The Impact of Marketing on Customers Vs. Noncustomers

I had the opportunity last month to appear on the monthly SIA TouchPoint webcast, the monthly membership gathering for the Security Industry Association (SIA). During my visit with SIA Membership, I shared a finding from a yearlong SIA-sponsored study on marketing effectiveness, which I’m pleased to share with you here as well.

The study focused on marketing effectiveness of suppliers in the security industry. There is an understanding in the security industry: Because many products are used as part of a network, suppliers who are a part of that network have a sales advantage over suppliers who are not. What is less understood is the impact this has on the marketing effectiveness of current customers versus noncustomers.

Let’s look at this from a customer’s point of view. If a security manager who is a noncustomer buys an additional camera for a network, they would have to reboot the product/vendor evaluation process. This would include evaluating different new products, integration issues, network security risks, as well as getting IT sign off, and lots of committee and budget meetings. But for a current customer in need of an additional camera, the buying process could be as simple as picking up a phone and saying, “Send over another one!”

Consider the marketing messages that would be persuasive with customers versus noncustomers in this situation. For current customers, marketing only needs to reinforce an existing relationship. But for marketing to persuade noncustomers, it would need to offer reasons to invest time in building a completely new relationship. Messages that would be persuasive at one task may not be persuasive at the other.

In the marketing effectiveness study, we measured 40 security industry suppliers to see how many had marketing that was motivating current customers and noncustomers to buy. The average score for all suppliers for motivating current customers with their marketing was 65.9 percent. But for noncustomers the average score was only 8.4 percent.

In the security industry, with networked product use, the obstacles toward motivating new customers can be high, but our study found many companies doing it. SIA Members seeking to improve their marketing effectiveness should consider the impact of their marketing on current versus noncustomers.

Editor’s note: SIA will publish this marketing effectiveness study in the near future. Meanwhile, join the next SIA TouchPoint on Thursday, Feb. 27, 1-2 p.m., when Mark Ritterling, the director of channel management and partner relations for HID Global, will discuss issues relating to counterfeiting, drawing on his extensive experience identifying fake security products and thwarting counterfeiters.

The views and opinions expressed in guest posts and/or profiles are those of the authors or sources and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Security Industry Association (SIA).