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The Art of Acquisitions: Keep Sight of Commercial Success

With all the moving parts of an acquisition, it can be easy to forget the most important player: the customer.

In the complex tangle that is a corporate acquisition, an easy strategy is to keep the focus on the financials—how much everything costs, inventory, valuation, etc.

While these considerations are crucial of course, it’s worthwhile to remember not to lose sight of the essentials: the products you're selling and the people you're selling them to. 

Integration of Marketing and Product Strategy in Acquisitions

A successful acquisition means maintaining a clear vision of the product's role in the market and the customer base being served. 

That may seem obvious, but during the tumult of an acquisition, these critical elements risk getting obscured—leading to potential destabilization from the standpoint of the customer. 

Finding this clarity early on is a strategic step toward not only facilitating smoother transitions but also any future decisions regarding the market direction of the newly merged companies. It’s the foundation upon which companies can decide their strategy for integration. 

3 Strategic Options for Commercial Integration

Deciding on the most fitting strategy for commercial integration is pivotal, especially for those directly affected—marketing, sales, and other customer-facing roles. 

Here are three potential paths for integrating commercial operations post-acquisition, each with distinct implications for downstream teams.

Path #1: Maintaining Independent Operations

This strategy takes a page from the playbook of conglomerates like Berkshire Hathaway, where acquired entities are maintained as separate companies under the umbrella of the parent organization. Operational independence is beneficial in scenarios where the acquired company boasts a unique product line or a widely recognized brand identity that contributes significantly to its market value. By allowing such entities to continue with minimal interference, the parent company preserves the original brand's integrity and customer loyalty.


  • Market Presence: Marketing and sales teams can continue their operations without the need to recalibrate strategies immediately, ensuring a stable market presence.
  • Customer Base: Retaining operational independence minimizes disruption in customer relationships, a crucial factor for businesses with established brand loyalty.
  • Synergy Overlook: However, this approach may lead to missed opportunities for leveraging synergies, especially in terms of cross-selling and optimizing the combined customer base for broader market expansion.

Path #2: Immediate Integration

Contrasting with operational independence, immediate integration seeks to amalgamate the acquired company's processes, systems, and teams into the acquiring entity's infrastructure in full. This method champions a unified approach to market operations, aiming to consolidate operations, streamline processes, and harmonize the brand message across all product lines and services.


  • Unified Branding: Marketing teams face the challenge of rebranding and integrating product lines under a single corporate identity, requiring a strategic overhaul of marketing collateral, messaging, and channels.
  • Sales Channel Alignment: Sales teams must adapt to selling a wider range of products, often necessitating extensive training and adjustments in sales strategies to accommodate the expanded portfolio.
  • Customer Experience Risk: The risk of diluting customer experience looms large, as customers of the acquired company may feel alienated by abrupt changes in product offerings, service levels, or brand messaging.

Path #3: The Hybrid Approach

The hybrid approach represents a middle ground, blending the strengths of both entities while carefully navigating the integration process. This strategy is characterized by its flexibility, allowing the acquired company to retain some degree of operational autonomy while gradually integrating certain aspects, such as shared services, technology platforms, or customer relationship management systems.


  • Tailored Customer Experiences: Marketing can leverage insights from both companies to craft more nuanced and targeted customer engagement strategies, benefiting from a richer understanding of diverse customer segments.
  • Maintaining Unique Value: This approach safeguards the unique value propositions of each company, ensuring that the inherent strengths that made the acquired entity attractive in the first place are not lost in the integration shuffle.
  • Leveraging Shared Services: Sales and marketing teams can tap into shared resources (e.g., customer databases, analytics tools) to enhance efficiency and effectiveness, driving synergies without upending existing operational paradigms. This integration can even be seamless given one or both of the companies are operating on a cloud-native, configurable product information management (PIM) system that allows for streamlined data migration.

Reducing Acquisition Pains: The Role of PIM

Given all the moving parts and potential risks outlined above, a robust PIM solution is a huge life-saver, not to mention a huge time-saver. 

By centralizing product information from disparate sources and ensuring flexibility to accommodate various product types, a PIM facilitates the creation of a unified source of truth even when two separate product lines are involved. 

This centralization is pivotal for marketing and sales teams as they navigate the complexities of presenting a cohesive product portfolio to the market post-acquisition.

Sales and Marketing Team Enablement

No matter which of the three paths you choose, the acquisition of a new company will always bring with it the challenge of assimilating new products into existing sales channels. Education and enablement extend beyond merely acquainting teams with new product features; it involves a strategic alignment of sales approaches, market positioning, and the cultivation of new sales channels. 

By centralizing product data from the merging entities, a PIM system provides a unified, accurate source of product information, which is critical for sales and marketing teams in their efforts to understand, position, and sell new product lines effectively.

Here are some specific ways PIM can enhance sales and marketing enablement during an acquisition:

  1. Strategic Alignment with Sales Approaches: A PIM system facilitates deep product understanding by providing detailed, up-to-date product information, enabling sales teams to confidently articulate value propositions to diverse customer segments.
  2. Market Positioning: Marketing teams can leverage the consolidated product information within a PIM to craft compelling, coherent market positioning strategies that align with the combined company's brand identity and value propositions.
  3. Accelerated Go-to-Market: With centralized product information, companies can more swiftly integrate new products into existing sales channels, reducing the time to market and capitalizing on market opportunities.
  4. Enhanced Sales Enablement: The accessibility of detailed product information empowers sales teams to effectively cross-sell and upsell across the expanded product portfolio, driving revenue synergies.

By providing a single source of truth for product information, a PIM system empowers sales and marketing teams with the knowledge and tools they need to develop and execute effective sales strategies. This level of efficiency fosters an environment where new sales channels are not only developed but also brought online swiftly and with precision.

The objective is not just to integrate two systems but to empower people, fostering an environment where new sales channels are developed and brought online swiftly and efficiently. 


For marketing, sales, and commercial teams, understanding and leveraging the right technology is not just a matter of operational efficiency; it's a strategic imperative. 

Propel Software’s PIM solution helps companies seamlessly create and deliver enriched product experiences. Moreover, when it comes to acquisitions, Propel’s extensible and scalable platform can effortlessly accommodate 100 to 10,000 users without a hitch.

A technological backbone such as Propel supports a strategic, informed approach to product and customer data management, enabling businesses to navigate the tumultuous waters of acquisitions with confidence.

See for yourself. Get a demo of the Propel PIM solution and start capturing new market opportunities faster.

Explore the solution.

Click to read the first half of this series – The Art of Acquisitions: Streamlining Change.

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Post by
Jill Mueller
Director of Product Marketing, Propel

Jill has a passion for bringing brands to life to drive strategic growth. Her experience in both retail and manufacturing provides a strong balance of marketing, development, and production knowledge. Most recently, Jill worked with private-equity-backed firms to identify and execute market growth opportunities, including channel expansion, product category launches, and global supply chain improvements.

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Jill Mueller