Having worked with over 180 security companies over the past 8+ years we’ve come to learn a few tricks that help integrators penetrate specific verticals or industries. You may not think that your company actually focuses within a particular industry, but if you sat down and really took a look at which companies you’ve worked with over the years, the chances are you might specialize in one without even knowing it.
Year after year we attend integrator trade shows from coast-to-coast, attend classes, and will occasionally have conversations with a few hundred of you over beers about how to marketing to specific industries. And the usual industries will be talked about such as education, healthcare, banking and government. From most of the conversations it would appear that many security companies will rely on word of mouth (which hands down is the best type of marketing) and attending industry association events. But that method will only get you so far, how can you market smarter instead of harder?
Well, after failing many times throughout our 8+ years and many attempts to generate leads, what we’ve learned is there’s not a single method out there that will generate you a shit ton of leads. However, focusing on a handful of methods will trickle in your monthly lead count and we all know that a single conversion out of these leads can pay for an entire year’s worth of marketing budget plus account for a profitable year. So we’re not going to waste your time on things that failed terribly but will focus on past efforts that have generated results.
Google Adwords – The first thing we typically will do for our integrator clients is open up an adwords account within Google. Now hold on to your panties, before you start screaming at us that it costs way too much to advertise within Google and that you’ve tried it in the past. We’re going to tell you what actually works and within a reasonable budget! Don’t waste your time by bidding on keywords that are general but rather focus your ads towards the hardware you carry and the manufacturers. We have found that prospects searching for turnstiles, access control, video surveillance and video analytics from a vertical or enterprise level already know the names of the hardware they are looking for, plus these manufacturer keywords are very inexpensive (as low as .20 a click). Within your ad make sure to mention that you’re an authorized dealer of that manufacturer and make sure to mention the city you’re within so the potential customer knows you’re a local company. A manufacturer that does a really good job of marketing and one that creates a end-user demand is Brivo! So a plus if you’re already carrying them, just make sure to include their name within your Adwords account.
Retargeting Ads – Frequency is key when it comes to generating leads! Our studies have shown that very rarely will you get a visitor on your site that will fill out your contact form within the first visit which is why it’s important to have retargeting ads within Google and even Facebook. Not sure what retargeting ads are? It’s really quite elementary. Think of the last time you were looking to purchase something online and by some crazy Voodoo or Black Magic spell that particular item followed you around within Facebook and other sites, that my friends is retargeting and it works! And it can be done by simply adding a piece of code to your website and creating followup ads to those that have visited your site. But it works even better when you create ads specifically on what they were looking for within your website. For example, if someone was looking for turnstiles then you should create ads that specifically feature and highlight turnstiles only, not security in general. And more importantly ensure that you’re creating secondary landing pages to take them too, after all they were already on your website, don’t take them back to the same place. Create summary, quick landing pages that sum up your value prop and services with a call to action.
Vertical / Industry Specific Landing Pages – Nobody on an enterprise level wants to do business with a general security company, they want a security company with experience! Especially within their own industry, which is why it’s highly important to create these pages within your website. Sure, you can create pages that are dedicated to intrusion, access and video but you should also create a dropdown tab that says “verticals” or “industry experience”. And within these pages create content that is focused on specific industries like healthcare, education, etc. Get testimonials, white papers and images of your past work, and feature them here. This way when a university CSO is looking for a security company to install and integrate their cameras comes across your website, the content will resonate because it advertises your experience with university campuses. Creating vertical specific landing pages within your website will also help your SEO efforts when a prospective lead is conducting a search.
Self Promo Campaigns – If you’re the type of security company that doesn’t like to put a little effort into standing out from the competition then this part is probably going to be a hard pass for you. But if you get why you need to do things differently and want to gain the attention of key decision makers with out-of-the-box ideas then read on spanky!
First of all, what is a self promo campaign? Well this might be something that you get a hundred different descriptions but we’ll simplify it for you. It’s simply a clever campaign that is sent directly to a decision maker that captures their attention. In the past, we have sent out cool looking boxes housed in unique form-factors with iPads labeled, “Open me up and turn me on, you won’t regret it” and when the decision maker (typically C-level executives) unboxed and turned on the iPad, a promotional video played automatically.
We even took a home base plate and had it wrapped with a cool baseball graphic with a message that read, “We’re ready to hit a home run when it comes to your security needs, all we need is a single up to bat!” and attached to base was a pair of tickets to the Anaheim Angels game. Our client didn’t get the account, probably due to the crappy team they gave tickets to but what they did get was a phone call from the chief technology office that explained to them that they were quite happy with their existing security vendor, but if things went south they would be the first ones they’d call. Perhaps if they bought Dodger tickets they would have successfully poached the account… just saying.
With a little bit of due diligence on finding out the name of the position you’re looking for, their address and with a little creativity, try simply sending them something as simple as a letter and a Starbucks card. It just may lead to your next multimillion dollar contract.
Purchased databases – Now this method can be controversial, but to us it works! And we still do it for our active customers today. The ability to purchase a contact list of C-level executives within an industry is out there. You can purchase physical addresses for direct mail campaigns which work, but you’ll need to send at least 3-5 months consecutively to see any traction. What you’re really after are the email addresses. With email addresses we have generated monthly E-newsletters with content that is specific towards the industry we are sending it to and have typically seen results by running a 6-8 month campaign. Spammy? Maybe, but there’s no spam police out there busting down our doors after doing it for 8+ years… yet.
Aside from creating a monthly E-Newsletter campaign you can also use the database to create ads that target only those within it using Facebook and LinkedIn. What better type of marketing than ads that are only seen by those who you are laser targeting? And for those who might say “Bullshit! You can’t generate leads using Facebook!” you might be surprised to know that most of our leads we generate for our integrator clients actually not only come through Facebook but also cost only a fraction of what it costs to generate leads through LinkedIn.
So there it is! If you made it this far I thank you for your time. And I would hope that you do something with this invaluable information because I literally just threw the kitchen sink at you. Now get up and run to your marketing department and ask them “Are we doing this?!!!”. Because if you’re not, you need to!
Until next time muchachos! Believe in that big fat purple cow! (lookup Seth Godin)
Alex Chavez, President @ Security Dealer Marketing
To learn how we can help your security company call us at: 888-572-4450 and speak with David Morgan, V. President / Sales