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SAMMY Winners Tell All!

This year's Sales and Marketing (SAMMY) award victors share their secrets on developing winning marketing materials.




What makes you read your favorite newsletter? Why do you hold on to certain business cards and not others? Which Web sites do you visit the most and longest? When you receive mail, why do you keep it or throw it in the garbage? Which television commercials grab your attention, making you want to find out more about a company?

These are just some of the questions that smart marketers ask themselves when developing marketing strategies and materials that build brand awareness. Security Sales believes strongly that sales and marketing campaigns are critical to growth and that those companies that increase their efforts, particularly during economic downturns, will also see an increase in market share in the long run. Security Sales’ 7th annual Sales and Marketing Awards (SAMMY) reception was held Monday, Aug. 27 at the New York Marriott Marquis and recognized dealer marketing excellence in 16 categories, ranging from community service programs to Yellow-Page advertisements. The materials submitted included cost-effective two-color self-mailers, upscale CD-ROM business cards, 3-D holographic booth designs and more. Whatever the approach, all of these methods were effective in their own unique ways. Attendance at the event was the best ever. Dealers and SAMMY sponsors (the industry’s top manufacturers) got the chance to mingle, while comparing notes on marketing and business matters. This camaraderie spilled over during the awards presentation, as the dealers cheered each other’s successes.

Many of the SAMMY finalists and winners say that the event has inspired them to improve their marketing programs. They want to come back even stronger next year.

The entire staff of Security Sales would like to thank all who contributed to the success of the SAMMY awards, including the sponsors, judges and all of those who submitted their marketing materials for this year’s competition.

So if you are considering participating in the 2002 SAMMYs or just want to learn from the best, take a look at the following. The finalists and winners are ... Current Events Capture Consumers’ Attention

Walnut Creek, Calif.-based Bay Alarm‘s mailer received a score of 19 out of a possible 20 in the Direct-Mail Piece category. The judges were particularly impressed with the timeliness of the piece’s theme, “Who’s watching when your lights are out?” When this direct mailer was delivered to Bay Alarm’s residential target audience during the spring/summer of 2001, all Californians were bracing themselves for rolling blackouts. The piece effectively, yet appropriately, cites this current event as another reason to turn to Bay Alarm for security.

4 Seasons Security of Northampton, PA., one of the finalists in the Direct-Mail Piece/Basic Brochure category, also uses the current event approach. The four-color postcard features newspaper headlines such as “Armed Robberies,” “Crimes” and “House Ablaze” to drive home the need for residential security. A special offer further increases the impact of this self-mailer.

In contrast, a humorous play on words is used by Secure View Systems of Honolulu. This two-color, cost-effective postcard features the two company owners in picture frames. The caption states, “We went from prison to the State Capitol. Wuz we framed?” to illustrate that Secure View has been hired to design both government installations. Door Hangers With Special Offers Sell Products

Century Tel Security Systems of Monroe, La., won the Best Door Hanger SAMMY. Featuring a beautiful, sepia-toned photo of a child with a dog, this piece tastefully tugs at the heartstrings of the company’s target audience—women. The theme, “Protect the things you treasure,” uses a warm and fuzzy approach that emphasizes security and family values to win clients. The judges were very impressed with the door hanger’s classic appearance and unusual oval shape. This piece also has a coupon that offers a free four-button remote.

Broomall, Pa.-based Tri-State Alarm‘s door hanger is very masculine in appearance and takes a completely different approach from that of Century Tel. It tells the recipient, “We’ve installed another system in your neighborhood.” Taking advantage of the old adage, “Word of mouth is the best form of advertisement,” the piece invites the consumer to talk with his or her neighbor about the newly installed system.

Finalist Bay Alarm‘s “Stay Connected” theme ties in nicely with the product that is featured on the company’s door hanger, the Cellnet(tm). The product transmits emergency alarm signals to Bay Alarm’s monitoring center in the event phone lines are disrupted. This door hanger makes a special offer on Celnet and prominently features Bay Alarm’s toll-free number and Web site. Deluxe Brochures Display Effective Approaches

With its brochure’s clean design and beautiful layout, Sure-Lock Homes was the winner of the Best Deluxe Brochure category. Aimed at high-end homeowners who want home automation in addition to security, the company’s piece provides a brief overview of the dealer’s products and services. The goal of this material is to convey information in an easily understandable format.

SAMMY powerhouse Bay Alarm was a finalist in the deluxe brochure category. Family photos from the 1950s give this piece a “Leave It to Beaver” feel, which reinforces the company’s nostalgic theme for its residential market. The brochure features product information as well as a system diagram.

The informational content of finalist Sonitrol‘s brochure was extremely strong. The company sees itself as a safety and security consultant for schools, the target audience of this piece. Reinforcing its consultant image, Sonitrol’s brochure features a risk analysis, crime statistics, a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section and suggestions on how to reduce crime on campus. High- or Low-Tech Presentations Win Clients

Sonitrol Corp., of Alexandria, Va., was awarded the SAMMY for the On-Site Sales Materials category. The company’s CD-ROM is a compilation of several television news items featuring Sonitrol’s installations and how the systems are helping to combat crime nationwide. Subjects included in the news coverage are school safety and retail security, two of the markets that Sonitrol targets.

Gilbert, Ariz.-based Benson Systems Inc. employs a PowerPoint presentation, also on CD-ROM, to be used while a member of its sales staff is providing the sales pitch. An interesting aspect of Benson’s approach is the fact that its presentation can be customized for corporate prospects. Attractive in appearance, the company’s presentation lists other installations using Benson’s equipment, as well as the equipment and services available from the company.

A high-tech approach is not the only way to deliver an on-site sales presentation that gets results. Tri-State Alarm‘s manual provides clear and compelling content. After a presentation with this manual, a prospective client comes away with an excellent understanding of what he or she needs and what Tri-State can provide. This traditional sales approach is cost-effective and also eliminates the possibility of technical snafus during an on-site sales pitch. Newsletter Content Keeps Customers Coming Back

Winning the Best Newsletter category, Sonitrol‘s newsletter goes by the name Sound Advice, which is a clever play on words that also calls attention to its signature audio intrusion detection product. The literature includes helpful information on false alarms and white-collar crime. It also provides tips on how to reduce workplace incidents. Making even smarter use of its marketing dollars, Sonitrol’s newsletter also doubles as a brochure and trade show handout.

Vector Security of Warrendale, Pa., was a finalist<

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