Editor's Note: It’s Time to Get in the Game

March 13, 2015
Your competition is getting creative in its marketing strategies…are you?

Maybe it was the teams involved, or maybe I was still football depressed from seeing my Florida State Seminoles lay an egg against Oregon — but for the first time in my life I found myself focusing more on the ads than the action during this year’s Super Bowl. The good thing about that is I wasn’t out getting another beer or some pretzels when a pair of ads pinged on my hyper-radar for all things security-related.

The first ad was the most impressive to me. It was an ad for a security dealer — that’s right an alarm system and security provider — Charlotte, N.C.-based CPI Security Systems. And this wasn’t just some business-card-type ad — it was a full-fledged commercial featuring star Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Luke Kuechly.

The concept was: What if Kuechly was your personal assistant? And the take-away: You don't need a personal assistant with CPI's inTouch system, which brings all of its security and home automation devices together in one great app, giving you complete protection, control and convenience. You can watch the full commercial at http://youtu.be/U3QIaJvFXhE.

Of course, the first thing I thought when I saw the ad was “how in the world could a security dealer pull this off — getting a clever ad into one of the most expensive advertising time slots in the history of mankind?” Sure, CPI is an established and recognized brand in the southeast, but still, I didn’t notice any ads for AT&T or Comcast’s security offering during the Super Bowl.

It turns out that CPI’s ad was only regional, covering the viewing audience of its southeastern U.S. service area — somewhere in the neighborhood of 15-20 million people. I actually ran into a few reps from CPI a week later at a local home show; they told me that the response to the ad was off the charts.

There was another ad — this one mentioning The Kern Group, a security dealer out of Peoria, Ill. Kern Group was part of Newcastle Brown Ale’s “Band of Brands” — a historic, first-ever crowd-funded Super Bowl ad, which turned out to be a frenzied, in-your-face collection of product placements and logos. Of the more than 350 brands that applied to join the Band of Brands, only 37 were selected to participate in the 60-second spot — and for a brief, but absolutely shining moment for The Kern Group, its logo and phone number was in front of somewhere around 114 million people. Check out the full commercial at http://youtu.be/MaqRwWwXau0.

Any time a security dealer can get its message in front of literally millions of eyes, you have to hand it to their marketing team. We aren’t talking about million-dollar ad budgets here — just creative marketing. Even if your marketing budget is significantly smaller than some of the players in our industry, it doesn’t mean you need to sit on your hands. There are hundreds of creative and cheap marketing ideas out there just waiting to be used by your business.

Super Bowl ads aren’t for you? Fine! How about getting an article published in one of the security trades, or on SecurityInfoWatch.com? Have you considered sponsoring a youth sports team or a charity event? Have you asked your vendor partners for help and/or materials?

Have you launched your social media presence — there’s no cheaper way to self-market than that As a consumer, I receive a helpful home security tip in my email every couple of weeks from one security dealer — and even a hardened security editor like me sometimes reads them.

Whether you are an owner, a manager, a marketer or even an installer/technician, your security company is probably one of the most important things in your life. It’s time to take a cue from your competition...stop sitting on the sidelines and get into the game!