Every day, businesses are bought and sold with advice and guidance from investment banks who specialize in merger and acquisition transactions. The majority of these businesses fall into the middle market with revenues of between $5 million to $500 million. Investment banks that focus on the middle market go out and find qualified buyers and negotiate the deal, including the lengthy due diligence process that is required before a deal can close.
For their services, expertise, and seller contacts, these M&A advisory firms earn a handsome fee, which is often tied to the success of the deal. Scaled percentage ‘success fees’ align the investment banker’s interests with those of the client that is selling the business: If the advisor is able to negotiate a higher total deal value for the sale of the business, they will be rewarded with a higher success fee. How these success fees are structured, the terms, and timeline for when fees are paid out can have a big impact on the financial outcome of an M&A transaction.
Choosing an M&A advisor is one of the most important financial decisions a business owner will ever make. Understanding how M&A advisory fees work, the different ways they can be structured, and how fees vary between different advisory firms is critically important when engaging with an investment bank.
Addressing a Need for Greater Fee Transparency
Up until quite recently, reliable data and industry benchmarks on M&A advisory fees have been surprisingly hard to track down. The lack of information on M&A fees can sometimes cause tensions between sellers and advisors when negotiating fees. Business owners who want to sell their company want to pay reasonable fees for expert advice, but without publicly available, credible information on M&A fee structures and terms, how can they make educated decisions about what is being charged and why?
In an effort to obtain a broad geographic perspective and greater transparency into M&A fees worldwide, Firmex has partnered with middle market M&A education site Divestopedia for the third consecutive year to launch its 2018 survey of M&A advisory fees. They are currently seeking responses from professionals that work in the investment banking and M&A industry across the globe.
The survey results will appear in the 2018-19 M&A Fee Guide published later this year. This comprehensive report provides insights into average M&A fees by region and major city, deal flow and minimum transaction value, success fee structures & fee percentage by deal size, and the forms of purchase price included in success fee calculation. While a number of M&A firms have accumulated internal data on fee structures and ranges, this annual report is the first of its kind to provide a comparative view among many firms across the M&A middle market globally.
Take the Survey, Get a Copy of the Report
If you’re involved in mid-market M&A transactions, please take a few minutes to complete the short online survey: https://www.firmex.com/2018-19-fee-survey/.
All survey participants who share their insights will receive a complimentary copy of the research report as soon as it is published.
A Deeper Well of Understanding
Lack of transparency makes it hard for business owners to determine whether the fees they are being asked to pay when hiring an investment banker are fair and appropriate. It also makes it hard for M&A professionals to explain and justify their fees to potential clients without supporting evidence.
For M&A professionals, sharing the report with prospective clients can provide supporting evidence for the fees and structure that are being proposed. It also helps advisory firms ensure that the fees they are charging are in step with over investment banks in a commoditized market, and are in line with the expectations of their clients. For business owners, this report offers an invaluable tool in negotiating fees and terms for investment banking engagements.
Last year, over 470 investment bankers shared their insights for the annual report. One of the key findings in the 2017 M&A Fee Guide was that success fees for M&A transactions of the same size vary significantly across regions and major city centers. Given these differences, M&A advisors and business owners can’t rely solely on national averages when evaluating fees.
Firmex and Divestopedia have now been collecting data on M&A fees for several years, which means they have a wealth of data to identify market trends, such as whether average fees for merger and acquisition transactions have increased, decreased or stayed the same.
The survey is open through to September and the 2018-18 M&A Fee Guide will be published in fall 2018.
Fail Safe Digital Marketing To Generate Leads
Are you achieving your digital marketing goals? If you are, well done but a word of warning – keep going. Success can be our enemy, insofar as it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing you’ve done enough.
With achievement, comes a boost in confidence which is welcomed however it can also let complacency in.
How often have you celebrated a job well-done only to experience a drop in results just a few weeks on?
As marketers, we have all been there, so rather than seeking out someone else to blame, we need to look at what we’re doing and change it.
Dropping the ball on the marketing activity, i.e. doing less of it or eliminately some strategies altogether, is a disaster waiting to happen. Before long, the business leads, in the pipeline, dry up and you’re left wondering why and how did it all go wrong so quickly?
Here are a couple fail safe marketing strategies that are the ‘must-dos’ to keep the business leads flowing.
‘Content is king’ for SEO, generating leads, and fostering advocacy for your business and brand.
Unique relevant articles that show your expertise and inspire readers to share with their followers in social media, should be your top marketing strategy. Read this article to get more insight: Content marketing must-dos in 2019.
There are many third party niche blogs that publish unique content from contributors. In the content is a backlink to a relevant page on a similar topic on the contributor’s site. It’s easy to see how this works for you – the contributor. Your site gets more traffic via the backlink. Commit to this ‘must-do’ strategy. Outreach agencies understand this strategy really well and as Wendy Piersall says:
Google only loves you when everyone else loves you first.
Content marketing steps
- Write unique content for your blog every week or more regularly.
- Share your content with your profiles on social media
- Write or engage a copywriter to write high quality articles for third party publishing blogs
- Make sure the 3rd party blog shares the article with their social followers
Take steps 1 – 4 and repeat year in, year out. There is never a time for letting up on content generation and sharing.
How many email newsletters have you sent to your email list so far this year? Many marketers and small business owners start out strong with the best intentions.
However the monthly newsletter turns into quarterly or maybe just one or two a year. This is okay if your business is doing another type of email marketing. Notifying your email subscribers of company updates, or new product or service releases is email marketing too.
