Marketing to Blend-Users
Many many years ago there were magical people known as “experts.” These folks had specific knowledge that was difficult to acquire. They knew things that others didn’t. These people were revered and respected. Often times they would not dispense information for free. One had to pay to learn from them.
Yesterday I offered to do surgery on a friend of mine. I figured I could save him a few bucks. I will just YouTube it a couple of times. It’s not that big of a deal. He has more than one heart valve. There are spares. My son got me a nice knife sharpener for Christmas. I’m set.
The line between expert and consumer is no longer just blurry, it’s just gone. And with the disappearance of that division came a deep change in trade journals. Everyone is reading them, not just experts. We can’t say insider stuff anymore. There are no longer dirty little trade secrets. Everything we write needs to be written for everybody. No longer can context be assumed. We have to be careful because everybody is an expert and nobody is an expert.
So without a marketing pathway to experts, we find ourselves trying to imply important functions of our gear without outright saying it.
HERE IS THE DIRTY SECRET. WE ARE IN THIS TO MAKE MONEY. WE DO AV TO MAKE A LIVING.
When I am shopping, I am generally actively avoiding high profit-margin stuff so that I can get the most value. As a wholesale AV provider, I am always selling my items based on profit improvement and margin. I am so darn conflicted!
So as an industry, how do we present our equipment to our experts as “highly profitable” without presenting this same equipment to our end-users as “bad value”?
We have tried to come up with code phrases like “positive business outcomes” or things like “high-impact”. Our blend-users know the score. They used to work here.
So the bottom line is that it is hard to advertise the fact that using my gear makes you more money. It is hard to put that in writing because folks assume construction is a zero-sum game. That all changed when AV became a productivity tool. Now, bad AV keeps costing long after the project is done. Good AV has an odd side-effect of making the integrator profitable. So I am just going to say it. We represent, program, commission, engineer, and sell brands that we have picked because they offer the biggest profit improvement. I said it. I AM IN THIS FOR THE MONEY. I am in this to help you make more money. None of it is at the expense of the user. They make more money too.
We take on brands because we think they will make everyone more money!
So the real deal with The Farm is to help folks make more profit. It’s that simple. “Merica!
I write this because you are going to see a small shift in some of our marketing focus. I want to help you maximize every sale. And not with just some simple add-on template “fries with that”, but with a thoughtful change to our systems.
Things like UPS. Putting your signage player on a slim line uninterrupted power supply from Juice Goose will keep the gremlins out of your lobby display. It’s not expensive, it makes for a better experience, and guess what? It improves profit.
If the room only needs a Neat bar, put it in a LEON Tone Case. Have it match the display. Don’t make small spaces into second-class spaces. Keep it all custom. Your customer can afford it. They’re going to spend $400 a year to keep the plant watered in that room.
Maybe stop trying to see if we can build a future civilization behind the display? Maybe get a slim-line credenza from Salamander Designs and conceal the gear inside. You’ll meet ADA requirements, make the space beautiful, and put a few extra bones in your wallet.
So when your sales engineer from our FarmAssist team adds some parts, it’s being done thoughtfully. We are here to maximize AV – not super-size it.