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The Ultimate Marketing Due Diligence Checklist for Acquisitions

There’s one key area of the PE due diligence process that most firms overlook: marketing. 

Assessing a company’s marketing before an acquisition can give you critical insights into whether or not the business has a healthy long-term prognosis.

How big is their TAM?

What is the lifetime value of a customer compared to how much they’re spending to acquire one? 

Are the assumptions included in their financial forecast based on historical data? 

Answering these questions can help you get a better understanding of the financial health and future prospects of the company you’re considering acquiring, but they’re ones that many firms fail to consider – or don’t realize that marketing can even impact. 

Given the cost associated with making a bad purchase, both financially and in terms of the time devoted to an investment, it’s well worth reviewing these questions prior to proceeding with an acquisition. 

If you can...


Educational vs. Sales Nurture

The problem with most nurture sequences is that they are linear.

A customer fills out a form for an educational asset and enters an indefinite nurture across email, social and paid channels.

  • Does a whitepaper download really warrant a 10-email sequence on all your features and benefits? 
  • Should a sales rep really follow up with anyone who attends a webinar?

This is where segmentation and context is critical. You need to meet customers where they are not where you want them to be. Nothing is more annoying than receiving sales emails when all you did was read an educational piece of content.

If someone only engaged with you at an educational level, keep your nurture educational. If someone engages with you at a sales level, only then should your cadences be sales-oriented.

This form of respect for the customer’s needs often breeds far more trust in a brand and product than non-contextual messaging. With this approach, customers are also far more likely to self-select into...


Single Customer Cash Flow

Analyzing Single Customer Cash Flow is more important than your CAC Payback Period.

While CAC Payback Period is a critical metric for companies to evaluate their marketing performance, it misses how cash actually flows in and out of the business.

For example, if a lot of your customers pre-pay for annual plans, you can receive cash for two years by month 13. This cash can help you break even on your CAC much earlier.

While it is true that pre-payments for annual plans are to be recognized across all 12 months of the year, from a cash flow standpoint you break even on CAC much earlier.

The better you understand the cash flow break-even point, the more aggressive you can be with your marketing efforts.


Fix Churn Before Demand Gen

Focusing on demand gen is a mistake when other fundamental pieces of your growth engine are broken.

The 4 essential areas to focus on:

  1. Fix Churn: Improve metrics like 90-day retention, LTV and net retention.
  2. Drive Expansion: Scale revenue from your existing customer base with cross-sell and upsells.
  3. Improve Adoption: Increase usage from customers with better onboarding as they try or buy your product.
  4. Increase Close Rates: Ensure your SQL to Close Rates are above 30%, ideally above 40%.


Once the above 4 are handled, focusing on improving demand gen becomes a lot easier.

You can spend a lot more money to acquire customers because your ACV/LTV is higher and you need fewer leads to reach CAC Payback Period.


Better Marketing Leads to Higher Margins

Better marketing leads to higher pricing and improved margins.

The more you invest into your messaging, positioning, content, education and thought leadership, the more your perceived value in the marketplace increases.

If your business is built to consistently deliver on this increased perceived value, it translates to increased actual value experienced by customers. This can come in the form of specific solutions, verticalized offerings, purpose-built products and much more.

The combination of the two creates a unique and differentiated position in the marketplace, where customers are willing to pay a premium because they expect a higher value to be delivered by your offerings.


Best of 2023: Top 9 Private Equity Podcasts Worth Making Time For


Private equity firms, portfolio companies and investment funds are facing complex challenges. Amid unprecedented economic and geopolitical uncertainty, increased competition and rising stakeholder expectations, firms are under exceptional pressure to deploy capital and deliver returns. With an endless number of possible strategies and techniques, it can be difficult to know what the right approach is for each transaction.

If you’re looking to get advice, stay on top of trends and hear what’s worked for others, podcasts are a helpful resource. But most people in the PE space can’t risk wasting valuable time listening to episodes that aren’t applicable to their situation or don’t have actionable takeaways.

To save you time, we’ve put together a list of 9 private equity podcasts that are packed with valuable insights and are worth taking the time to listen to. Plus, we break down the topics you can expect each podcast to cover so it’s...


Lead Scoring vs Journey Mapping

Lead scoring is the opposite of how customers want to be treated.

Under a lead scoring model, you try to equate a series of actions into the same level of intent as someone who announces that intent overtly. 

But a blog post + webinar + email open does not equal a demo request.

Lead scoring is unnecessarily interruptive. Often, it means introducing a sales rep when the buyer is not ready to talk to have a sales conversation.

Instead, companies would be far better served to add content and educational assets to nurture prospects to help them self-announce their intent for a sales conversation.

This means:

  1. Having great top of funnel content to educate the prospect, even if it has nothing to do with your product
  2. Having great resources for them to interact with so you stay top of mind with them 
  3. Having problem-aware content that helps them understand their options to solving their problems
  4. Having solution-aware content that helps them become develop a clear understanding...

How To Scale Paid Media - Regardless of What Stage You’re At (+ FAQs)

How do you scale paid media to drive more pipeline? How do you think about it in a framework that lets you build scale and grow the business faster? 

This post won’t get into tactical details and specific plays, or examples of plays other companies are running - that gets too much into the nitty gritty. Instead, we want to give you a framework of how to think about the problem, how to implement this in your company, and the principles that are almost evergreen, regardless of where you are.

We'll cover:


Process to Scale

There’s a five-step process when we're...


How to Build a Content Roadmap and Secure More Budget to Execute on It (+ FAQs)

Content teams often end up with a load of different priorities from the business. Depending on the complexity of a company, this can be a pretty big challenge to navigate.

There are a ton of tactical resources out there - for example, on building out a good SEO roadmap, diving into specifics like keyword research and prioritizing based on keyword difficulty. But in this post, we're going to focus on the strategic side and the preliminary layers that help you figure out where content should focus its attention, resources and overall strategy.

A lot of the frameworks and models we cover here will apply to the majority of businesses, so you can apply them to your particular business and find the best way to think about content roadmaps and strategy for your users.

In this post, we'll cover:


Functional Strategy Comes From Company Strategy

Too many teams / sub-functions think of their work in isolation. This leads to siloed and dysfunctional organizations.

Your content strategy needs to be a subset of your overall marketing strategy, which needs to be a subset of your overall growth strategy, which needs to be a subset of the overall company strategy.

This is why starting from the company strategy / outlook / plans is the best way to ensure the success of your function as a leader and increase your impact across the organization.

Ask questions like:

1) What are our revenue targets? How fast do we need to grow?
2) What are our financial constraints? (Burn rate, EBITDA etc.)
3) What growth opportunities are the biggest focus for us as an organization? (New logos? Expansion? M&A? Pricing? New products?)
4) What is required from all the key teams (product, marketing, sales, CS, ops) to deliver on our biggest opportunities?
5) How can our respective function contribute to what is required?

Thinking like this changes how a...


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