Security Industry Association Publishes Study on Business Marketing Effectiveness

Security Industry Association (SIA)

Study examines marketing effectiveness of 24 surveillance and 16 access control technology companies, as reported by 1,090 respondents.

Silver Spring, Md. — The Security Industry Association (SIA) today announced the release of a major new study designed to improve the marketing effectiveness of organizations selling products and services into the security market—Business Opportunities in the Security Industry: New Paths to Success in a Changing Market.

“At SIA, we are always looking for ways to help our members to improve their businesses. As marketing is a critical mission for all security suppliers, we were excited to sponsor this study,” said SIA CEO Don Erickson.

Produced by the Josh Gordon Group, the 50-page report surveyed security industry buyers at end-user companies, system integrators, and dealers and distributors to find out what motivates them to buy. According to study creators Josh Gordon and Lynn Roher Gordon, the goal was to determine how to help suppliers invest their marketing dollars most effectively through an understanding of the trends and forces that impact the security industry.

The study focuses on three key components of the buying process in which recent shifts in buyer behavior have created new opportunities for marketers. There are 22 separate findings, covering all aspects of marketing in the security industry from media usage to customer buying behavior and persuasive content. It concludes with a head-to-head comparison of the marketing effectiveness of 24 surveillance and 16 access control technology companies, as reported by the 1,090 respondents who took part in this study.

The first component covered is media usage. Of media, Josh Gordon said, “It may seem that we live in a world where digital marketing is more important every day, but when we asked security industry customers which media they use for professional information, print trade publications were mentioned most frequently by a wide margin.”

Another finding with dramatic implications for any company selling products in the security industry was in how much of the buying process now occurs before end users contact the salespeople of any supplier. Before security managers contact supplier salespeople, 56.9 percent already have selected their preferred technologies, and 45.2 percent have selected the product they want to buy. Similar findings have been seen in several more general marketing studies conducted across all industries.

The study also examines which kinds of marketing content most motivate customers to buy. While it might come as no surprise that information about new products topped the list, more surprising to many was the fact that nonproduct-specific educational content was found to be almost equally as persuasive as promotional content. In fact, three of the top five information categories that motivate customers to buy were educational.

In the final segment, security managers, system integrators and dealers/distributors were asked if the marketing of 40 surveillance and access control technology suppliers motivated them to buy or recommend their products. There was a significant difference between the respondents who were current customers and those who were not. Across all companies, an average of 63.3 percent of current customers said they were motivated by marketing; among noncustomers, only 9.6 percent. Because many security products are used as part of a network, incumbent suppliers have a big advantage, and marketing from new suppliers struggles for attention. While the overall average looked daunting, many companies have marketing that is overcoming the odds and breaking through.

The study was also supported by a number of well-known industry experts, whose insightful contributions can be found throughout the commentary. Support also was provided by the nine leading security industry trade magazines:  Campus Safety; SDM; Security; Security Dealer & Integrator (SD&I); Security Director News; Security Management; Security Sales & Integration; Security System News; and Security Technology Executive.

Read the full study.

About the Security Industry Association (SIA)

The Security Industry Association (SIA) ( is the leading trade association for electronic and physical security solution providers, with more than 450 innovative member companies representing more than 300,000 security leaders and experts who shape the future of the security industry. SIA protects and advances its members’ interests by advocating pro-industry policies and legislation at the federal and state levels; creating open industry standards that enable integration; advancing industry professionalism through education and training; opening global market opportunities, and collaboration with other like-minded organizations. As a proud sponsor of ISC Events expos and conferences, and owner of the Securing New Ground® conference, SIA ensures its members have access to top-level buyers and influencers, as well as unparalleled learning and network opportunities.

About the Josh Gordon Group

The Josh Gordon Group is a marketing consulting organization that works with companies to improve their marketing effectiveness. What makes us different is our creative use of research to expand clients’ understanding of their customers. We pride ourselves on uncovering insights about customers not known by our clients—or their competition. Our approach is simple yet highly effective: With greater customer understanding comes stronger results. For smaller companies who cannot afford a full time chief marketing officer, we offer an economical alternative. By providing strategic expertise and project management, combined with ongoing research, we can help steer your internal marketing department or ad agency toward more productive activities. For larger organizations we offer full market research capabilities as well as research-based, thought-leadership content development programs. Finally, if your company was one of the 40 included in this study, we can offer a customized analysis based on the data gathered specific to your company and its market position.