Measuring Marketing Effectiveness

On Oct. 24, I was pleased to share the results of a yearlong study on marketing effectiveness in a webinar presented by the Security Industry Association (SIA), Marketing Effectiveness—Raising Awareness in the Buyer’s Mind. The study offered a view from the buyer’s perspective, and it was supported by nine industry trade publications, which cooperated to bring the study to life. Through them, I was able to unearth a treasure trove of tips, trends and insights on security industry customers by reaching out to security managers, dealers, distributors and systems integrators.
 
Many of the trends measured enjoy a lively debate in the general marketing world. But because of the unique nature of the security industry, best practices working well in other industries can fall flat. For instance, social media is having a big effect on many industries, but security professionals value discretion, and so they often stay away from social media sites. Still, the study found very high participation in the social site LinkedIn, which has special appeal in security as a way to establish trust. LinkedIn offers the means to see who else people know, so it provides a quick way to evaluate trustworthiness—critical in an industry dedicated to keeping people safe.
 
Webinar participants asked a lot of questions about the evaluation of marketing among surveillance industry suppliers. Without sharing any company names, we revealed several marketing effectiveness scores for 24 actual surveillance technology suppliers. Overall, companies received high marks for marketing to current customers with a majority of customers reporting that they were “motivated to buy” by the marketing efforts. But non-customers were harder to impress and gave lower scores.
 
The study also focused on ways to best move marketing messages into the security market. It found that trade publications were the most effective way to reach security professionals on an ongoing basis. Customers were most persuaded by messages that provided comparative contrast on new products and information, giving those messages the highest scores.
 
Finally, the study looked at the changing buying process and found that a majority of it now occurs before potential customers contact a supplier or its representative, posing challenges to suppliers who want to be involved as early in the process as possible.
 
Ultimately, the goal of the study was to measure how customers view marketing in the security industry to provide suppliers with ideas on how to improve their own marketing. SIA will soon post an archived version of the webinar on its website, and I hope it does indeed inspire some new ideas at your company!

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