Top Marketing Director Dishes Up Best Practices

As you likely have already seen, the cover of SSI‘s June issue features Stanley CSS Director of Marketing Beth Tarnoff holding a pair of SAMMY Award trophies, which the company garnered earlier this year for its marketing and promotional prowess. In the issue’s cover story, all winners of the 16th annual SAMMY Awards provide insights and advice that just may prove helpful in your operation’s marketing program.

Tarnoff, for instance, discusses the strategies and practices that propelled her company to victory in the Best Overall Integrated Marketing Campaign and Promotional Giveaway categories. Tarnoff is behind a lot of what makes Stanley CSS one of the industry’s top marketers. We thought you might be interested in reading more from our discussion with her to find out how the Stanley CSS marketing department goes about its business.

How are decisions reached about what marketing methods and materials are implemented?

Decisions in regards to marketing methods/materials are reached by selecting items, materials, programs and designs that reinforce our position of ‘customer excellence’ as well as differentiate our company from other providers in the security industry.

The images, colors and overall design of our materials are always chosen with the customer in mind. Our creative materi­als use bright, clean, visually appealing colors and images that highlight ‘peace of mind’ to our customers, rather than use dark color schemes and images and fear tactics. We like to assure customers that they do not need to worry about or be fearful of their security because they are with Stanley CSS.

How do you judge whether a marketing initiative or materials are successful or not?

We track how successful our marketing efforts are so that we can determine where to best spend our marketing resources. For each marketing program, we monitor the cost to produce the materials, number of incoming leads generated from the program and the sales volume as a result of leads. Every time we create a new marketing program, we include a unique promotional code or unique call in number on the item to track the program results.

In order to ensure our marketing programs are successful, and to get the most return on our marketing dollars spent, we ensure each marketing program is effectively com­municated and used among our sales force. We send out a biweekly E-mail, ‘The Marketing Tool of the Week,’ to keep our marketing materials top of mind with our sales force. The Tool of the Week gives our sales representatives insight into the great marketing tools available to them. We highlight brochures, promotional items, industry publications or other marketing collateral sales representatives can use in their selling process. The Tools of the Week announce new marketing items, highlight older items and keep them fresh in their minds. By sending a Tool of the Week bi-weekly to our sales force, we are ensuring our sales people are showing customers everything we can offer them, leading to customer excellence.

What is your ROI model regarding marketing? What sort of metrics or other techniques do you use to measure this?

To better gauge how to spend our marketing resources, we track the return on investment [ROI] of our marketing initiatives. To implement this, we established a centralized lead generation center located in our field headquarters. The lead generation center answers sales calls from multiple incoming phone lines and receives all inquiries from our Web sites, entering every lead into our customer relationship management [CRM] tool. The CRM allows us to easily forward leads to the appropriate area of the country and sales group, as well as allows us to track and analyze results of each lead entered.

With this process, we are able to track how many leads we receive from each marketing initiative as well as install and RMR dollars for each job sold. This allows us to calculate which of our efforts were most rewarding. We then review these results with the senior leadership team monthly in order to adjust our marketing plans. By finding what initiatives are suc­cessful, we are better able to decide how to spend our marketing resources in the future to get the best return and value possible.

What is your marketing budget? Is it growing or shrinking?

 We believe we will get the highest ROI by spending wisely and effectively. We spend less than the 2-3 percent of revenue average often cited by others. We continually evaluate every marketing initiative; ensuring we are being as cost-conscious as possible with every dollar spent. We ensure we get the best possible product for the lowest possible dollar by cross quoting vendors when designing brochures, printing collateral or purchasing promotional items. In addition to using outside vendors, we also create many pieces in house to further save on cost, but not sacrifice on quality.

We track the ROI and overall effectiveness for each program and campaign using promotional codes in our CRM tool.  By evaluating the effectiveness of these marketing initiatives, we can better determine where to spend our marketing resources for the best results in our future initiatives.


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About the Author


Scott Goldfine is the marketing director for Elite Interactive Solutions. He is the former editor-in-chief and associate publisher of Security Sales & Integration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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