When it comes to selling a business, how important are marketing and public relations? According to Jay Meadows, the former CEO of our longtime client Rapid Reporting, they’re absolutely critical. “I never could have sold my business without you and your firm,” Jay recently told me.
By age 48, Jay Meadows had built, marketed, grown, and sold his verification company to Equifax in a monumental deal. Selling his company was the plan all along, and he had implemented the steps required to get there.
One of the key steps in his plan was to promote his business to capture the attention of not just prospective clients and referral partners, but also the entity that ultimately bought his company. Jay engaged us, we went to work, and his plan paid off big. It paid off huge, in fact.
So what exactly did we do?
1. We created a solid, recognizable brand image The key was not to blend in. We created a unique, professional look for all Rapid Reporting marketing, so that when anyone saw anything from the company, they knew who it was from without even seeing the logo.
2. We heavily publicized the business Prospective buyers look for companies that stand out. We made sure Jay and Rapid Reporting were constantly quoted in the press, being profiled in publications, speaking at conferences, and winning awards.
3. We marketed proactively Good outbound marketing creates leads, grows revenues and draws the eyes of investors, so that was a no-brainer. Email newsletters, advertising, webinars and direct mail can all be very effective—but only if done correctly. If you’re not getting results, something is wrong.
Some companies seem to be shy about marketing and public relations. They believe that if they build it, people will come. But in most cases, they won’t. People come to where they are being called.
The biggest names in our industry and in the world didn’t get big because they kept quiet. They got big because they had vision, and PR and marketing were a part of it. That same vision turned Jay Meadows into a perfect example of how a small company made it to the big time.
Jay Meadows’ Story, In His Own Words
“In 2007, we grew Rapid Reporting Verification Company by 1,600 percent. That was the year of the crash. In less than six months, we grew from 30 employees to 150 and went from running 10,000 verifications per month to 10,000 per day. It was all because of what we had planted in years prior to the crash. Once it hit, everyone already knew our story. We had previously given our prospects the information they needed to select us in time of need. And in this crash, Rapid Reporting’s verification services suddenly became a life vest.
“The trouble is, people don’t look for a life vest unless they’re sinking. This is why companies need to be promoting themselves all the time, especially with an industry changing as quickly as ours. You never know when suddenly you will be viewed as the life vest.
“Frankly, I don’t believe the majority of companies promote themselves adequately. The key is to create differentiation and then promote it. It’s all about awareness. Strategic Vantage created that awareness for us, putting us on a podium that allowed us to become as big as we did.
“Ultimately, our PR and marketing efforts meant everything to the success of our business. There’s no way an in-house PR or marketing person can do what Strategic Vantage did for us. There’s no way.”
Deliver on your promises and be true to your brand. “In business, you have your product, sales, PR and marketing. The glue that holds it all together is integrity to your brand. You can go out and say whatever your want, but if you don’t come through with the product that you’ve been touting, then it’s all for naught. The key is promoting your product or service and delivering with consistency.”
If you’d like to take your company to the next level through public relations and marketing, reach out to us at Info@StrategicVantage.com.
By Rosalie Berg, President, Strategic Vantage