There is no one size fits all so your business really has full scope to design an email marketing plan that works for all parties.
Back to the newsletter. If you’re struggling to know what to put in your newsletters, and that’s why you started out strong and then they dried up here is a tip.
The foundation of your newsletters can be your blog content. It is the perfect fit. So here is what you do to design your newsletters. In your email newsletter template:
- Add in the personalised salutation e.g. Hello (first name)
- Introduction – complete this section last, i.e. after you have all your content selected and in the template.
- Select blog posts that are on your blog.
- For each blog post; in your email template, add an image (one that is good for social sharing), title and a couple of unique sentences and a link to read more so your email subscribers can click to read the article in full on your website.
- Add in other information that your email subscribers will enjoy. It can be snippets of what you have found online. Be sure to also add in the links so your readers can visit those sites too.
- Now you’re ready to complete the introduction. Make it a quick summary of what’s in the newsletter.
It’s really that easy and with these two marketing initiatives you have the foundation from which to add more specific marketing like: Social Media advertising, and also offline marketing initiatives too.
Eric Dalius On the Best Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses
With a society highly saturated in marketing content and audiences with decreasing attention spans, it is becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out from the crowd, especially when these businesses do not have the resources to compete with Fortune 500 empires.
For smaller businesses who do not have endless marketing resources, every dollar counts and needs to provide maximum ROI. Marketing professional and entrepreneur Eric Dalius shares his insight on the best marketing strategies small businesses can use to maximize their investment.
The Importance of Content Marketing
Content marketing is a form of inbound marketing, in which your business brings customers directly to you instead of reaching out via ads and cold outreach.
It consists of creating high-quality content that serves the following purposes:
- Gain the trust of your prospects
- Display your knowledge in your industry
- Improve your search engine optimization by making your website a useful, educational online destination
What is considered high-quality content? Dalius suggests following these guidelines for any content your business outputs:
- Unique and from your business’ unique point of view
- In-depth, educational, and actionable
- Solves a pain point for your prospects
- Optimized for the web (well-formatted
What types of content gets the most attention?
- Blog posts
- Video tutorials
- Live videos on social media
- Case studies
- White papers
Have a Powerful Social Media Presence
Social media platforms are still growing every month. Facebook alone has approximately one billion active users – Instagram has over 100 million monthly users. It is the perfect tool to reach a larger audience and use both organic and paid content to gain more customers.
However, do not make the mistake of spreading yourself too thin. With limited resources, Eric Dalius states that small businesses are better off concentrating on just a few social media platforms.
The key is in choosing the right platform for your target audience and the type of product or service your business provides.
For instance, many Pinterest users go to this platform when making a purchasing decision – this network tends to be popular for households with over 100k of yearly revenue. On the other hand, Instagram is the go-to platform for millennials and younger individuals.
Social Media Tips
- Optimize your profile to get your branding on point
- Post on a regular, consistent schedule so people expect your posts
- Encourage engagement from your audience by having a call to action with every post
Use Effective Paid Content Strategies
Online advertising through Google, Facebook, and Instagram can be very effective to grow brand awareness and generate more leads, but this strategy can be a hit and miss.
Instead of setting up a promotional campaign and forgetting about it, Eric Dalius instead advises you to target your ads to a very specific group of people. This way, every single dollar you are paying towards this ad is getting used adequately to promote brand awareness to an audience that has potential interest in your business.
Additionally, you’ll want to retarget your ads. What does this mean? If a prospect visits your website, do not show them the same ads as someone who knows nothing about your business. Furthermore, if a customer clicks away before making a purchase on your online website, use this data to retarget the appropriate ad to them.
Wrapping it Up
By having a strong online presence that essentially provides value to your audience, you will gain the respect and loyalty of your prospects. In time, Eric Dalius states that these loyal prospects will provide you the best return on investment for your small business.
How to use interactive marketing to win business
Digital marketing is always evolving and as a marketer your role for your clients is to use a mix of proven and innovative strategies. Clients insist on a more targeted approach. Long gone are the days of a splatter gun approach where throwing whatever you have at the wall, will work when just some of it sticks.
Users demand more than just the generic email or banner. Marketing campaigns, like email marketing, and remarketing now need to be highly targeted to the enduser. Your clients need customer data to achieve a more personalised interaction so Interactive Content Marketing has key role to play.
Interactive Content Marketing Explained
ICM or Interactive Content Marketing improves engagement and keeps users involved for longer. When they remain active and enjoy the interaction through fun, knowledge sharing or education studies show more repeat business and new customers are created through the fostering of stronger long term relationships.
Brand loyalty, and advocacy are also positive outcomes from an interactive content marketing strategy.
Types of Interactive Content
There are many types of ICM including video with quizzes. Video is a huge step up from articles but they work exceptionally well within content.
Educational or explainer videos are engaging and keep the user online for longer. Now add a quiz during or at the end of the video and you have an interactive marketing campaign.
Contests, games are also types of ICM that are ‘sticky’, enticing the user to have fun, participate and also provide their customer data that can be used in the usual digital marketing strategies like email marketing and Remarketing.
There’s no doubting the innovativeness of ICM and how needs to be utilised by the marketer to get a better outcome for clients.
Customer data is gold and it can be used in a myriad of marketing campaigns now and later on. There’s no telling what strategies will be available in the future using smartphone apps and automated marketing software. What we do know is customer data will be a prerequisite and ICM is a workable way to acquire it from online visitors.
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