Video Insight Marketing Stunt or $250K Surveillance Donation?

By John Honovich, Published Jan 08, 2014, 12:00am EST

A quarter million dollar donation of video surveillance systems will be made this year, by a single manufacturer, says Video Insight. That's quite an offer, much higher than anything we have ever seen. But is there a catch? Is this just a stunt? In this note, we examine the details of Video Insight's campaign.

Overview

Each month, Video Insight will pick a school, based on an application, and give them 48 VMS licenses with 10 years software upgrade, a year of health monitoring [link no longer available], 16 entry level ACTi 3MP cameras (or equivalent) and a 16 channel video encoder.

Servers, storage and installation is not included.

Video Insight says they will prioritize schools that lack funds. They include questions in their application to measure need, including percentage of students qualifying for free lunch, and being Title 1 designated.

Analysis

We think this is a clever marketing campaign that delivers some value to schools, but likely even more to Video Insight.

The hard cost of what is included (cameras/encoders) is likely no more than $5,000 per school (total $60,000 per year). While there is certainly value in the software they are including, giving some VMS software licenses helps yet also acts as a driver / incentive for future license sales as users tend to standardize on a specific VMS. In effect, this seeds the school district for future Video Insight VMS sales.

Additionally, Video Insight can also use this to pick school districts it thinks it has the most chance of succeeding in future expansion sales.

And, of course, this will create positive case studies / press releases for marketing as well as word of mouth buzz amongst schools that win.

It is well played, certainly better than pitting charities against each other for a 5 camera system, forcing them to get their friends to vote on the manufacturer's website, then rejecting 80% of those who were used in the marketing campaign. Right, Avigilon?

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