Media & Consumer Technology

Ensuring Integration Success in AdTech M&A

Nine Key Initiatives That Are Essential for a Successful AdTech Integration

Trying to pull off a successful post-M&A integration is an enormous source of anxiety for business leaders. If missteps are taken, firms run the risk of not capturing the benefits expected from the investment. As the AdTech landscape becomes increasingly competitive, firms are actively pursuing strategies to strengthen their competitive position by acquiring capabilities in emerging media focus areas such as connected TV (CTV), retail media, ad generative AI and more. As acquisitions heat up, leaders need to address crucial questions, such as whether the acquired company should operate autonomously or align with the existing offerings and brand of the firm. In most instances, integrating the acquired capabilities and offerings generates the greatest additional value, and this is the strategy that leaders adopt most often.

To ensure an effective integration, it’s crucial to create a comprehensive strategy that delineates how each department within the organization will navigate cultural, structural and procedural changes. A pivotal aspect of a successful integration is the development and execution of a strong commercial integration strategy. Commercial leaders frequently face challenges in combining disparate sales forces possessing different skill sets, serving overlapping customer bases, utilizing different tech stacks and operating with contrasting philosophies. Over the last year, Alexander Group has helped AdTech commercial leaders effectively formulate and execute commercial integration strategies. Through these implementation efforts, Alexander Group has identified nine key initiatives that are essential for a successful AdTech integration.

1. Vision and Mission Alignment

Before any significant implementation design can commence, it is imperative to align on the vision and mission of the commercial organization. What values does the organization need to establish or refine. Most firms strive for a “one-firm” approach, a unified front that ensures customers can maximize value and reduce complexity.

2. Commercial Strategy Refinement

Once a vision is established, firms develop an integrated commercial strategy. To achieve this strategy, it’s important to understand who the customers are, what they buy across the now expanded portfolio and how they prefer to interact with the firm. This allows firms to determine how the expanded universe of customers should be segmented, establish value proposition for each customer segment and ensure the correct revenue motions are designed. With the commercial strategy it is also paramount to determine whether to execute a generalist1 or specialist sales2 model and establish what specific commercial support jobs are needed.

3. Structural Integration

After there is a clear understanding of customers and their needs, leaders tackle how to properly cover those customers.

Key questions answered are:

  • How many incumbents are needed for each commercial job?
  • How will the current and acquired incumbents be assigned to new jobs and accounts?
  • How should the reporting structure be adjusted to help facilitate the required changes?

4. Process Commercial Support Functional Integration

With a new strategy and structure in place, a consolidation or rationalization of disparate sales and service processes is required. Once processes are harmonized, it’s important to outline how all the commercial roles and supporting roles need to interact both internally and externally.

5. Management Alignment

After establishing a commercial vision, strategy and structure, it’s critical to ensure there are management tools in place to reinforce these elements. Developing success KPIs and supporting tools to monitor integration success is crucial. Furthermore, commercial incentives and reward programs should be updated to ensure resources are motivated to execute the newly defined strategy of the organization.   

6. Technology Integration

Streamlining the tech stack can be an arduous process but is often necessary to effectively execute the go-forward strategy. Firms that do not integrate their tech stack often experience time-consuming hurdles across many internal and external processes. Due to the importance of tech stack integration and the challenges associated with it, most leaders choose a phased integration approach, prioritizing critical systems while ensuring minimal disruption to ongoing operations.

7. Commercial Support Functional Integration

Commercial organizations often have many commercial support elements ranging from functions like Sales Ops, Ad Ops, Customer Success, etc. These functions must also be unified to ensure the commercial organization is effectively supported.

8. Communication Strategy Development

Developing a clear communication strategy that ensures transparency around the vision, strategy and key structural changes helps alleviate uncertainties among employees, customers and partners. Successful integrations are often accompanied by regular updates on integration progress, milestones and ongoing expectations.

9. Integration Evaluation and Adaptation

Once integration implementation efforts are underway, it’s important to continuously evaluate the process. Adapting to unforeseen challenges and course correcting based on market dynamics, internal and external feedback, and emerging trends helps ensure an effective integration.


1Generalist Sales Model: a commercial model that expects sales reps to broadly understand and sell all services, products or offerings.

2Specialist Sales Model: a commercial model that expects sales rep to understand in detail a subset of services, products or offerings.

Learn more about Alexander Group’s Technology practices.


Need Help With Your Organization?

If you have any questions about integrating your commercial organization, reach out to Alexander Group’s Media and Consumer Technology team.

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