How Security Professionals Can Navigate and Grow in the Expanding Do-It-Yourself Security Market
Giacalone Associates President Peter P. Giacalone offers his advice to security professionals on the expanding DIY market.
As I have spent a lot of time working with clients in the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) space during the past few years, I wanted to share some thoughts.
Although the term DIY for the most part is self-explanatory, what is not obvious is how this sector is separated. The DIY market stems from two sources. The first is retailers such as Lowes, Home Depot, web sites, etc., that offer DIY solutions that are simply systems, or Components that are off the shelf and are not “Professional Class” Systems supported or monitored by professional security companies. Systems as these are really not the competition for professionals and at best may expand the market to consumers who may never subscribe to a professional system and services. The big concern with these “down and dirty” systems is the potential effect it could have on false alarms (even though they may not have monitoring).
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Where the real potential exists and where some notable growth and positive results are being experienced is in the second sector. Security professionals are selling “Professional Class” systems that they program, test and provision in a custom sense for each customer, and include telephone support and professional UL central station monitoring. I have experience on different levels with most of the respected players in this space. What most don’t see is how deep these organizations are and how vast the infrastructure is that supports the Gold Standard companies in this space.
From a competition standpoint, I think most traditionalists are missing something very important: This new channel isn’t creating massive erosion of the traditional market; it’s creating an expanded market. Granted, you may experience some erosion, but the wider expansion and awareness far outweighs any erosion.
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Here are the facts: Not everyone that seeks out a DIY system buys a DIY system. Some do nothing and some actually subscribe to a traditional system and dealer. This comes after some of these very intuitive and smart DIY companies have educated these potential subscribers in a way that traditional dealers lack. Most traditional dealers do a good job when it comes to installing, servicing and monitoring, but at the same time most also lack quite a bit when it comes to marketing and sales.
The DIY companies on the Internet are doing a fabulous job educating the world. This is why this segment is likely to experience some of the greatest growth.
The byproduct of this great effort is that some trickles down and the intuitive traditional guys will pick up some of this business while the market channel expands.
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