Commercial Due Diligence Services for Private Equity Investments

Commercial Due Diligence Services for Private Equity Investments

Commercial Due Diligence Services for Private Equity Investments

&Marketing, and marketing, outsourced marketing strategy

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Private equity acquisition is a complex undertaking with countless moving parts. Your company’s funds, time, and reputation are all on the line, and as new products emerge and marketing capabilities expand thanks to advancing digital intelligence, it’s more important than ever that you know the commitment you’re making.

Commercial due diligence offers invaluable clarity into your acquisition, from helping you determine whether or not it’s worth the investment to understanding how to maximize its opportunities for long-term growth. Today, more and more private equity firms are choosing to outsource these services — and they’re quickly seeing all the benefits that it provides.

What is Commercial Due Diligence?

A commercial due diligence is a critical deep dive into a businesses’ current position and future potential. Typically led by an executive marketing consultant (or a Fractional Chief Marketing Officer), this internal review involves assessing everything from a company’s ability to attract and retain customers, its market positioning and digital presence versus its competitors, how it defines its brand positioning and value proposition, and a number of other key elements that allow a business to identify opportunities to accelerate growth and value creation. 

Here’s what you can expect from an effective commercial due diligence: 

  1. A deeper understanding of your acquisition’s market dynamics, competition, and customers/consumers
  2. A robust roadmap for growth and a holistic marketing plan  
  3. Practical strategy execution with detailed analysis of the results and expected ROI


Outsourced commercial due diligence services typically involve a fractional CMO supported by digital specialists brought in through an agreement customized to the needs of the company. Their scope is specifically process-driven to help frame your portfolio company’s scale up, while ensuring you have the proper guardrails and strategic oversight to meet your long-term growth needs.


Why Do Commercial Due Diligence?

In the case of private equity firms, a commercial due diligence can offer invaluable clarity into the long-term potential of their investment through the support of highly experienced subject matter experts with practical advice and support to execute, ensuring the most meaningful results and greatest ROI.

This process will focus on fully understanding the target acquisition’s opportunities to determine whether there is potential for significant growth to create shareholder value. In many cases, commercial due diligence consultancy is usually employed after the private equity firm has conducted enough initial due diligence that it is willing to invest the time and resources to gain more transparency and confidence into whether it is a good investment opportunity in the long-run. And it can either be done pre or post-acquisition.

How Much Does Commercial Due Diligence Cost?

In order to best understand the costs associated with a commercial due diligence, it’s important to know your options — and what you’re getting. For example, &Marketing offers a flexible engagement through a retainer or “on-demand” model with various activities scoped on an ad-hoc basis. These retainers are typically for an initial project that is defined based on the specific target company’s needs (strategy, research, digital ads, SEO, email marketing, social media, etc). They can also be done as a “percentage of full time” on a weekly basis and paid monthly with a typical 3-6-month minimum engagement.

Here is a breakdown of a commercial due diligence framework/checklist and the associated costs

Market Position Analysis

  • Determine the company’s target markets or audiences based on its sales, margin, and customer retention history  
  • Review and map the company’s positioning verses its competition for selected dynamics, such as value, uniqueness, market share & growth potential
  • Determine whether the product and service positioning is “True, Distinct & Compelling” 
  • Map out the company’s Core Competences to determine whether it has sustainable competitive advantage
  • Costs range from $10,000 to $20,000.

Customer Insights Collection

  • Interview the company’s current and previous customers to guage how compelling and unique its products and services are from the perspective of their target audiences
  • Interviews with customers to reveal what’s effective & what’s not:

    a. Why they purchased
    b. The products/services’ strengths & weaknesses
    c. Level of customer satisfaction & the likelihood they’ll continue to purchase or use products/services
    d. The reason past customers chose to leave

  • Determine retention rates among customers over the last 12 to 18 months. (Note: many start-ups may have lower retention rates as they home in on higher potential target groups. For quick turnover consumer products, the metric here is repeat rate, which should be at least 50%)

  • Typically, 25-40 qualitative phone interviews are performed for a cost of approximately $15,000 to $20,000, or online surveys can be utilized with costs ranging from $5,000 to $10,000

