naturally attract an audience – like investors.
Just like wary customers who are unsure of an unknown company’s quality, M&A investors are leery of a company whose future is unsure. Having a strong marketing team that has researched your customers, mapped an outreach strategy and executed a flawlessly emotional ad campaign signals to potential partners that you know where your future is heading.
For these reasons alone, an investment in your marketing efforts is an investment in your company’s growth.