Michael D. Moberly June 2, 2017 firstname.lastname@example.org ‘A business intangible asset blog where attention span really matters’.
I would be hard pressed to count the number of occasions I have witnessed experienced security practitioners and/or entrepreneurs pitch genuinely innovative products designed to mitigate an emerging risk or make existing (security) procedures-practices more efficient and effective.
In most instances, product pitches, as well they should, are well rehearsed to appear extemporaneous. They are routinely filled with optimistic (anecdotal) jargon touting projections of inter-operability, scalability, benefits, and outcomes. Irrespective of the security product-service being pitched, seldom, if ever, does it mention the intangibles the product will also deliver, often simultaneous to its other, more tangible deliverables it was initially designed and intended to address.
A starting point for recognizing – appreciating the intangible side-deliverables of security products and services lies in the globally universal economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantage, and sustainability today emerge directly from IA’s. (See Mr. Moberly’s list of intangible assets.) When this economic – social fact is knowledgeably and skillfully incorporated in ‘pitch messaging’, based on my experiences, it can, and frequently does, favorably influence prospective clients’ buy – don’t buy – deploy – don’t deploy decision by adding a heretofore, unacknowledged and useful deliverable.
Admittedly, for some business leaders, and their boards and management teams, intangibles, and discovering-exploiting the ‘intangible asset side of business, have yet to find a universal space in business lexicon. In other words, intangibles are not consistently applied-exploited in business communities, often being dismissed because the relevance of security product functionality is not recognized beyond the tangible! These experienced generalizations should not be construed as rationale for dismissing intangibles’ factual contributory role and value to any prospective clients’ business risk circumstance.
Prospective buyers-clients may seek clarity insofar as how – whether a particular-security product and/or service ‘fits’ their environment, or will serve their objectives. Professionals that routinely pitch security products-services should be keenly attuned to these, often subtle, expressions because they signal entrées to introduce and describe how-why-when the security product-service being pitched will deliver valuable – competitive intangibles.
So, as I see it, conventional methods for marketing-pitching security (asset protection, monitoring, surveillance, loss prevention, and risk mitigation) products, services, or systems, as if they are exclusively directed to and/or produce outcomes affecting (only, primarily) tangible-physical assets, dismisses the economic facts which clearly state otherwise. In product marketing-pitch circumstances in which intangible affects (by-products) are neither introduced nor explained as value-add benefits, prospective clients-buyers should have no expectation there will be measurable ROSI (return-on-security-investment) should they elect to proceed. It is also elevates the probability the ‘pitch’ will be unsuccessful with value, reputation, and brand left on a (negotiating) table.
On the other hand, marketing – pitching security products-services in a manner that convincingly describes how either will favorably affect the intangible – non-physical side of a business, it’s employees and users, will always resonate with prospective clients-buyers. Ironically, intangibles, even though they are seldom specifically incorporated in product-service pitches, their benefits are routinely expected, i.e., heightened sense of (personal) safety and productivity, etc.
Unfortunately, IA’s, and their contributory role and value to companies and businesses routinely go unrecognized insofar as application and operationalization. But, when intangibles are described as additional positive outcomes-deliverables of security products, prospective buyers’ interests will be renewed, even more so when the recognition translates to how to measure the (intangible) deliverables, i.e., value to user perceptions and desired outcomes.
For example, in the lodging – hospitality sector, users’ sense – perception of feeling safe, secure, and productive is unarguably paramount. When achieved, such perceptions are readily translatable to reputation, image, and goodwill, ala IA’s essential to property value, revenues, and sustainability. Too, when users of a lodging/hospitality environment sense their patronage, security, safety, and necessity for at will productivity are being respected and addressed to their satisfaction by the introduction of environment-circumstance specific security measures, they will be inclined to return that respect by being repeat users-guests. This is ‘economics – marketing 101’. Again, I am hard pressed to cite any prospective buyer of security products-services who does not expect these outcomes, whether acknowledged-articulated or not in their bid or RFP.
In my judgment, every professional involved in marketing – pitching security products and/or services are (fiduciarily) obliged to have operational level familiarity with the various IA’s their products-services produce and how each can influence – generate favorable orientations.
Achieving operational level familiarity with product-service produced IA’s, also serves as important starting points for framing promotional – marketing pitches.
Unabashedly, I am an advocate for incorporating correct, descriptive, and operative language in ‘pitches’ for security products and services that elevate decision-maker awareness about the array of IA’s that are already embedded and likely will be in play in every business decision circumstance.
Security product developers, producers, and vendors will be well served to adapt and incorporate relevant variants of ‘intangible deliverable’ language in their marketing-promotional materials and sales pitches. Another rationale for incorporating this (intangible) language in product marketing and pitches is that there are rising percentages of companies which are genuinely intangible asset intensive and dependent which means ‘operational familiarity’ is already present.
This makes it all-the-more important that the design, marketing, promotion, and ‘pitching’ of security products reflect the irreversible and paradigm shifting economic fact – business-consumer realities previously cited. This is particularly relevant as management teams, c-suites, and boards become more attuned to their company’s IA’s in fiduciary contexts and as fiduciary responsibilities.
Another framework for company – security management teams to engage their company’s IA’s, insofar as safeguards, preserving-sustaining contributory value and competitive advantages is to ensure it is aligned with enterprise risk management (best) practices, i.e.,
realizing the art and science of exploiting and safeguarding IA’s has
direct and far-reaching relevance to user, guest, consumer, buyer
experience and expectations.
Far too often, to my chagrin, security product-service presentations and/or pitches are very conventional insofar as assuming it is necessary dramatize how a particular product-service will mitigate, if not wholly prevent the materialization of FUD, i.e., sense fear, uncertainty, or doubt.
However, when security product (system, service) ‘pitchers’ replace the conventional with a strong and understandable narrative rooted in ‘forward looking’ focus of safeguarding each of the IA’s in play and objectively demonstrate favorable influence upon users, consumers, guests, and buyers alike, the probability of experiencing more consistent product-service sales success can measurably increase.