Digital Marketing Strategy Positioning

  • Evaluate the company’s website for content, positioning and messaging, ease of use and technical functionality, and suitability for future value creation
  • Initiate discussions with key sales and marketing leaders to understand the existing lead generation pipeline and processes for managing leads generated to identify opportunities for future revenue growth
  • Conduct in-depth analysis to determine the company’s and its competitor’s digital strategy, approach, and effectiveness, quantifying its digital presence and identify high ROI approaches to accelerate revenue growth
  • Costs range from $10,000 to $50,000, depending on complexity

Marketing Capabilities Review

  • Evaluate the company’s marketing materials, both printed and digital
  • Conduct interviews with marketing teams regarding strategy and success to date
  • Work with the management team to outline the strengths and weaknesses found
  • Recommend cost effective improvements and internal organizational changes
  • Costs ranges from $5,000 to $10,000.

Is Commercial Due Diligence Stressful?

Performing a commercial due diligence can be time consuming and resource intensive if you try to tackle it internally without the right resources, bandwidth, or expertise to do it properly. This is why more and more private equity firms are relying on outsourced fractional CMOs and marketing teams to handle the commercial due diligence of their portfolio companies on their behalf. 

While some commercial due diligence experts will leave the execution of your marketing strategy to your portfolio company or a third party, there are full service digital agencies that provide the executive leadership and marketing team to see the entire process through from pre-acquisition advisory to practical execution. This approach not only leaves you with a single point of responsibility throughout the process, but also decreases the risks of issues and unapproved changes to ensure the overall effectiveness of the investment. 

To learn more about the benefits of outsourcing your portfolio company’s commercial due diligence consulting to ensure you’re harnessing the best solutions for long-term success, contact the digital marketing experts at &Marketing today. 



About the Author

As the Founder & CEO of &Marketing (, Raj and his team strive to provide growing businesses unparalleled marketing strategy and execution services. Raj has more than two decades of experience in B2B and B2C marketing, sales, & strategy. He has led nearly 100 high-profile marketing strategy projects for Global 100, mid-sized clients, and SMBs, plus over a decade with General Electric and General Mills. He is a sought-after advisor and facilitator, with experience across five continents. He is known for bringing the best of ‘big company’ marketing and strategy to smaller companies without the baggage, his bias for practical implementation, and his unrelenting customer focus.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’ growth goals?

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Is Fear of Negativity Holding Your Marketing Team Back?

Is Fear of Negativity Holding Your Marketing Team Back?

Is Fear of Negativity Holding Your Marketing Team Back?

&Marketing, and marketing, outsourced marketing strategy

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Sometimes marketers obsess over maintaining a glass-half-full viewpoint in their content, believing it’s always better to show the customer positive benefits rather than “focusing on the negative.” While it’s true that you don’t want to stress out your audience, both B2C and B2B shoppers are savvier than ever. When your brand avoids acknowledging the real-world problems your audiences face, you risk being seen as out of touch and artificial.

When you face reality head-on (without dwelling or sounding defeatist), your brand earns more authenticity among those looking for a solution. They’re more likely to give you their time when they can see that you understand their challenges.

If brands want to cut through the noise to capture their audience’s attention, empathize with their struggles, and differentiate themselves, it’s time to get more comfortable with a little negativity.

The Power of Bonding with Your Audience Over a Problem

It may feel counterintuitive to risk stirring up negative feelings in your audience by drawing on negative experiences. But when done correctly, it can help with reader retention and engagement by creating a shared experience and tapping into emotion to make the reader feel seen and understood. For example, an electronic lock brand may reference the frustration of losing your keys or getting locked out, a common negative experience that most people understand and can bond with the brand over.

When incorporating the StoryBrand framework into their strategy, marketers must understand that “every story is about somebody who is trying to solve a problem, so when we identify our customers’ problems, they recognize us as a brand that understands them.” (Donald Miller, Building a StoryBrand)

If we want our audience to pay attention, we have to position ourselves as offering a product or service they can easily use to solve that problem. To do that, we have to clearly identify and articulate that problem so they can see that we understand what they’re dealing with. StoryBrand marketers turn that problem into a personified villain so we can tell the audience a story about themselves as a hero, overcoming the villain using our products and services. Stories are only compelling because they include a struggle, a challenge to overcome. If we limit ourselves to only discussing the positive, we can’t create as effective a story.

