New Study Shows Security Contractors’ 2013 Sales & Marketing Plans

The June issue of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION is our annual special Sales & Marketing Issue and it includes SSI‘s 8th Sales & Marketing Survey in which owners and operators of installing and monitoring security providers were asked a number of key questions. To complement that research, I have put together the additional data and analysis below. I hope you find it both interesting and helpful in managing your company.

If you track your sales leads, how do you accomplish this?

The specifc responses to this one can be categorized into four areas.

  • First is asking, with comments such as “We always find out where a new prospect gets our name,” “Yellow Pages tracks and we ask each customer as well” and “By regular interaction with the client and consultant.”
  • Second is via CRM software such as Goldmine, Compass, Pipedrive, EnGuarde, Retail IQ, ConnectWise and
  • Third is through central station platforms such as MAS.
  • Fourth is a catchall or miscellaneous category that includes manually or paper-based, weekly sales/prospect reports, using codes to determine the origin of each sales, daily and weekly call reports, and “Never deleting the E-mails containing new homeowner lists.”

Not included among the four but perhaps the most amusing response” “Poorly.”

Select the top marketing tactics that generated the greatest number of leads for your company.

While the top 10 appear in the print/online study, following are the next 5 beyond that …

  1. Company E-mail Marketing
  2. Social Media Campaigns/Updates/Tweets
  3. Door-to-Door/Cold Call/Summer Sales Model Selling
  4. Door Hangers/flyers     
  5. Promotional Items

Which social media do you spend the most time on?

In the published study, we show social media used for marketing and this data quantifies the time spent on each one. Rating

is calculated based on prioritizing the answer choices in 1st through 6th place.

  1. Facebook (4.17)
  2. Linkedin (4.01)
  3. YouTube (2.45)
  4. Twitter (2.02)
  5. Google Plus (1.98)
  6. Other (0.84)

A crosstab of companies’ social media usage according to age of company showed some additional interesting variances. Firms 1-5 years old ranked significantly higher for usage of Linkedin, YouTube and Google Plus. In particular, the video-based YouTube was almost twice as high as any other range of security companies according to years in business. However, nearly 40% of the 1-5 years group said they still don’t use any social media, which is comparable to the overall average across all aged companies.

What types of businesses does your company have a cooperative marketing and referral relationship with?

Sticking with the crosstabs analysis by years a company has been in business shows some noteworthy differences in this question that was depicted overall in the published study. Younger companies were mostly lower in networking/referral relationships with other trades and officials as might be expected since those ties can take time to build up. Additionally, younger and more brash companies may initially believe they do not need to rely on such relationships or be ignorant to them altogether. Particulatly lower than the overall average for firms 1-5 years old were cooperative relations with electricians (less than half the next closest companies range), homebuilders/contractors, IT/network specialists, locksmiths (about 1/6th the next closest companies range), police and community-based organizations. One area where companies 1-5 years old came in higher was trade associations, which makes sense as a means to quickly figure out who an industry’s mover and shakers are.

What, if any, new marketing methods do your company plan to include in its 2013 plan?

The three leading areas respondents addressed here were:

  1. Redesigning or enhancing their Web sites
  2. Engaging in more social media
  3. Getting more salespeople into the field and doing cold-calling/door knocking

Here are some of the other ideas that were mentioned …

  • Small area publications (ads) 
  • Focus on customer service and referrals 
  • Purchase other security companies’ monitoring 
  • Cable TV, TV, radio (ads) 
  • More public relations events and fundraising for worthy causes 
  • Telemarketing 
  • Manufacturers’ co-op marketing for shared and no-cost options
  • Stronger brand identity via trade booth

That’s it. I hope it stimulates your sales and marketing initiatives and success.

Scott Goldfine 

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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is Editor-in-Chief and Associate Publisher of Security Sales & Integration. Well-versed in the technical and business aspects of electronic security (video surveillance, access control, systems integration, intrusion detection, fire/life safety), Goldfine is nationally recognized as an industry expert and speaker. Goldfine is involved in several security events and organizations, including the Electronic Security Association (ESA), Security Industry Association (SIA), Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC), False Alarm Reduction Association (FARA), ASIS Int'l and more. Goldfine also serves on several boards, including the SIA Marketing Committee, CSAA Marketing and Communications Committee, PSA Cybersecurity Advisory Council and Robolliance. He is a certified alarm technician, former cable-TV tech, audio company entrepreneur, and lifelong electronics and computers enthusiast. Goldfine joined Security Sales & Integration in 1998.

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