For many companies, a merger is a clear path to greater revenue and success. If it wasn’t, M&A activity in marketing wouldn’t have reached $33 billion in 2018 -- a 144 percent increase compared to 2017, according to data from R3. For the right company, merging pays off -- combining resources, reach and profits do tend to have that effect -- but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for everyone.

For smaller companies, mergers may yield more negatives than positives. Yes, more money is a good thing, but it comes at a price. A merger costs you autonomy, including control of your vision and the freedom to make smart investments and hire new talent. As more pressure builds to prove quarterly growth, creativity may suffer, values may shift and the foundation of the company may crack under the influence of outside investors.

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