8th Merger Integration Management Forum

Early Monday. Preparing for a couple of events, this week.

One, today, with all countries adopting our new Content Marketing model. Key meeting, considering that content distribution success will depend on country adoption.

Second, the 8th Merger Integration Management Forum, (17-18 March, Amsterdam), the Conference I will attend at the end of this week. As I wrote in a previous post, it is my first non-marketing conference as a speaker. I will introduce a marketing subject (how to set up properly branding and communication strategy in post-acquisitions and how M&A performances can be affected by a poor marketing strategy) to a non-marketing audience.

Presenting Marketing to M&A experts

My next conference as a speaker (8th Merger Integration Management Forum, 17-18 March, Amsterdam) is approaching and I am dedicating some time today for preparation. Also had a great call to understand the audience. Well, this time will be different: still a marketing-focused presentation, but different audience, different cut, different expectations.

In fact, it’s my first non-marketing conference. Where I will introduce a marketing subject (how to set up properly branding and communication strategy in post-acquisitions and how acquisition performances can be affected by a poor marketing strategy) to a non-marketing audience. I will need some good luck – and a good preparation. Conference site is here.

(Featured image by Brand Quarterly)

Global 2015 M&As: a summary

Interesting piece summarizing Global 2015 M&As, with very cool visuals. Short extract below.

This year, global mergers and acquisition volumes have surged to a new record level, with the total value of announced transactions climbing to $4.6tn, compared with $4.3tn eight years ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.



Wilhelm Schulz, head of M&A at Citigroup for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said it would be harder to replicate the level of activity seen in the US in 2015, after deal values rose 64 per cent year on year, to $2.3tn, according to Thomson Reuters data. However, he noted the Emea region remained well below its 2007 peak and was likely to see some growth.

Full post, here, via FT.com.

Content Marketing (& Publishing) M&A on the rise in 2016

It’s that time of the year. Marketing predictions are flowing through the Internet and Content Marketing is not an exception. Not surprisingly Content Marketing Institute includes “Content Marketing M&A” as one of the major trends for next year.

Robert (Rose) and I (Joe Pulizzi) expect the momentum of mergers and acquisitions to continue to increase in 2016 and beyond. This is the obvious part of the trend. What interests us more is the growth of brands acquiring blogs and publishing companies – to accelerate their content initiatives and transform their approach to marketing. We discuss how even small companies can benefit from this approach.

Which again is a natural consequence of 2 major trends:

  1. General M&A activity is on the rise. I wrote about this trend and the consequences for marketing in a previous post on Pulse.
  2. The attention to Marketing and specifically Content Marketing/Publishing is dramatically increasing. It doesn’t take an expert to tell that the Content Marketing software industry is exploding. Venture capital in this space is growing at an unprecedented rate. One example? The recent announcement from NewsCred.

And so Content moves to the middle: Content Marketing has clearly taken center stage for brands, entrepreneurs and investors. The Economist published recently a study on content and marketing investment. See a short summary, via CMO. From the summary:

Our own study at the Economist Intelligence Unit found that 93% of companies planned to maintain or increase their investments in content this year. The technology and the glut of talent has made that part easy. What’s harder for companies to embrace is an approach that puts their readers’ needs ahead of their own, to engage with each reader not as a consumer but as somebody who is grappling with a complex problem.

A well-researched post from NewsCred, supported by data collected from Forrester Research, reports figures and considerations:

  • There are 1876 marketing technology companies according to chiefmartec. Of these, over 80 are listed in Content Marketing;
  • 2012 to 2014 really built industry momentum. Oracle, IBM, NewsCred, Optimizely, Outbrain, Skyword, and Taboola all acquired smaller companies
  • The Content Marketing software and services industry pulled in an estimated $26.47B in revenue in 2014, with an overall growth of 13.3% according to analysts at PQ Media. This growth is estimated to continue in the double digits this year, with content marketing global spend estimated at $145B for 2015, with revenue slightly over $30B.
  • Industry budget growth overall is estimated by PQ Media‘s Global Content Marketing Forecast 2015-19 at $313B by 2019;
  • In 2013, the Custom Content Council listed content marketing as a $44B industry, meaning brands were spending that much globally on content marketing strategy and services.
  • As of September 2015, a total of $1,097,847,416 (according to recent, publicly available data from CrunchBase) has been invested from 2006 to present in the 89 companies chiefmartec defines as “Content Marketing” technology platforms.

Content Marketing budget is on the rise, too, based on a recent post from NewsCred.

“Increasingly, we are seeing some pretty sizable increases in budgets,” said Ryan Skinner, senior analyst at Forrester and author of the report mentioned by NewsCred. He said this is being driven by several factors, including the shift from traditional media to online, particularly among millennials; customers’ self-directed research during the purchasing journey; and ad blocking, which makes the need for valuable, relevant content even more important to marketers.

Summarizing, the Content Marketing software and services industry is growing mind-blowingly fast, but things will soon start to merge. There will be more acquisitions; there will be a race to raise more across the board.

2015 Brand2Global London

Just got final confirmation for my participation as speaker at the Brand2Global Marketing Conference. It will take place here in London, at the end of Sept 2015. There will be lots of coverage from marketing and branding-related media. Including Brand Quarterly, which I am currently cooperating with.

Speakers from these companies have confirmed:

Topics I plan to cover:

  • Mergers & Acquisitions (as seen from a marketing/branding perspective)
  • Global Branding & Marketing
  • Managing global integration and local responsiveness
  • Global integrated marketing communications strategy
  • Cross-cultural marketing strategies

More details soon – on this blog.


Interesting piece from the FT about the super-acquisitions of the last six months. Not counting last rumours about SalesForce.com.

After the financial crisis, so this counter-narrative goes, companies suspended payouts to investors and looked inward to aggressively cut costs. Even as balance sheets improved, executives remained timid and turned to share repurchases and dividends to keep shareholders at bay.

Now with shareholders increasingly sceptical of the record levels of capital returns, companies are taking advantage of market conditions to take financial engineering to the next level — by buying their rivals.

8th Strategic Marketing & Branding Forum

Conference is over. Beautiful Location. Great presentations and speakers. Presentation from Generali’s CMO was one of my favourite. Overall, very interesting experience.

My presentation can be already found here, via SlideShare. Some more details about the Forum, here – photos are included. I do not think presentations were recorded. All files should be uploaded sometime soon.