A great example is a Rug Doctor campaign that showed people “steaming mad at dirt,” angry at their soiled rug. While most people aren’t enraged by a dirty rug, they certainly don’t like it, and this makes for a more interesting story than simply offering the benefit of a clean rug — the audience’s aversion to dirt is more powerful than their appreciation of cleanliness. Starting with a clean rug doesn’t make for an interesting story, because there’s no problem for the hero to solve. A clean rug is a nice benefit but a poor attention-grabber.

4 Examples of Useful Negativity in Marketing

Personify problems as villains.

Personifying the audience’s central problem as a villain is vital in marketing storytelling. For example, the medication brand Mucinex has done a great job of personifying mucus as nasty little monsters living in your sinuses — and positioning their product as your best defense against the invader.

Try a “negative” headline or title.

Refer to the title of this blog as an example of a negative headline: Is Fear of Negativity Holding Your Marketing Team Back? This headline introduces doubt and the potential that the reader may be doing something wrong — but there is also the implied promise of a solution. The important thing to remember when using this tactic is to provide solid content that offers a solution or a way to improve.

Take a stand.

Take a stand for something your brand believes in. This might involve something controversial, possibly a social or political issue, but it doesn’t have to be that serious. You could have what constitutes a ‘hot take’ in your industry but is low-stakes for those outside your audience — like an audio/video company stating that the industry should have chosen the Beta video format over VHS. Some may disagree with you, but it could be worth it if it gets people talking and associating your brand with a specific position on the topic, especially if you have the data and experience to back it up.

Poke some fun at yourself.

A little self-deprecation and self-awareness can go a long way. For example, Domino’s Pizza acknowledged that many customers thought their crust tasted like cardboard and pledged to improve the recipe. This helped to humanize the brand while proving to customers that they not only listen to their feedback but also take it seriously enough to take action.

Tips for Using Negativity Effectively in Marketing

Referencing negative experiences or audience problems is essential, but requires practice and diligence to ensure it’s done effectively. Here are a few tips to help you maintain balance and avoid alienating the audience:

  • Be sure you truly understand the audience’s problems and the negative emotions those problems cause.
  • Be subtle — it’s best not to be heavy-handed or extreme when referencing negative experiences.
  • Once you’ve formed an emotional bond over a shared negative experience, shifting the mood quickly to a solution is important. Don’t dwell.
  • Show the reader that the solution is simple — there’s an easy way to escape from this situation, and we can show you how.

Overcome the Fear — We Can Help

From learning how to effectively use negativity in advertising and marketing to building a content marketing calendar and measuring its ROI — and more — we can help! Contact &Marketing today. If you want to DIY your brand’s messaging, download our narrative marketing outline as a guide.


About the Author
Content Specialist Kim Steinmetz helps brands and thought leaders discover and develop their unique voice and tone while establishing authority on a topic through compelling messaging and copywriting. An accomplished writer and marketer with over a decade of experience, Kim is well-versed in both B2C and B2B content.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’ growth goals?

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5 Reasons Your Company Doesn’t Show Up on Google

5 Reasons Your Company Doesn’t Show Up on Google

5 Reasons Your Company Doesn’t Show Up on Google

&Marketing, and marketing, outsourced marketing strategy

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Having a strong online presence has become a crucial part of growing any business. However, if your business isn’t showing up in Google search results related to what you offer, it’s time to do some troubleshooting. There are five common reasons why your business might not be ranking well on Google. The good news? You can address nearly all of these issues by leveraging strong SEO or optimizing your Google My Business profile.

