Is do-it-yourself (DIY) security here to stay, or is it just a fad? Based on our experience, the security industry seems to be in a transitional period. Many companies across the nation are about to hand over the baton to either a younger sibling or to their children.
This was the case for a client we met with at ISC West, where we got on the topic of DIY. The father and a consultant friend had mentioned that the son, who was soon going to be the company CEO, was worried about the fact that they didn’t offer DIY. They asked us for our opinion, which we gave them — but they did not like our answer.
From our perspective as a marketing agency, DIY is here to stay. Products such as Watch Owl, Canary, SimpliSafe and now some virtual reality companies such as Allie Home, are starting to introduce home security products that involve wearing goggles to look around your home to see if everything is OK. These companies are changing the way consumers are starting to think about home security.
We can all agree that professionally installed and monitored home security is on a different level, but the reality is that these products are taking some of the market share and changing the definition of what home security actually is. Does it encompass self-monitoring? Is it something slick and cool, such as Canary or something Apple-esque?
These new DIY products are being sought out more and more within Google searches, so in our opinion DIY isn’t going anywhere. What does this mean for your security company? Should you get into DIY? Well, that’s a decision for you to make, but let us give you some insight from our experience of launching three DIY projects in three completely different ways.
The first example involves a company that thought they could automate the process 100 percent completely online; they did not want to sell over the phone nor answer any questions that Web visitors may have. They believed that the signing, purchasing and buildout could be completely done online, so we built it and marketed it.
We learned that, when it comes to security systems, if the consumer can’t touch it they’re going to have a lot of questions. So make sure you have dedicated staff members to answer questions, and give them negotiating power so they can help sweeten the deal right over the phone, because most consumers will actually tell you what your competitors are offering.
The next example of a DIY project we launched is available to many dealers as affiliates of their manufacturers, and it comes with a pre-built shopping cart. There are pros and cons to becoming an affiliate rather than taking on the project entirely yourself. In our experience it takes multiple landing pages and incentives that you’ll have to test in order to find that sweet spot when it comes to lead conversions or actual sales. With the affiliate approach where your manufacturer provides a cart for your company, you might not have the flexibility to create promotional codes, create multiple landing pages, or change up your packages. However, manufacturers do a great job creating an instant plug-in to your site and business model if you want to start selling DIY tomorrow.
Lastly, we just launched a DIY project in which the client wanted to use third-party shopping carts, APIs and apps to sell DIY online. This approach takes a lot of creativity from the development aspect. Because of the way home security is sold there is no one-stop shop that walks you through the process, but it is affordable. By plugging in multiple apps and APIs you can get started with DIY quickly and not hurt the bank in doing so. Plus, you get 24-hour support which is a big plus when you’re selling online 24/7.
When it comes to marketing DIY we have had success using campaign e-videos, social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and some radio. Our campaigns mostly target women, generation X and Millennials simply because they’re used to purchasing online, hate commitment (well that’s what we think, LOL) and are looking for cool products.