Yes, we know — it’s a bold statement.

When we first started writing this column, we came out with guns a-blazing about the purple cow theory, out-of-the-box ideas and some other interesting articles that have been well received. Believe it or not, we get stopped everywhere by security professionals who tell us how much they love reading our Marketing Madmen articles in this great magazine. (Big thumbs-up to SDM!)

Although we have had great success with our out-of-the-box ideas, we’ve been asked by a majority of our existing clientele and those seeking to hire us, “If you were to start a company today, where would you put your money and why?” (Thanks Pete at S-TRON for asking us this) and it made us pause for a second… Then we asked ourselves, where would we sink our marketing dollars? So after many hours of debate and looking at our analytics, we are ready to spill our guts. (Now would be a good time to tell your marketing person to read up, because these five nuggets are backed with truth, baby! Where else would you get this info besides from us who have touched about 100 dealers, integrators and manufacturers nationwide?)

Drum roll please!

One! A Website (duh!) — But let us explain. A website is the single most important element to your marketing. It can track efforts, generate leads, generate referrals (which should be around 12 to 15 percent of your customers), create brand awareness and, most of all, be adjusted and fine-tuned each month to generate more everything.

Two! (Yes, exclamations, because we are excited to share!) Pay-Per-Click —not just in Google, but also Facebook and LinkedIn depending on what types of end user customers you service. We all know Google can be costly, but when you do it correctly and you ride the coattails of the 800-lb. gorillas, it can create leads on your budget. Second, don’t forget social media pay-per-clicks. They are cheaper and can help grow your pages, creating you a captive audience wanting to hear from your company — but don’t be too salesy or they’ll leave your page.

Three! Organic Search — Across the search engines, thousands of searches are being generated for local security companies, specific vertical security companies or even dealers looking for better products to install. So make sure you are creating geo- and service-specific landing pages (pages designed specifically to pull up when local searches are generated), make sure you use national terms and make sure to get your blogs up on your website — they generate free traffic with minimal effort, unlike PPC campaigns.

Four! E-Newsletter Campaigns — We have to pull our clients’ teeth to convince them to create one, but we speak from experience. This low-cost, affordable solution will lower attrition, generate upsells with existing clients and increase referrals from them. Remember to create two bucket lists: of existing clients and of those not yet converted; then throw them a nice meaty bone by dropping them an incentive.

Five! Direct Mail — No, it’s not a dead medium — it works! We have seen great success with direct mailers on penetrating new verticals, generating more market share and improving conversions with canvassing when direct mailers are sent before your team hits the streets. Great success has been seen when you cater your message for a niche industry or vertical. Use Every Door Direct Mail® and print your material yourselves; you get to choose the United States Postal Service carrier routes and it’s very affordable.

So booyah! There it is: the answer to what we would do if we started a security company today. It’s fully backed with results, data and experience. These five marketing tools can apply to any dealer, integrator or even manufacturer.

Master these and when you’re successful, move on to secondary marketing efforts such as magazine ads, guerrilla tactics and more.

 Until next time ladies and gents!