PASS educates the educators

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill.—In an effort to go “deeper than just trying to directly market our services,” PASS Security co-owner and general manager Brian Sullivan said an event the company organized for local K-12 educators was an unqualified success. “We received a number of response cards back and they were very positive,” he said. “They looked at it as more than just an infomercial.”
With the help of access control manufacturer AMAG’s new targeted marketing program, PASS held its first Southwestern Illinois K-12 Educational Security Symposium, titled “Keeping Our Schools Safe and Secure,” Oct. 24, with roughly 80 local educators in attendance. Going beyond just physical security, the program included presentations on threat assessment, self defense, and bomb and terrorism threats.
“I could have made it really narrow and just talked about physical security,” said Sullivan, “but, frankly, I have a
kindergartener and a third grader and this hits home with me personally.”
Sullivan also had help in promoting and marketing the event from AMAG, which has created customizable marketing materials targeted toward specific verticals, including K-12. “A lot of our resellers don’t have the staffing to create marketing materials,” said Nicole Deschler, who heads up AMAG’s Voice of the Customer program. “We can do postal mailings, email campaigns, or we work with them to set up events just like the one PASS did, a symposium or a lunch-and-learn ... The key is to educate the end users.” PASS, with roughly 40 employees and about $9 million in annual revenues, does have marketing coordinator Luke Lieberman, who worked closely with AMAG.
Loren Lloyd, AMAG’s central U.S. sales manager, helped coordinate the event and said those in attendance clearly were unaware of some of the possibilities provided by the newest security technology. “The majority of people were very interested in what the potential was ... I’m not sure how much exposure they have to security in their mailings and in their industry conventions.”
Sullivan said that educating the end users may not lead to immediate new business, but was likely to pay dividends down the road. “They’ll start thinking about how physical security is part of the larger solution,” he said.
AMAG has similar marketing materials or the health care, transportation, municipality, financial, and utility verticals.