The New Landscape

The New Landscape

Marketing in today’s day and age requires social skills

It used to be when attending a trade show that one came away with a tote bag full of printed marketing materials. This practice started to change when CDs and thumb drives were introduced to present these materials. Attendees needed only to use their show credentials or cell phone to get marketing information on any product. Now, that has all changed dramatically.

The fact is, the process of marketing video surveillance and security solutions has gone from a simple model of appealing to the customer’s needs and desires to a complex process of managing every aspect of the user experience. In this age of the Internet of Everything (IoT), the four Ps (product, price, placement, promotion) of conventional marketing have been supplemented with the four Cs—communication, content, convenience and customer relationship management—of social marketing.


Before the advent of social media, technology partners and end users had limited and/or controlled access to the manufacturer’s product or service information. It was a one-way dialogue and information that was doled out at sales meetings, trade shows, press releases, website downloads (with limited data capture) and in marketing or technical bulletins. Now, social media has flipped the landscape, enabling manufacturers, solution providers, channel partners and end-users to engage in immediate two-way communication via Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook, as well as emerging platforms such as Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and many more.

Even online training is being supplemented with pop quizzes that encourage interactive communication between the manufacturer and the sales channel by engaging the participant to show what and how much they know. For instance, if a question related to wide dynamic range (WDR) or SSDR (Samsung Super Noise Reduction) is answered incorrectly, the quiz will have an embedded link to a resource—live or archived—that the participant can access to gain immediate information. It becomes a customer engagement opportunity that likely would not have happened even in traditional webinars.

Social marketing changes the interactive landscape, moving communications beyond the constraints of B2B or B2C and into a natural interactive environment that is being termed H2H (human-to-human). This ultimately leads to stronger relationships between manufacturers, solution providers and the sales channel, or manufacturers and end users.


In general, sales people are faced with increased competition on every front. By using social marketing, they can provide more value to the sales process by sharing information and communicating directly with their customers and prospects. Engaging with their communities and posting content or links to content on social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter enables them to bring their audience to solutions-based content posted on their own website rather than pushing information about the product toward the end user.

This is the basic premise driving the new era of inbound marketing. Once a valuable resources such as specifications and sales materials, A&E specs, images, white papers, infographics and case studies, to ultimately help them with the process of evaluating, selecting and purchasing the security solutions that best meet their needs.

To become known as a provider of value, manufacturers can develop a variety of content and make it available across numerous channels to give their communities opportunities to enrich their own skill-sets. Examples may include demos or how-to instructional videos on the newest HD megapixel surveillance cameras, or tutorials on how to properly select products, design configurations and installing systems. To further promote training and education opportunities, manufacturers can make it possible for participants to receive CEC’s which can be utilized for industry recognized certifications such as ASIS and BICSI.


Both the sales channel and end users are interacting with solution providers in countless ways and across multiple platforms in this new environment. Whether it’s on the web, social, mobile or email, customers are coming to expect that interactions will be seamless and immediate. An excellent user experience has become critical in creating user engagement as part of the business processes, when, how and where customers want.

A program such as the Samsung Techwin Eco Partnership is easy to use and provides channel partners and resellers with several distinct advantages and benefits. For instance, resources like 3D-CAD files and user manuals are instantly accessible and easily downloaded, RSS feeds can be automated, or projects can be registered for credit and/or protection. Any of these actions can be accomplished or viewed on the web or by mobile at the integrator’s convenience.


Social media represents a wealth of opportunity to create better customer relationships. It is important to recognize that it is also a place where disgruntled customers can actively share negativity towards a brand. While this is outside of any brand’s control, it is of critical importance to join the conversation and show that customer perceptions matter and that the brand is listening responsively.

For that reason, in order to build a corporate culture that is better attuned to customer care, many organizations are now adding community or social media managers to their teams. In addition to listening to and engaging with their audience, they can help influence decisions and actions by implementing social media best practices that are audience-inspired and ultimately add to the reputation of the solution provider.

Customer management—otherwise referred to as community management based on targeted market communities customers and partners—begins with a true commitment to providing value and engaging with the audience of users and partners. Real H2H communication involves true engagement, sharing of useful and relevant information, problem solving and the ultimate ability to create positive brand experiences for others. When done correctly, customer engagement through active and live community management is a positive interactive experience, which in turn drives long term growth and profitability.

This article originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Security Today.


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