Member Discussion

Help A New Manufacturer Increase Brand Awareness And Generate Leads

Hello All,

We are a small system integrator that some time ago saw a niche/opportunity and decided to develop and now manufacture our own product for the video surveillance market. We quickly realized that designing and building a product is totally different from selling it, and we are obviously not where we want to be in terms of sales and brand recognition.

We are formulating a new marketing plan/strategy and would like to get some input on some of the many tools/techniques available nowadays to create product/brand awareness. It seems like nowadays there is more available then ever if you look at trade shows, printed publications, social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, etc.) and online tools (SEO, AdWords...), etc. and with our limited budget I feel like we need to capitalize on these options. However, it seems like we are not able to see the forest from the trees and we are not making the progress desired.

I'm hoping some of you that have gone down this path can shed some light on what worked and what did not. Did you keep it internal, or did you call in a firm that can kickstart the process? If so, are there any recommendations for firms like these? There are quite a few out there selling these services, but unlike the many camera marketing gimmics that are debunked here on IPVM, we are left without much else but our gut feel when making a choice. The ultimate goal is obviously to create brand awareness and generate leads, what have your experiences been?

Thanks in advance for your input!!

My short answer would be Twitter ads + retargeting as the most cost-effective way to do this.

Btw, trade magazines are the least cost effective. Their prices are insane, especially compared to the traffic they deliver. You can get more highly targeted traffic through social media at a fraction of the cost.

We've done FB, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google Ads, YouTube, etc. Twitter has definitely been the best for us. Reasons being:

  • You can target followers of specific account, so only show ads to people who follow IPVM or only show ads to people who follow Exacq (maybe if you are marketing a VMS).
  • The ads are up top and in the stream that people view. As a consumer, I always notice Twitter ads, even before I used them. They are much better positioned than LinkedIn which is down lower, e.g.
  • Twitter ad costs are pretty reasonable, usually ~$10 per 1000 impressions. Facebook is cheaper but less targeted. LinkedIn can be even more targeted but double the price and not clear who is seeing them because of the positioning.
  • I think ~20% of industry people use Twitter but it heavily skews to influential people. Btw, 20% is probably high compared to most every other ad alternative.

Twitter will get enough people aware of your brand / company.

As they come to your site, you will want to retarget them so that they see ads of your company across the Internet. Retargeting is super inexpensive. Do that immediately. See this.

The X factors are:

  • What is your product? Is it any good? Does it solve a real problem? You can feel free to share below if you want. It would actually help us provide feedback.
  • How good is your website? Ultimately Twitter and retargeting will be sending people back to your site, so your site needs to be compelling / clear.

Lastly, one wild card would be to actually have a personality, say interesting things and use that to market. Never been done before with surveillance manufacturers but it has done great in other industies.

As small as this market is, it is still fragmented enough that I'd be hesitant to give you generic advice on this.

You'd have to tell us a little more about your product and intended audience.

Thanks for the detailed input John. We will defintely focus on the Twitter ads and retargeting. That is exactly what I was looking for as I did not have any real feedback as to how effective these methods were. I really like the personality comment, I remember reading this in a "Why we don't cover your company" article. Something else to look into!

To Undisclosed B and John's point, it makes sense that I give you guys more info regarding the type of products and target markets. I did not mention it in the first place as I did not want to steer the conversation onto the product design, features, etc. However I can see value in shedding more light on what it is that we build.

The product is a solar powered, wireless mobile surveillance unit (trailer based). We have a camera agnostic design that, depending on the location of use (solar insolation rating), can typically integrate any of the major IP camera brands or mix of brands/models (think two cameras with built-in analytics from Brand A looking at some key areas and a PTZ or wide angle/hemispheric camera for situational awareness around the trailer from Brand B). So, it is a customizable solution based on a productized platform (trailer & mast platform, communication options, etc.). It is defintiely not something that would typically be sold through distribution based on the interactive design requirements with the customer. Our main differentiator would be the price/feature ratio or our total value. We've taken the trailer and mast aspect and simplified the design (and cost) to allow us still use mid to high-end cameras and communications so that the actual user experience (images they receive, frame rates, connectivity, etc.) is at or above that of typical available trailer units, but at a much lower price point. This is not a military grade trailer, nor is it a bunch of NEMA boxes srapped on a bare utility trailer. But for our urban target audience it is fine and cost efective.

As far as target audience goes, typcial uses for these trailer based systems are: law enforcement/municipalities (think festival, large crowds, marathon's, etc.) and construction companies (project flow management, material theft etc.) and of course anything that needs rapid/temporary deployment of a surveillance unit.

Hopefully that gives you an idea of what we build and who we are targeting. Thanks for your input so far and for taking the time to respond!