10 May 2018

Editor Introduction

Knowledge shared among peers is often afforded more credibility than information from manufacturers. An approximation of that principle is at work in the use of case studies as marketing tools in the physical security industry. Case studies are aimed at telling real-world success stories – from actual customers – about how various technologies are used to accomplish security goals and make the world a safer place. But how useful are they? We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: What are the benefits of case studies as a marketing tool in the security industry?

Case studies are one of the best content marketing tools, in general, and are particularly important in our industry since they signal to prospective customers that the product has been successfully tried and tested. But the value of case studies goes beyond demonstration of successful deployments; they demonstrate a true partnership between a supplier and a customer. If a customer agrees to do a case study, it also means that they would be willing to talk to other prospective customers about their use of the products/services, which is one of the best “marketing” tools in the industry. In my experience, case studies also get by far the most attention on social media, compared to any other kinds of messaging.

Tim Palmquist Milestone Systems

Case studies use feedback from our partners and customers as testimonials to the future-proof benefits of flexibility, scalability and performance with open-platform video management. The way Milestone creates case studies is unlike other vendors: we do not only focus on our own products but aim to share practical information about all components of the solutions. This underscores the customer’s leadership in using the latest technology to run their business better and safeguard their personal and physical assets. It also supports partners in their sales efforts by highlighting their expertise in creating value-adding video solutions with our alliance community. The cases Illustrate how the security and operational challenges of all vertical sectors can be resolved and ameliorated by implementing an open-platform video management system (VMS). They also give insights into why the Milestone VMS was selected over the competition.

Eric Widlitz Vanderbilt Industries

In our modern marketing times, advertising and media outreach goes a long way to create brand awareness. But sales must utilise more than these avenues to generate sales, and that's where case studies can communicate more information than simply a data sheet or spec sheet. Case studies can paint a picture of innovative technology at work, communicating the benefits of investing in security solutions to solve the complex issues that many enterprise organisations face in today's threat landscape. Being able to show true value through these customer-centric stories goes a long way in communicating a company's ability to address issues and provide insight into how to address their security challenges. It really helps to validate a solution and can give an end user some assurances that the solution is real, that it really works and, in many cases, it can provide references for someone to talk to.

Rather than just being designed as a sales tool, a good case study needs to benefit the audience first and foremost. When done properly, a case study is perfect for education, illustrating how technology and professional services can solve specific security problems or address needs. Security buyers need to know they can trust their suppliers, and case studies show how our professional expertise is used in the real world. Equally, they often show applications or new products that the customer may not have considered for their own projects. Ultimately, there are of course rewards for security suppliers too. Building a good reputation for advice and education engenders trust, and customers will always look to buy from professionals they have confidence in. Reputation is difficult to measure purely in metrics, but certainly having a good or bad reputation will make itself very apparent when it comes to your sales figures!

Kim Garcia PSA Security Network

Case studies play an important role in marketing in the security industry. Purpose-built products are not the norm in a technologically-driven industry such as security. Case studies demonstrate different solutions or applications, many times beyond what the original intended purpose of a technology or product. Spec sheets are simply not enough to get that kind of message out there. Case studies can serve as a pathway to new ideas and as a valuable tool for improving customer relationships by demonstrating ingenuity on behalf of the integrator and the manufacturer. Of course, if a case study can tout a high-profile installation or application, even better for building brand awareness and trust.

Editor Summary

Manufacturers use a variety of marketing tools to get the word out about the benefits of their technology products. Case studies are among the most valuable marketing tools, providing actual examples of how products are used rather than relying simply on spec sheets or product descriptions. Case studies are also valuable as a depiction of a satisfied customer who is willing to speak publicly about the value of a product they have invested in. Such goodwill is like gold to manufacturers, and case studies are an especially useful reflection of that value.