How Your Fellow Marketers Do It Right

Winning sales & marketing best practices developed and deployed by installing security contractors across North America highlight the 17th Annual SAMMY Awards. Which companies took home the trophy hardware and what set them apart is detailed here. Takeaway tips and advice abound.

<p>ADS Security rejected the use of scare tactics in its radio broadcast ad. “In this millennium, it’s all about helping the customer manage their daily lives better through security,” says Tom Szell, ADS senior vice president, sales & marketing, above.</p>ADS Security
Best Broadcast Advertisement
Sponsored by the Electronic Security Association (ESA)

Easing Customer Woes Through Broadcast Advertising

The ringing siren of a home intrusion alarm immediately alerts listeners of the SAMMY Award-winning radio ad from Nashville, Tenn.-based ADS Security. A warm, friendly voice follows and says, “Did you hear that? Chances are so did your neighbors. It’s the sound of a burglary or a home invasion being stopped in its tracks. It’s the sound of a home security system doing its job.”

The one-minute spot also highlights the company’s
Aniware remote security service, and concludes with ADS’ contact information. When developing the ad, the ADS marketing team decided to use sound effects, such as breaking glass and a barking dog, to dramatize the break-in at the beginning of the radio announcement. As the commercial moves along, the sounds effects are replaced with soothing music.

“If you listen to the ad, there is really nothing unique about it except for two things — it’s calming and reassuring. We don’t feel that security should be fear-based,” says Tom Szell, ADS senior vice president, sales & marketing.

ADS, which has 14 branch locations and more than 70,000 customers, created the ad to reach prospective clients in the Augusta, Ga., area. In an effort to stay within budget constraints, the marketing team needed to become more efficient in its marketing endeavors. So, it contemplated heavily on what type of radio station would help the company get more bang for its buck.

“A lot of people use talk radio, but we chose to advertise on sports radio,” Szell says. “We feel that we get the best response on that.”

<p>Source Security Services contracted with an agency to redesign its Web site (, which now features much improved user navigation.</p>Source Security Services
Best Web Site Design
Sponsored by Fire Lite Alarms by Honeywell

Overhauled Online Presence Brings in More Leads

In 2009, cable operator Source Cable Ltd. of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, decided to branch into the electronic security business. What resulted was Source Security Services, a full-service integration company with roughly 2,000 monitored accounts.

Initially, the Source Security Web site was completely separate from its parent company; however, marketing managers Kelly Anderson and Myrna Bontje noticed that the site was getting lost in the crowd. Now, the sites for Source Cable and Source Security have been assimilated to help the security integrator reach a larger client base.

“We really wanted our current customers to be able to find us easily,” Anderson explains.

Source Security hired an outside ad agency to help design the site and build a content management system (CMS) to allow Anderson and Bontje to make necessary changes and updates. When working on the redesign with the agency, the duo had one thing in mind — to make the site easy to navigate for customers. They analyzed the site as outside customers to make sure everything flowed efficiently and logically.

“We tested it and said, ‘If I was a customer, I would want a little bit more information on this topic, so it should link to this page,’” Anderson says.

Their diligence paid off, and now Source Security has accomplished its goal of increasing leads. The necessary business feature was also lauded by SAMMY judges.

When searching for an outside company to help redesign a site, Bontje has this advice: “Look for somebody who seems to understand your brand,” she says. “If you’re looking for someone to design a site at the cheapest price, that’s what you’re going to get in terms of navigation and options.”

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