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Business Acquisition Evaluations: the role of marketing research

julianuferThere’s a well-known path people travel from first becoming aware of a product to becoming a loyal buyer. When we work with our M&A and Private Equity clients, we start by examining this Pathway to Purchase together, to determine where along it our custom research would have the greatest impact on this business opportunity. Then we’ll design a custom study or program to rapidly generate that valuable information for you.

The knowledge we develop for you through this highly targeted research reduces the risk inherent in major investments. Knowledge is power; we enable you to confidently move ahead.

Pathways to Purchase: How to Cultivate Buyers

Awareness

  • What’s the level of awareness of the target company (and its products), and the firms we think are key competitors?
  • What is the awareness across key segments? What are the sources of awareness? 

Brand Imagery

  • What is the brand image of the target company, among customers, lapsed customers, and prospects? What are the images of key competitors? 

Willingness to Consider

  • What stimulates purchase consideration in the first place –what motivates people to look for solutions? To what problems?
  • Who are the key decision makers regarding purchase of this company’s products, who are the end users, and how do these various stakeholders differ in what matters to them, what their attitudes are towards the company’s products?
  • What roles do social media and other channels play in the purchase process? 

Purchase

  • How are the target company’s products performing for its customers? Can we create a SWOT analysis, based on customer feedback? Does that differ by customer segment? Calculate NPS scores, and other key measures of loyalty.
  • What are the drivers of loyalty to this company, and how sustainable are those? Use regression modeling to determine relative impact of drivers.
  • To what extent are loyal buyers “unwilling captives” – buying because there are few other choices at the moment?
  • What characterizes heavy users of this product? Profile these buyers and get a sense of the untapped potential in the market; how big is this segment? Their drivers?
  • How “sticky” are this company’s customers? To what extent will we retain them, can we cross-sell them, upsell them with other products that are, or soon will be, in the portfolio?  Who can we retain/cross-sell/upsell? Why? 

And beyond – to New Product Development

  • Where are there attractive “need gaps” we can exploit by developing new products in this category under the target company’s brand?
  • What is the degree of extendability of the target company’s brand into ancillary businesses or categories? What are the barriers to extension, where are the easiest fits? Why?

Pathway to Purchase

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