The AV Industry Future Is Digital Value Optimization

People are people, so how people make decisions is a mix of intellectual and emotional thought patterns. This is true for the audiovisual industry and every other industry. In a sense, therefore, it may seem that business-as-usual for promoting, educating and selling audio visual systems and equipment means that your business doesn’t need to change how it sells, but without a digital value optimization roadmap, your firm will fall behind.

What has changed, however, is the way those decisions are made through the digital pathway of the Internet. Looking to the future, how those decisions will be made is going to be altered by the continued reliance on mobile devices and social networks. As such, manufacturers and systems integrators alike have much to gain from creating a value optimization roadmap for presenting, offering and selling their products and services to these on-the-go users.

The future of how churches will buy is going to be very close to how it is now in 2018, but with one caveat: There will be an even greater disparity between how one competitor stands apart from their rivals. This is largely going to focus on delivering highly specific and targeted content consistently, the continued shift of mobile internet usage patterns and adding a streamlined value optimization process from awareness to purchase.

The Stats Show Your Firm Is (Probably) Behind

If your organization doesn’t have a documented content strategy, you’re in the majority of brands. And that’s not a good thing. In fact, only 37 percent of businesses surveyed by Content Marketing Institute reportedly have a documented content strategy. Anecdotally, from my 25+ years in the AV industry, most brands in our space are considerably behind most consumer technology brands when it comes to marketing that is highly targeted and clearly articulated.

Let’s face it: if your brand isn’t found in specific search results by potential buyers on the first page of results, you’re missing 95 percent of your primary audience. Search Engine Results Page (SERP) stats show that the average user won’t go past the first five listings on the first page of results.

“Content is worth optimizing because 95 percent of people only look at the first page of search results.” – Source: Brafton, 2017

“Google organic desktop search study found a 71 percent Click Thru Rate (CTR) for page One results while pages two and three have a combined CTR of just 6 percent.” – Source: Google, 2014

Even then, the first-page position on search results is not the key indicator of success as about half of the clicks in SERPs only go to the top three results!

And let’s not forget that 2017 was the year that mobile searches outpaced desktop searches, according to Google. The data is compelling for making responsive design websites that work as well (or better) on mobile as on desktop computers. As of 2018, one in ten Americans are smartphone-only users! Plus, mobile users have opened more emails on their portable devices, with mobile email open rates growing 30 percent in the past year alone (Source: Campaign Monitor 2018).

Building a Digital Roadmap for Church AV Buyers

Amidst these sobering statistics, AV companies have the opportunity to turn things around — dramatically. It’s time to step into the future of digital marketing with a value optimization roadmap.

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In fact, the concept is dead simple:

  1. Determine Product/Market Fit
  2. Choose a Traffic Source
  3. Offer a Lead Magnet
  4. Offer a Tripwire
  5. Offer a Core Product
  6. Offer a Profit Maximizer
  7. Create the Return Path

This concept has been around for years, but my friends at Digital Marketer created one of the most useful and practical step-by-step processes that present the case for far better marketing conversion rates than any presentation I’ve created. Typically, I work through questions that identify the pain AV firms already know and pair those insights with the stats above and build a path for re-orienting Sales and Marketing towards the digital frontier.

The graphic below is a beautiful, simple and shareable resource to present to your firm’s leadership as a digital action plan your company needs to increase your marketing to sales conversion rates. As such, I see no point in reinventing the wheel, so to speak, when it comes to building a digital roadmap for church AV buyers.

I encourage you to read the entire action plan over at DigitalMarketer.com, as it’s something I’ve found to be ridiculously useful when having discussions with senior leaders unaware of the shift in engaging digitally with prospects and clients on new purchases of products and services.

The AV Industry Needs a Marketing Revival

This rAVe monthly column for the house of worship market has talked about marketing and the impact it can (and should) make on your company’s bottom line. The stats above are telling, but don’t miss out on previous articles on marketing content to this market, how the AV industry has sucked at marketing in the past, how content marketing automation is a key part of the buyer’s digital journey, and the importance of using social channels to create and promote marketing campaigns.

The house of worship market in the United States spends over half a billion dollars a year alone on video technologies. Billions of dollars are spent annually. The technology shifts have created huge cost-savings with vastly improved technologies like LED and the church buyers are looking at both big purchases for system-wide replacements and smart upgrades. The money is there. The need is there. The demand is largely untapped by traditional marketing efforts that focus on the old schtick of promoting features and benefits and adding yet another PDF slick that focuses on the greatness of the product instead of the greatness of the value.

The future of the AV Industry product and service providers increasing their revenues will include adding a digital value optimization roadmap to the marketing and sales mix. The stats already have spoken and the future patterns are unmistakable. The future of how churches will buy is going to follow how every other vertical market purchases: There will be a digital breadcrumb trail leading them to the companies who demonstrate fit, alignment and the greatest value.

What do you think? Do you agree with Anthony Coppedge’s thoughts for the future of the audiovisual industry?

Anthony Coppedge

About Anthony Coppedge

Anthony has worked in the secular world of A/V, the ministry world of church staff and the para-church ministry of three companies that serve the church space. Today, his consultancy focuses on helping churches and para-church ministries leverage appropriate systems, processes and technologies for more effective ministry. Anthony leads out of his strengths of effectively caring for people, efficiently managing resources, and enabling scalable growth. He has been consulting, teaching, writing and speaking to church and business leaders for nearly 20 years. Anthony blogs at his site AnthonyCoppedge.com