Practitioners charged with ‘pitching’ new security products, systems, and services are…obliged to describe the intangible assets each will produce.
I am an unabashed advocate for…incorporating descriptive – operative language in ‘pitches’ for security products and services. Especially language that elevate decision-maker’s awareness about the array of intangible assets that will emerge in most every buy – don’t buy – deploy – don’t deploy decision.
At this moment, I am hard pressed to count the number of occasions I have witnessed…experienced security practitioners and entrepreneurs pitch remarkably innovative products which they may correctly claim will mitigate emerging risks or make existing (security) procedures-practices more efficient and effective. But, their pitch may wholly omit, or bungle, the value-add intangible assets that will follow.
As readers know product – service pitches are generally well rehearsed so as to appear, among other things, extemporaneous…replete with enthusiastic – optimistic jargon and anecdotal examples touting projections of inter-operability, scalability, benefits, and outcomes, but not specific intangible assets.
Unfortunately, I find, irrespective of the security product-service being pitched… seldom do ‘pitch scripts’ describe the intangible asset deliverables, often simultaneous to other, seemingly tangible and obvious deliverables the product-system-service was initially designed and intended to address.
A starting point for recognizing – appreciating the intangible deliverables of security products and services…lie in the…
- globally universal economic fact that 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantage, and sustainability today lie in -emerge directly from intangible assets. (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 – pitched clients’ buy – don’t buy…deploy – don’t deploy decision by bring ‘business clarity’ to previously unacknowledged, but a ‘return on investment’ deliverable, e.g., skillfully placed closed circuit television, ala CCTV.
Unfortunately, for some business leaders…their boards, and management teams, discovering – exploiting the intangible asset side of their business, e.g., the favorable outcomes of effective installation of CCTV, and myriad other security – asset protection products and services, has yet to find a universal space in the business lexicon.
Specifically, intangible asset deliverables (products of) are not consistently acknowledged or exploited relative to the environment in which they are deployed…instead, they are often dismissed, in large part because the relevance of security product functionality is left un-recognized by the seller or the buyer, beyond their obvious tangible-physical presence…
- but, my experienced generalization should not be construed as rationale for dismissing intangibles’ factual contributory role and value to any prospective clients’ business risk circumstance.
Prospective buyers-clients of security products-services are obliged to seek clarity (recognize) insofar as...
- how – whether a particular-security product and/or service
- ‘fits’ their environment, or will serve their objectives.
Practitioners that routinely pitch security products-services should be keenly attuned to these, often subtle, deliverables…because, among other things, they signal entrées to introduce and describe how – why – when a specific security product-service being pitched will deliver valuable – competitive intangibles, ala ROI to users, guests, and patrons, etc.
So, through my lens, 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, often overlook – dismisses the economic facts which clearly state otherwise.
In product – service marketing-pitch circumstances in which the intangible affects (by-products) are neither introduced nor explained as value-add benefits…prospective clients-buyers should may have no expectation – inclination there will be measurable ROSI (return-on-security-investment) should they elect to proceed. even though doing so…
- will clearly, and perhaps convincingly elevate the probability the ‘pitch’ will enhance value, reputation, and brand.
- versus, leaving either on the proverbial negotiating table unmentioned and un-discussed.
On the other hand, marketing – pitching security products-services in a manner that describes…how either will favorably affect the intangible – non-physical side of a business, i.e., it’s employees, guests, patrons, and users, etc., will consistently resonate with prospective clients and buyers.
Its ironic that, even though product – outcome of security intangibles are seldom specifically incorporated…in product-service pitches, their benefits have become routine expectations, due in large part to heightened sense of (personal) safety and productivity, etc.
Unfortunately, intangible assets, i.e., their installation – deployment, contributory role and value to…companies, businesses, and environments, etc., may go unrecognized insofar as their application and operationalization.
However, when the product – functionality of security products and services are characterized in ‘pitches’ as favorable – expected intangible assets which produce positive outcomes and deliverables…prospective buyers’ interests are renewed, and less likely to be conceived as a mere physical-tangible requisite and cost. Instead, they translate to how to measure the (intangible) deliverables, i.e., value to user perceptions and desired outcomes.
For example, in the lodging – hospitality sector…users – guests sense – perception of feeling safe, secure, and productive is unarguably paramount. When achieved, such perceptions are readily translatable to reputation, image, and goodwill, ala the intangible asset deliverables essential to property value, revenues, and sustainability.
Too, when users – guests of a lodging/hospitality environment sense their patronage, personal security and safety, and necessity for at will productivity…are being respected and addressed to their satisfaction by the introduction of environment-circumstance specific security products, systems, procedures, etc.,
- 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 request for proposals.
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 intangible assets their products-services produce…and how each can influence – generate favorable orientations…
- achieving operational level familiarity with product-service produced intangible assets also serves as important starting points for framing promotional – marketing pitches.
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 intangible asset 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’ may already present.
This makes it all-the-more important that the…design, marketing, promotion, and ‘pitching’ of security products-services reflect…
- the irreversible and paradigm shifting economic fact – business-consumer realities previously cited.
- of course, this is particularly relevant as management teams, c-suites, and boards become more attuned to their company’s intangible assets in fiduciary contexts and as fiduciary responsibilities.
Another rationale for company – security management teams to consistently engage…the intangible assets produced-delivered by security products and services are specific safeguards to preserving – sustaining contributory role, value, and competitive advantages that benefit a company, is ensuring those products-services are effectively aligned with enterprise risk management (best) practices, i.e.,
- realizing the art and science of exploiting and safeguarding intangible assets 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 human sense of fear, uncertainty, or doubt, ala the FUD factors.
However, when security product (system, service) ‘pitchers’ reach beyond the conventional to include a strong and understandable narrative rooted ina ‘forward looking’ focus…
- toward safeguarding each of the intangible assets in play, and
- objectively demonstrate favorable influence upon users, consumers, guests, and buyers alike,
- the probability of experiencing more consistent product-service sales success will measurably increase.
Michael D. Moberly April 25, 2019 St. Louis [email protected], the ‘Business Intangible Asset Blog’ since May 2006, 650+ blog posts published, ‘where one’s attention span, intangible assets, and solutions converge’!
Readers are invited to explore other published blog posts, video, and position papers at https://kpstrat.com/blog