Audio Video Startup Alert -
What’s one thing small business owners have a problem with, no matter their industry? Ask around, and you’ll discover it is marketing themselves and their businesses. Why? You’d think that marketing would be second nature for entrepreneurs. While it may be for some, the fact is that most are better at doing the jobs they started their company to do, than landing a steady stream of profitable, new work.
The majority of custom integrators are certainly in that camp. Most owners or partners have little experience marketing, coming to the business from an installation, programming, or design, background. It’s not only that they have little experience marketing, with the time demands their businesses place on them, they have precious few extra hours to learn.
The Business Owner’s Problem
That’s not to say they can’t drum up new business. On the contrary; their very existence speaks to the fact that they can indeed score new jobs on a regular basis. The problem lies in one simple fact. Most work far too hard landing these new gigs. Then, when they do get a new job, on many occasions it’s not nearly as profitable as they’d like.
Then there’s time. There are only so many hours in a day, and most custom integrators get dragged away from their families for evening and weekend meetings. Then, there are those jobs that they could finish today, if only they stayed just a little bit late.
Their time is at a premium, handling all the other things that see to pop up each day in the course of running their businesses. Unless they have a full blown marketing staff, many marketing tasks just get elbowed aside.
A team of long-time industry veterans knew there had to be a better way to help integrators get more of the choice projects they’re missing, while giving them back some of their valuable time. As one founder put it, “We saw an un-served need in the installation community and wanted to help. This industry’s been great to us all these years, and we just want to give back by helping make integrators stronger. We’re certainly not getting rich off this thing.”
The group, includes CEDIA founder, manufacturer, long-time educator, ex-AMX VP of sales, and all around industry good guy Frank White, plus stereo sales guy from waaayyy back and manufacturer’s rep turned major distributor Barry Scovel, and an as-yet-unnamed co-conspirator (the stig), who, rumor has it, counts more than 20 years in the industry (and that’s the young one) combined with a decade of online marketing experience among his(?) calling cards.
What’s It Gonna Do?
Together they founded WELD2. The team decided on the moniker because their goal is to weld customers to integrators for life. Their tagline and mission statement “Creating Profitable Relationships….. for Life” sums it up nicely.
They combine their 97 years of consumer electronics marketing experience with modern technology to create an integrated system of specially engineered digital communications and special,. insider management information, plus a few more secret ingredients they’re not quite ready to let out of the bag just yet..
The combination takes advantage of the fact that most companies have significant business locked up in their contact lists that they’re not taking advantage of. More importantly, many studies have shown that it is many times less expensive marketing to existing customers than acquiring new ones. That’s where the WELD2 team says most integrators are completely missing the boat.
In fact, their Stig explained “You ask almost any custom integrator and they’ll tell you they have great intentions about consistently marketing to their existing customer base. The fact is though, that by the time they get hit with the 57 new phone calls they get every day, and deal with the fall out and follow up from them, most of us just don’t have the time. We found that doing ti right does take time, and even if they know what to do, that’s time most guys get stuck doing something else.”
He added “ Our value proposition is so good it’s silly. Being from that community, we know what most integrators want. Our backgrounds give us the edge here, because it’s such a rare talent and experience combination, all together on the same leadership team.”
Can they pull it off?
Time will tell. It sounds like they certainly have the pedigree for it. The majority of the installation community seems to agree there is a need for some solution to this problem. Whether this vehicle crosses the finish line, we will see.
They are online at: