Full Steam Ahead for Stanley CSS

The June issue of SECURITY SALES & INTEGRATION is our annual SAMMY Awards edition with coverage of this year’s winners in several sales and marketing categories. One of those winners was Stanley Convergent Security Solutions (CSS) of Naperville, Ill., which was cited for Best Sales Brochure and also captured the Installer of the Year award for large company (300+ employees). I was limited to a half-page in print to recognize Stanley CSS for its Sales Brochure excellence, and wanted to exploit this forum to provide you with much more inside marketing wisdom from this leading national security services and monitoring provider.

So here is a Q&A with the company’s marketing director, Beth Tarnoff, VP Felix Gonzales and President Tony Byerly. I hope you find it interesting and beneficial.

What is the company’s general philosophy or approach to marketing initiatives and expenditures?
Beth Tarnoff: We use a unique consultative and custom approach in the Stanley CSS marketing program which differentiates Stanley CSS among the competition. Our sales brochures are not only innovative and eye catching, but we take special care to make sure that they effectively communicate the key advantages to the customer so they come out of a sales appointment with useful information and clarity about what is the best solution for their security needs.

How are decisions reached about what the best marketing methods and materials?
Tarnoff: Selecting items, materials, programs and designs that differentiate our company from other providers in the security industry and also reinforces our position of high-quality, innovative offerings with unparalleled customer service. For example, a rich, textured stock stands out from the common glossy, smooth paper. This is a technique we use on our more substantial pieces such as our national account brochure, proposal folder etc. to convey quality. For our eServices brochure, we used a ‘silk’ stock that conveys not only quality and a sleek high-tech look that coordinates with the image of our online, eServices but also is very easy on the eyes – the silk text has very little glare, making the brochure easier to read than if it was on glossy stock.

How do you judge whether a marketing initiative or materials are successful or not?
Felix Gonzales: On all programs we track our success, some more formally than others such as trade shows and promotions. We are able to track not only the amount of material that is used but also sales volume associated with it and cost. Most of 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.

What is your ROI model regarding marketing? What metrics or other techniques do you use to measure this?
Gonzales: We use a vertical marketing strategy that allows us to leverage our security expertise for specific industries and applications. We track the generated business revenue from each marketing campaign to ensure that we can effectively measure the ROI of different marketing programs as well as industry strategies. 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 and promotional codes so when a potential customer calls in, we know what marketing item prompted their call. From the initial call, we then have the sales rep that the lead was assigned to provide status updates so we know whether or not we issued a quote and made the sale and to what degree. Based on this tracking process, we are able to take the sales data and weigh it against the costs of running the program, thus allowing us to judge if the program was successful or not and our ROI.

What is your marketing budget? Is it growing or shrinking, why? How has it been affected by the economy?
Tony Byerly: We believe that spending wisely and effectively provides the highest ROI. We spend considerably less than the 2-3 percent of revenue average often sited by others. Our overall spend has increased due to our overall company growth and having to support an increasing amount of offices, sale reps and customers especially with recent acquisitions like Sonitrol and A-1 Security. Due to the economy we continue to challenge and evaluate every initiative; pushing everyone to be more diligent with every dollar spent. Each program or campaign is meticulously tracked for ROI and overall effectiveness.

From right: Stanley CSS’ Felix Gonzales, Tony Byerly, myself, Beth Tarnoff, Jan Boldt and Steve Welsh celebrate at this year’s SAMMY awards gala in Las Vegas.

Please detail how materials for Stanley CSS’ winning Sales Brochure entry were created and implemented?
Tarnoff: The concept for our eServices brochure is ‘Faster, Smarter, Sharper, Easier, Clearer,’ focusing on the idea that our online, real-time eServices management tools will help customers run their security and business operations in this manner. The Stanley CSS’ eServices brochure was created to communicate in-depth information about every online, real-time eService Stanley CSS offers effectively, efficiently and in a visually appealing way. The concept was created in conjunction with ad agency who worked in tandem with our marketing department to come up with the design. For the text, our marketing team worked in conjunction with sales staff and business development team within our company to come up with copy that is targeted and meaningful to the potential customers. The brochure is then rolled out in a comprehensive marketing program as follows:

a. Sample packs of the brochure are sent out to each branch location
b. Introduced via telecon and E-mail discussing on how the brochure should be used to maximize effectiveness
c. Marketing ‘script’ is created (this is done for all our marketing pieces), sent to the sales team and posted on our intranet that explains the objective, intended use, gives an overview on the piece as well as sample scripting when talking to a customer
d. Included as part of the sales training as well as the rest of our brochures so it is continually kept current and our sales persons are knowledgeable
e. In addition to sales training, we send out a bi-weekly ‘Marketing Tool of the Week’ E-mail to highlight particular marketing pieces keeping them fresh and ‘top of mind’ for the sales team

Apart from the awards, how successful have they proved and why?
Tarnoff: We have experienced overall growth in our recurring services and revenue. We attribute part of the success to the marketing campaigns. Prior to thi

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