By and large people do not understand marketing or how it works and the vast majority of people in the security industry most certainly do not understand marketing.
I know it’s a sweeping statement, but it just happens to be true and it’s a subject Tony Scotti and I have discussed at length many times over the years.
Sadly a great product doesn’t lead to success by itself. In reality to build a successful business, you do need a great product or service, but even the best product in the world with the wrong marketing will fail. And even if you have the right product for the right market if your marketing sucks you could still fail. You see it every day on Social Media.
The security industry is driven by its enormous ego and constantly postures and beats its chest telling the world how great their services are or how their training courses are the best in the world so don’t waste your time going anywhere else.
Unfortunately, however marketing that is driven by ego only ever attracts egos, and as we all know ego lusts for instant gratification, and has a fierce appetite for self satisfaction and its own version of truth…. Which, incidentally when closely examined is rarely the truth, and we all know who we are as far as that maxim is concerned don’t we?
“We’re great so buy our stuff today”… We’ve all seen it. But good marketing should home in on the target market with the message of how ‘different’ you are from the competition and not how much better you are because, let’s face it, you would say that wouldn’t you, and self praise is no recommendation.
Another standard principle of marketing and advertising is that – ‘there is absolutely no reason to believe that a customer will not associate the quality of the product or service being offered by the quality of marketing material being used to promote its’. That’s a no brainer, but completely lost on many in the security industry.
It matters not whether you are running a car wash a high tech software origination or a COP training company; assuming that word of mouth is all that you need is folly. Not having a marketing plan is folly and the biggest folly of all is to only focus on improving your product whilst neglecting your marketing and the message it broadcasts.
Ask yourself this….
“Why can you buy a Coca-Cola no matter where you are on the planet…Is it because it’s a great drink and people can’t stop telling everybody they meet just how great it is?
Or is it because Coca-Cola invests the best part of $4 billion a year global on marketing?”
Whether you’re a Fortune 500 or a one man band you must have a marketing strategy and you must implement it consistently. However, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t have to be a creative genius, you just need to understand a few basic principles that will help you to develop a strong marketing foundation.
- Put your ego to one side and defining your product – Make it very clear what your client is really buying, and why it is different from the competition
- Identify your target market – Who and who are not potential clients for your product.
- Know your competition – Even if you don’t think you have any direct competitors believe me there is always competition lurking in the shadows.
- Find a niche and make it your own – Can you do or offer something the others can’t.
- Develop awareness of your brand – You have to stay in front of your clients constantly if they are going to remember you and what you are offering.
- Build credibility – What others say about you is a million time more important than anything you can say about yourself and that’s where credibility comes from.
- Be Consistent – Consistency in everything you do and that not only the standard of your product, but the way you present it.
- Maintain Focus – Focus on the development of a dependable and coherent marketing strategy, and before you spend any money studying the vehicles available to promote your product… Brochures, direct mail, networking through social media, running an advertising campaign, joining the sympathetic industry organization and conducting sales calls, etc., etc.
Who is Steve Collins
I know, I know… Who the f**k is this guy telling us about how to market ourselves I hear you say. Well the truth is and for what it’s worth, I wear two hats. One is my PS5 security consultant and trainer’s hat. And the other is the one I earned while spending twenty five years of my life as a creative director, writer and designer for some of the world’s largest advertising and marketing organisations, so I know a bit, I think.
Never in a million years would you neglect your training and the honing of your warrior’s edge. Honing your marketing edge is just as crucial.
As neglect of one could kill you in the field and neglect of the other could kill you in the market place.
This post is authored by an International Security Driver Association Member
The International Security Driver Association (ISDA) serves the Protective Services community. ISDA’s mission is to support an international forum of protective service providers who share knowledge for the purpose of enhancing the profession.
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