Protection 1 Prospers by Making People Priority One
SSI’s 2014 Installer of the Year (Large Company) is obsessed with taking care of customers. Protection 1 accomplishes this mission by aligning the entire organization around the customer experience and gby investing in its employees.
The 1 For All program was tracked through the company’s employee blog and highlighted all the great work that was accomplished. An All For 1 Day, a national day of service, and Food For All Month, a nationwide food drive, were also launched. These initiatives added up to 25,000+ hours of volunteer time for 100+ organizations around the country. Included was a series of events to benefit the Wounded Warrior Family Support program that raised more than $30,000.
In addition to giving back to public communities, Protection 1 advocates supporting and advancing the security industry by committing resources to trade associations and initiatives.
On a national level, Protection 1 CIO Don Young is a Central Station Alarm Association (CSAA) board member, president of Partnership for Priority Video Alarm Response (PPVAR), and is active in the Automated Security Alarm Protocol (ASAP) and Alarm Industry Communications (AICC) committees. P1 also belongs of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Electronic Security Association (ESA). On a local level, P1 general managers participate and lead industry committees as well as foster relationships with law enforcement.
‘Mike & Mike’ Are All Right
In an industry as competitive as security even the strongest leadership and the best personnel will only get a company so far in the absence of a well thought out and executed marketing campaign. In P1’s case this has been especially critical due to its recent strategic shifts in market focus, namely establishing itself as a formidable commercial and national account services provider after long being residentially entrenched.
To that end, the firm has produced some of the security industry’s sharpest and most appealing collateral and advertising materials. These efforts have included enlisting ESPN’s Mike & Mike (Greenberg and Golic) for a series of entertaining national TV ads and public appearances.
“Our relationship with Mike & Mike was one vehicle to connect with our national account audience back in 2012 when we introduced messaging that catered to both residential and commercial audiences,” says Haenggi. “Feedback from our commercial and national account sales reps was that more and more commercial customers mentioned hearing about us from Mike & Mike, which for a company that has low brand awareness gave us considerable credibility.”
As is P1’s way, marketing initia-tives are carefully measured and evaluated. The firm tracks hundreds of 800 numbers to determine what campaign, or even something as granular as an online keyword, led to a prospect’s contact as well as how effective that turned out to be in converting a sale. The company sets forth specific expectations of results based on trending and experience, and then compares actual results against meeting those expectations.
Marketing lead flow and performance is reviewed daily, weekly and monthly to gauge trends and cost effectiveness. Increasingly, the company is finding social media to be a powerful means of getting marketing ideas and feedback directly from customers. Yet with all that, as Haenggi explains, it’s referrals that continue to rule the roost.
“While we invest in various advertising vehicles such as television, radio, direct mail and SEO/SEM, we still find our best marketing vehicle is word of mouth, particularly from our commercial and national account clients,” she says. “In the national account arena, performance reputation spreads like wildfire and people make decisions based on the recommendations of their peers. This has been a great success story for us.”
Solar to Help
The mission to deliver great service is foundational and dictates all P1 undertakes and repeats. The strategies and paths to achieve that are what inform its business model and ongoing plan. At the same time, owners and management aim to capitalize on growth opportunities. These are typically in the form of acquisitions that expand geographies or capabilities – such as Camtronics and others that helped P1’s integrated systems division gain traction – and pushes into brand new markets.
“We look to leverage situations and opportunities to enhance core areas,” says Whall. “For example, in 2013, we launched our DIY [do it yourself] channel. With our entrance into more national advertising, we began drawing lead flow from across the country in markets we did not serve. To address this, we offered DIY solutions and now monetize this previously out of market lead flow.”
As another example, Whall says purchasing the assets of Pinnacle Security last summer brought P1 IT capabilities that cut the timetable to develop new sales tools by 12-18 months. The acquisition also provided Protection 1 with new talent to drive a self-generation sales team.
Most recently, as this story was going to press, P1 revealed it was entering an entirely new business with the launching of a solar power company called Brite Energy.
“As the industry has evolved and includes more home automation and lifestyle benefits, solar seemed like a natural extension to further enrich customers’ lives with a bigger mission to change the world,” says Whall. “After careful study, solar shows to be an industry that, while leading edge, is no longer ‘bleeding edge.’ It has significantly low market penetration and a large gap in companies that provide end-to-end service – and service done well.”
It would appear to be a perfect fit for a company whose spotlight has never shined more brightly.
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