"You're in the security industry; you guys must be racking it in!"
How often have you heard this statement lately based on the post-9/11 media buzz and creation of the Homeland Security Department. As those is the industry know, this is simply not the case, various factor have limited spending and studies indicate that spending was limited to 4% growth in 2002. With clients demanding more productivity and trying to squeeze the moist from their existing resources, sales have become highly competitive and price sensitive increasing the demand for greater differentiation and value-added services.
Security manufacturers and service providers pose special marketing communications challenges. We are often selling products and services in diverse markets to multiple decision-makers from varied roles and knowledge of security. Depending on location, size, type of company, priorities and audience, security companies must develop concise and targeted messaging and help sell their products and services to senior management.
Security marketers also must often deal with an endless loop of sales initiatives, and conference and trade show planning. Somewhere in this daily drive for sales, initiatives remain incomplete or fail to meet important time deadlines, the continuous communications cycle with clients and prospects breaks-down and the company's message often gets lost. Business growth slows and sales initiatives fail to meet expectations.
Unfortunately, it's a frustrating and common scenario. Dealing with such obstacles often leaves little time and fewer resources to focus on what is already a difficult and time-consuming endeavor-your company's marketing communications program.
Security sales for products and services is relationship-based, requiring continued interaction, service and communication with clients and prospects that foster trust and build dependence. The relationships you build with clients, prospects, business partners and peers are the keys to success on almost every level. Ongoing communications with your clients and prospects increases retention and new business by positioning your company as a thought leader and resource while cross-marketing and keeping your name in front of the client. In fact, if you had to pick one variable to predict the likelihood of a customer to repeat an action or prospect to take an action, how recently communication occurred, or the number of days that have gone by since a customer completed an action or you communicate with a client (advertising, newsletters, direct marketing, etc.). Recency, the measure of how recently communication occurred, is the most powerful predictor of the customer repeating this actions and prospects pursuing services.
As each day passes from an interaction, the target gets less and less likely to respond - plain and simple. You can run a variety of data-mining scenarios on "likelihood to buy" you want -- communications recency always comes up as the most important variable in predicting the likelihood of a customer to repeat an action. The more recently a target has interacted or seen your brand or message, the more likely they are to act. This and other factor necessitate that marketing communications must be:
* Concise, and
Strategic and tactical planning is essential to achieving these objectives and creating value in your communications.
Marketing Communications ROI: How to Set Goals, Develop Plans, Measure & Quantify Results
Many people believe that marketing, branding & communications are all about creating "buzz" or increasing visibility and awareness of an organization's product or service offerings -- an intangible "investment" that cannot be measured or justified. In fact, marketing communications must support the strategic direction of the organization, sales objectives and provide tangible, measurable results.