5 Marketing Tips for a Successful SPAC
March 25, 2021
Few moments are as important in a corporate lifecycle as going public and we’ve never seen so many companies weigh IPOs vs. direct listings vs. SPACs. We’ve gotten a lot of questions lately about how marketing between the three listings varies. The short answer is that they are very different and distinct. From a marketing perspective, SPACs are the inverse of IPOs. A SPAC can be treated as a marketing event as opposed to an IPO, which is a highly regulated and marketing constricted event.
Here are five tips for marketing your company in the lead up to your SPAC to build optimal recognition and brand preference.
1. Stand Out by Strengthening Your Corporate Brand Externally
You’re not just looking for a partner to merge with and go public, you’re also structuring a successful PIPE to retail investors. To make an impact, investors need to understand and value your corporate brand, which encompasses your value proposition and a marketplace of ideas that convey brand equity and a “return on investment.”
Are you a visionary in your market with an opinion on where the industry is headed? Are there individuals within your organization who could be acting as thought leaders in the media, on owned channels or on social media? Get them out of the shadows and into the spotlight. Investors are betting on your future growth, and your corporate narrative needs to convey that.
2. Reverse Engineer the Best SPACs
Many of the companies with successful SPACs did a few things well, but the companies who seem to have the best SPACs are the ones that executed a valuation-raising marketing plan. Consistently, they invested in two areas of the marketing mix more than others. They focused on PR – securing stories in the media, on relevant insider blogs and on TV to raise their corporate profile and educate investors and constituents on their market position and ROI. Next, they augmented PR with content marketing so that they could control their own story.
Perception quickly becomes reality, especially in an era when machine learning-based algorithms and artificial intelligence determine Wall Street and financial quants. Because of this, PR and content marketing produce an outsized return in attracting investors due to the attention it attracts.
3. Focus on Winning Valuation-Raising Awards
Awards don’t just look great on a shelf – they’re how you get and hold onto investor attention. It’s validation and a newscycle all your own. Analyst and industry validation is one of the fastest ways for investors to make decisions about where to invest.
4. Create a Momentum Playbook and a Media Strategy in Advance
It’s not enough to just achieve momentum – you need to be ready to capitalize on it. For that, you need to have a robust playbook written in advance. Ask yourself, “How many authentic touchpoints can you create leading up to and beyond your SPAC?” “Which media outlets should get our exclusive?” “Who is our dream SPAC sponsor, and who’s in second place?” If you can’t answer all those questions confidently, you may not be ready for prime time just yet.
Choose a media strategy that works for you. Some companies are tight-lipped about their SPAC plans until they announce the intent to merge or even the merger itself. Others announce their intent to pursue a SPAC, hoping the rewards outweigh the risks. For the latter, raising awareness with potential investors supersedes the fear of not merging, and should be pursued if you feel there’s a high probability of merging successfully.
5. Practice Extreme Integrity
There aren’t many marketing guardrails with SPACs but those that have failed spectacularly were the ones that over-promised and under-delivered. They were opaque about their current and future prospects and the consequences have been disastrous. Remember that once you’re public, you’re under SEC scrutiny and acting with extreme integrity never goes out of style.