The communication mediums may change, shift and evolve, but, by and large, the fundamental principles of successful marketing strategies and practices remain unassailable. The upcoming June issue of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION includes a special section featuring some of the industry's sharpest marketing minds, those who captured awards in this year's SAMMY (Sales & Marketing) program.
The company that won the most honors this time, walking off with three of a possible 12, was no stranger to the SAMMYs' winner's circle. Indeed, Stanley Convergent Security Solutions (CSS) has now captured three of the past four Best Overall Integrated Marketing Campaign trophies. Clearly, these guys know what they're doing! Print space in the June issue was very limited and I wanted to share more of the great marketing intelligence I gathered from Stanley CSS Director of Marketing Beth Tarnoff, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Business Development Felix Gonzales and President & COO Tony Byerly. I hope you find it both interesting and useful.
What is the company’s general philosophy or approach to marketing initiatives and expenditures?
Beth Tarnoff: Stanley CSS’ marketing philosophy centers around “Customer Excellence.” As a company, Stanley CSS focuses on providing excellent customer service around our five customer touchpoints: account management, installation, service, monitoring and billing. In order to carry this same customer focus to our marketing, we have developed the “Best-Fit” custom consultative marketing approach—listening to customers’ wants and needs and creating a package that is truly the ‘best fit’ for them. Unlike others who may offer a one-size-fits-all option, Stanley CSS takes a more personal and in-depth approach to understanding the customer’s specific needs in designing a security solution that is truly the best fit for them. We believe that by delivering a “Best Fit” solution for our customers, we are ensuring their total satisfaction in our products and services by providing them what they truly need and want. Every material we generate is created with the customer in mind, from our "Best Fit" brochures themselves for access, fire, intrusion, video and systems integration to our vertical market approach.
How are decisions reached about what the best marketing methods/materials?
Tarnoff: Decisions in regard to marketing methods/materials are reached by selecting items, materials, programs and designs that differentiate our company from other providers in the security industry, and also reinforce our position of high-quality, innovative offerings with unparalleled customer service. At Stanley CSS, we make sure each and every marketing piece we create, large or small, is attention-grabbing and stands out from the crowd. We spend the time to differentiate ourselves at every level, from the design down to the type of paper we use.
There is no better example of unique, thorough and customer focused marketing than our Vertical Marketing Program. From customer feedback, especially a formal Customer Needs Assessment Survey, we understood that customers want security solutions that are proven and effective for their unique industry and affordably customized for their unique business. The Stanley CSS Vertical Marketing Campaign allows us to harness our 30+ years of experience in key vertical markets including, but not limited to:
- Education (higher education and K-12)
- Government (local, state and federal)
- High security
- Property management
With this experience, we crafted a Vertical Marketing Kit for each key vertical with industry information such as a market overview, statistics, security risks, key talking points, key products, decision makers, key terms, key accounts and resources. In addition, we developed a marketing brochure as well as prospecting pieces and scripting to help associates with their vertical marketing initiatives. Through our vertical marketing kits we give our associates the tools necessary to be knowledgeable in each of our key verticals, and for customers to clearly see and appreciate our security expertise in their specific industry and unique application.
Not only is our approach to vertical markets unique, with a plethora of tools and information available to the sales associates, but so are the customer-facing pieces themselves. Each vertical market tri-fold brochure is crafted out of a weighty silk stock reinforcing our high-quality positioning. With an attention-getting cover, the customer can instantly see that Stanley CSS is a leader in its industry. The image used on the cover is a grouping of three objects that relate to their industry, with one object standing out from the crowd. This is coupled with the tagline, "Stanley Stands Out," and a message just for their industry. For example, the Vehicle Dealerships vertical brochure features three car keys, two neutral colored and a Stanley yellow key standing out, front and center. The brochure reads: "Stanley Stands Out: Great Security Comes Standard for Dealerships." On the inside of the brochure, they will find key terminology, images and security solutions targeted specifically for their industry. We even included testimonial(s) from current Stanley CSS customer(s) in that specific industry, to show their satisfaction and further lend credibility to Stanley CSS.
Stanley CSS celebrates a big night at the SAMMYs. Holding awards (l-r): Felix Gonzales, Tony Byerly, Beth Tarnoff.
How do you judge whether a marketing initiative or materials are successful or not?
Felix Gonzales: We track our success on all marketing programs. We are able to track not only the amount of material that is used but also sales volume associated with it and cost. All our programs have a specific phone number, E-mail address or promotional code so as soon as the lead comes in, we know what program generated this lead. We use promotional codes in the sales booking process to ensure we capture the effectiveness of the program from start to finish. By finding what initiatives are successful, we are better able to decide how to spend our marketing resources in the future to get the best return and value possible.
What is your ROI model regarding marketing? What sort of metrics or other techniques do you use to measure this?
Gonzales: We track the generated business revenue from each marketing campaign to ensure that we can effectively measure the ROI of different marketing programs. Everything in our marketing program supports the dual concept of 'best fit' solutions for customers and analytical benchmarking for business evaluation. We use dedicated 800 numbers, promotional codes and a Lead Generation Center for centralized tracking of our programs so when a potential customer calls in, we know what marketing item p