If you own or manage an alarm dealership that sells security systems to commercial customers, it’s important to keep in mind that B2B marketing should be handled a bit differently than residential security marketing. However, there are also a few simple ways to overlap some of your marketing efforts.
We’ve helped a number of security alarm companies avoid pitfalls in their commercial security marketing and are happy to impart a few basic B2B marketing strategies in this article.
Where to Get Started with Commercial Security Marketing
Identify and define your target market, create a marketing plan, set realistic goals, pick marketing strategies that your team is capable of implementing, track the results and adjust your strategies based on what’s working. Those marketing to commercial alarm customers need to think carefully about how best to engage and endear their target while at the same time building trust and rapport.
No matter what marketing efforts you pick, go into the process with a DOCUMENTED plan and make sure everyone is on the same page, especially leadership. Nothing grinds a good marketing strategy to a halt faster than conflict from within.
Identify & Define Your B2B Target Market
When a business buys an alarm system, who’s involved in the decision making process? What industries emphasize security? Are there any verticals that your company is particularly adept at serving?
Invest time into understanding what these targets care about and how they consume information. Try to get a feel for the types of marketing materials these people find useful. Lastly, don’t forget to take into consideration any presumable time limitations associated with business decisions makers.
Industries to Consider for Security Marketing
If you aren’t sure where to start, pick a few categories for our list: retail stores, restaurants, office buildings, apartment complexes, gas stations, convenient stores, medical offices, dental offices, shopping malls, churches, places of worship, schools, college campuses, dormitories, farms, museums, historical sites, industrial facilities, government buildings, military complexes, and many others.
Target Markets Should Be to the Benefit of Everyone
The commercial target markets you decide to pursue should depend largely on your experience and ability to profitably serve that market. Do so to the benefit of everyone involved. For example, do you have the manpower, clearance, and equipment to handle security systems at a large military base? If not, don’t waste your time marketing to this group. What industries have you served successfully?
Focus on the areas you serve best, first. Being unprofitable or getting in over your head is just as bad for your client as it is for your own business. Invest time in marketing to the customers you could potentially benefit the most, and everyone wins.
Pick the Right B2B Marketing Strategies
There is no “one size fits all” approach to Business to Business marketing plans, but integration is key to success. Our security clients have had success with email marketing, content marketing, white papers, branding, marketing automation, paid search marketing, and responsive web design. Tradeshows, webinars, landing pages, gated content, videos, lead nurturing, and focused PR efforts can yield respectable results as well. We’ve had mixed success with social media, but overall prefer LinkedIn for B2B marketing.
We're big fans of Content Marketing as a Security Marketing Strategy. Check out this video from the Content Marketing Institute to learn more about what's working and what's not working in the realm of content marketing
Content Marketing Institute: 2017 B2B Marketing Budgets, Trends, Benchmarks and Trends Report
B2B Marketing & Social Media
On the social media front, sponsored content through LinkedIn and Facebook is the best way to go. It’s possible to make organic headway with Twitter and Facebook, but you have to ask yourself, how many of those business accounts are actually being managed by a decision maker. We’ve struggled to get a good return on investment with paid LinkedIn ads, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for your alarm dealership.
Document and write down each component of your marketing plan. If you decide to pursue email marketing as a strategy, develop an Email Marketing Plan. If Content Marketing is something you’d like to try, start with a Content Marketing Plan. Each component of your overall marketing strategy should be well documented and include a calendar, goals, and specific success metrics.
Set Realistic Goals
Setting goals and tracking progress is the only way to know if what you’re doing is actually working. In order to set realistic goals, you must have a good handle on your sales numbers, past and present. Coordinate with your company’s sales manager and define historic sales averages for each type of service or product you offer.
- How many leads per year, month, and week are you already getting?
- What percentage of leads close as new business?
- On average, how long does it take to close a lead?
- Are there opportunities for repeat business?
- Could automation & lead nurturing be added to the sales process?
- And Many More……
Set SMART Marketing Goals!
Avanti Vision: Setting S.M.A.R.T. Goals for Your Business
Other Goals and Metrics to Consider
How will your organization define success? Lead generation, website traffic and audience engagement are a few digital metrics to consider. But ultimately, closed business should be your marketing team’s end goal. If you have bad leads coming in, find out why. If good leads aren’t closing, figure out how to fix the problem.
Cross Market Between Residential and Commercial Customers
Residential alarm customers often own businesses. Most commercial alarm customers own residential homes. Has your alarm dealership ever tried cross selling these two groups? You might offer a special discount for those that crossover. While transactional in nature, some customers will find value out of such an opportunity.
Problems with Commercial Security Marketing
It’s not uncommon to encounter pitfalls while experimenting with B2B security marketing strategies. An approach that works brilliantly in one market might completely fail in another. Don’t let internal or external pressures sway your mission. Focus on what’s working and learn from your mistakes.
Learn More About Security Company Marketing
It’s easy to get caught up spending time (and money) on projects that divert attention away from the real mission. We’ve worked with B2B focused security companies across the U.S. and have solid knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.
Contact us if you’d like help picking the best B2B security marketing strategies for your target market or download our Security Marketing eBook for a few general security marketing ideas.