Sports, Community Service Contribute to Powerful Promotions

Creative and unique promotional ideas are everywhere, and they may just be what’s missing from your advertising campaign. Internet services, local sports team sponsorships are cost-effective.

Promoting your alarm business can be a tedious, boring, and sometimes fruitless task. It all depends on your campaign and what you’ve done to make it diverse and interesting. A few companies have come up with unique, and even fun, promotions that succeed in getting the companies’ names in the customers’ heads.

Innovative promotions can range from sponsoring a local slow-pitch softball team to sponsoring a U.S. Olympic Team. It can be as simple as setting up a game booth at a city or town fair, or as elaborate as setting up a side business for the sole purpose of promoting your company. Whatever campaign you choose, it doesn’t necessarily have to take a lot of time or money, but it should be memorable to the potential customer and at least a little bit fun for you.

Finalists of Security Sales’ 1996 Sales and Marketing (SAMMY) Awards and a few manufacturers discuss their successes, and failures, with promotional advertising campaigns.

Internet Promos Keep Dealers on ‘Cutting Edge’

“We’ve got the best promotion ever,” says Bob Kerman, president of Electrolarm Security Systems, Inc., in Janesville, Wis. The company has created a division called JVLNET, which offers a free presence on the Internet to entities such as the fire department, the local chamber of commerce, as well as the Rotary and Kawanis and other community clubs.

“In exchange, all we ask is that they allow us to put a little note on their site that says, ‘This page sponsored by Electrolarm Security Systems,’” says Kerman. “There are already five sites out there with our name on them and there are more being designed.”

The sponsorship is designed to get those interested in security to visit Electrolarm’s site on the Internet. Kerman is confident that once a customer logs onto the site, it doesn’t take much to close the sale. Therefore, the major push is to get the address to as many people as possible.

Sponsoring Sports Scores Points with Customers

Dynamark Security Centers, Inc., of Hagerstown, Md., also has found supporting a team that plays on the ice is lucrative. With the amount of media attention and public adoration that are consistently part of the Olympic spirit, its promotional dollars are well spent supporting the U.S. bobsled team. In exchange for sponsorship, Dynamark receives logo placement on the bobsled in all of the team’s World Cup events.

“That gets us a lot of exposure,” says Tom Piston, marketing director. “We’re also able to get a show sled and athlete for our franchises to have at home shows and other public events. That’s a real eye-catching thing to have. People come by and see that big piece of technology and there’s the Dynamark logo on this nice, bright, shiny, red sled. We’ve had some very good success with that.”

Using separate promotional items to complement one another is a great way to get the most out of your campaign. For example, Dynamark offers a 10-minute pre-paid phone card and takes advantage of the bobsled sponsorship by having the sled depicted on the card.

On a local level, sports events also have become one of the most popular¾and perhaps most fun¾advertising mediums. Mijac Alarm in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., gets involved with a golf tournament held for the local chamber of commerce. Mijac sponsors one of the holes in the tournament and places a yard sign halfway down the fairway. “If a player hits it, he gets a free system,” says Steve Sopkin, president of Mijac.

Yet another avenue that is effective for promotional purposes is participation in a community service project. Westminster Security Company of Westminster, Md., has found there is a need in the community for its expertise, and the company is able to pitch in and help. Through North St. Paul, Minn.-based Interactive Technologies, Inc.‘s (ITI) security system donation program, Westminster Security has helped battered women who are considered to be at great risk of being stalked or beaten by estranged husbands or boyfriends by supplying the women with early warning systems.

“To qualify for a system, the victim must have filed charges against an abuser,” says Nelson Slinkman of Westminster Security. His company devised the Domestic Violence Security Program to help combat the rising domestic violence in the community. “We get an identification form from the victim that identifies the abuser, including the make of his car and license plate number, so we can give the history to police if we have to report an alarm,” says Slinkman.

While this program is a direct effort to help the community rather than promote the company, the resulting promotional rewards are still just as valuable.

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