Reason #1: You Haven’t Claimed Your Business on Google

One common reason why your company doesn’t show up on Google search results is that you haven’t claimed your business on Google at all. By claiming your business, you can ensure it appears in search results and provides accurate information to potential customers. To add your business to Google, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to the Google My Business website.
  2. Click on “Start Now” and sign in with your Google account.
  3. Enter your business name and address.
  4. Select the correct business listing or create a new one if it doesn’t exist.
  5. Verify your business through the provided verification methods, such as phone verification or mail verification.

That’s it, easy right?

Reason #2: Your Content Isn’t SEO-Optimized

Creating great content is important, but optimizing it for search engines is equally crucial. If your content lacks proper SEO optimization, it may not rank well in Google search results. To get found on Google with SEO, consider the following tips:

  • Perform keyword research: Identify relevant keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for. Use these keywords strategically in your content, including in headings, titles, and meta descriptions.
  • Optimize on-page elements: Ensure your page titles, headings, URLs, and image alt tags include relevant keywords.
  • Improve page load speed: Optimize your website’s loading speed to provide a better user experience and increase your chances of ranking higher.
  • Create high-quality, engaging content: Google values content that is informative, engaging, and valuable to users. Focus on creating content that answers questions and provides solutions to your audience’s problems.

Reason #3: You Have Either Bad or No Google Reviews

Google reviews play a significant role in building trust and credibility for your business. If you have either bad or no Google reviews, it can negatively impact your search ranking. Here are some tips to handle Google reviews effectively:

  1. If you come across false, spammy, or inappropriate reviews, you can flag them for removal. Follow Google’s guidelines and report any reviews that violate their policies.
  2. Regularly monitor and respond to the reviews you receive. You can find and manage your Google reviews by logging into your Google My Business account.
  3. Encourage your happy customers to leave reviews! You can send follow-up emails or include a review request on your website or invoices.
  4. When you receive negative reviews, respond promptly and professionally. Address the customer’s concerns, offer solutions, and show that you value their feedback.

Reason #4: Your Website Lacks Citations (aka Backlinks)

Backlinks, which are links from other websites to yours, are like votes of confidence for your website. They can improve your website’s authority and boost its visibility in search results.Think of them as the link version of getting verified on social media. If your website lacks citations or backlinks, it might struggle to rank well on Google—especially for highly competitive search terms. Here are some strategies to build a strong backlink profile:

  • Reach out to other websites in your industry and offer to contribute guest articles or collaborate on content. This can help you earn backlinks to your website. Just don’t be spammy!
  • Focus on acquiring backlinks from reputable websites that are relevant to your industry. Quality backlinks from authoritative sources can have a more significant impact on your search ranking.
  • The quantity of backlinks is not as important as their quality.
    Aim for acquiring high-quality backlinks from diverse sources rather than focusing solely on the number.

Reason #5: Your Website Isn’t Indexed by Google

If your website isn’t indexed by Google, it won’t appear in search results. Ensuring your website is properly indexed is crucial for visibility. Here’s how to index your website on Google:

  1. Submit your website to Google for indexing using the Google Search Console. This tool allows you to add your website, submit sitemaps, and monitor your website’s performance in search results. It’s simple and free.
  2. After submitting your website for indexing, it may take a few days to a few weeks for Google to crawl and index your pages. The indexing process can vary depending on various factors, such as the size of your website and the frequency of updates. Just keep checking back.
  3. Use the search operator in Google to check which pages of your website are currently indexed. This will give you an idea of how well Google has crawled and indexed your site.

Improving your business’s Google search ranking has many components, but staying on top of all of them is essential for attracting more customers and increasing your online visibility. By claiming your business on Google, optimizing your content, managing Google reviews, building a strong backlink profile, and ensuring your website is properly indexed, you can make massive strides toward helping your company show up on Google so more of the right people can find you!

Not sure where to start? Our SEO audit can identify your biggest opportunities so you can prioritize.


About the Author

Marketing Manager Dexter Burgess takes the lead on implementing new tactics and promoting change through data-driven strategies. Dex works hard at client relations through consistent communication and positive feedback, never settling until the customer is understood and happy.

Are you facing challenges of your own in generating leads and meeting your business’ growth goals?

We’d love to learn more about your challenges and how a coordinated marketing approach might help take your organization to the next level.