How to Make the Most of Your Trade Show Experiences

Trade shows can be expensive — and you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. Find out how to do just that in a free LAVNCH & LEARN, “Best Practices for Trade Show Management”, on Nov. 9 at 2:00 p.m. EST. “Trade shows require a large investment, both in terms […]

featured Image

Innovation Beyond the Tagline

I’ve written a lot about innovation over the years and if you’ve read any of my blogs on the subject, you know I’m pretty skeptical about the use of the term most of the time. A lot of people use “innovation” to describe iterative improvements over time, and I’ve come to terms with the fact […]

featured Image

Why Content Marketing just became EXPONENTIALLY Important to AV

Last week was InfoComm week, one of the most anticipated events each year for the ProAV market. After purchasing floor space, building exhibits, flying in staff, and entertaining customers, many companies spend 6 or even 7 figures showcasing their products and services at InfoComm. Based on the enormous outlay, these companies naturally look to maximize […]

featured Image

Effectively Reaching New Customers

In December, I was a panelist for a session of the HETMA conference. I can not recall the exact conversation that led to us discussing getting cold calls from vendors. Several of us who are “customers” replied how much we dislike getting the cold calls or emails. What struck me most about the conversation and […]

featured Image

Marketing Barometers for AV Sales

Ask any AV firm’s marketing team this question: “How consistently do we create deliverables that have a significant impact on our AV business?” The answers to that question will frequently reveal a focus on activities (deliverables) instead of business outcomes (such as ROI). The reason there’s such a disconnect between what’s asked for and what’s […]

featured Image

AV’s Headlines Suck. Here’s How to Fix That.

With fresh eyes on amazing new products and services presented over the last few tradeshows (InfoComm, DSE, ISE) so far this year, the rAVe Agency has seen some truly remarkable technology coming out of the audiovisual (AV) industry. But while AV technology is undoubtedly impressive, the way AV products are promoted and advertised has mostly […]

featured Image

Converting Leads for Sales

A start-up audiovisual systems integrator needs to take every single lead seriously because, with no backlog of client work, every new lead feels like immediate gratification as a sales lead. When this company grows and has plenty of work, do the leads become less important or is every new lead still a sales lead? The […]

featured Image

What Happened to Proxima Is a Business School Case of How NOT to Merge Two Companies

On the day that InFocus shocked the AV industry and announced they’d bought its largest competitor, I was actually there. It was Monday, March 6, 2000 — I remember the details of the day very well but my old Franklin Planner helped me keep track of the date for the purpose of this article. Let me […]

featured Image

The Irony of Technology Obsolescence for AV Vendors

AV companies have instant information about their product sales right at their fingertips. However, those same AV vendors have little to no visibility into the effect of marketing on tracking the reach, engagement or conversions on those same product purchases. The result is ironic for the AV industry: marketing technology obsolescence due to artificial intelligence […]

featured Image

When Your Brand’s Email Is Noise

Your business may have the coolest AVL product or service on the market, but amassing more emails in your prospect’s Inbox isn’t helping you sell even one of those great new products. Why? As decision-makers and consumers, we’re inundated and overloaded with information and emails. We’re deluged by data. What we don’t need to know is […]

featured Image

The Truth, the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth

Ned Beatty, the highly regarded character actor, playing shady US Senator Charles F. Meachum in the 2007 film, Shooter famously said: “The truth is what I say it is.” I have a question for the AV industry – is it? (If you have seen or don’t remember the movie — the clip can be found […]

featured Image

How Much Marketing Budget for AV Firms

How much budget should AV industry companies allocate towards marketing to the house of worship vertical? The answer is likely a surprise for any company that’s not spending on this >$1B annual spend segment of the overall AV industry. In 2018, the American Marketing Association, in partnership with Deloitte and Duke University, published the bi-annual […]

featured Image

Future of AV: Merging of Product Development and Marketing

Engineers invent and innovate. Products are created. Marketing promotes the products. Sales try to, well, sell the products. That’s the way it’s been done in product development for ages including in the audiovisual industry (AVL). And that’s the past. The future is the merging of Product Development and Marketing. Whereas the linear path described above […]

featured Image

The Three Essential Soft Skills for Selling AV to Churches

Pastors don’t need high-pressure sales, slick marketing or churchy language. In fact, these three are red flag warnings to a vertical market used to being sold what they do not need. Instead, the three essential soft skills for selling AV to churches are a helpful challenger, intentional communication and value-as-a-service. All three of these lean […]

featured Image

The Future of Automation for the AV Industry

Automation isn’t new to the audiovisual industry, but a new kind of automation for this technology-focused trade will be centered around automating the customer’s buying journey. As innovation has led the consumer markets to automate the discovery process for buyers, so too has the time come for the long-established AV industry to adapt and embrace […]

featured Image

The Vertical Market Customer Buying Journey

Helping prospects and clients inform themselves during their customer buying journey is not a one-size-fits-most process due to the exponential growth of online search. Instead of manufacturers and systems integrators publishing generic product features, benefits and specifications, today’s influencers and decision-makers are searching for how products work in their unique vertical markets and applications. To […]

featured Image

The Future of AV: Educate. Engage. Encourage.

When does selling audiovisual technology shift away from the outdated features and benefits sales model and transform into something entirely different? Something so radically divergent that it actually makes sense to an AV industry in transition? 2018’s technology stack is here with the answer: when vendors leverage the social, marketing and sales technologies to go […]

featured Image

Customer Service Is the New Marketing for AV

“Brand is not what you say it is. It’s what they say it is.” That’s the observation from renowned brand thought-leader and master storyteller, Marty Neumeier, author of almost a dozen books on the subject of brands. So if they have such sway over your brand reputation, how important is customer service for your brand? […]

featured Image

The Failure of AV Marketing

The AV industry sucks at marketing. Everyone knows it because marketing across the audiovisual space is generally equally crappy. It’s boring, over-hyped, and under-designed. Pablum. Noise. Filler. “But we need A4, full-color printed spec sheets handed to us at trade shows,” said no buyer in the 21st century. “The ad of a smiling, stock photo model […]

featured Image

MultiDyne Rolls Out New Mobile Marketing Van

Just in time for tradeshow season, fiber transport supplier, MultiDyne, has taken delivery of a mobile marketing van built by Accelerated Media Technologies. The van will double as an exhibition showcase for MultiDyne products at North American tradeshows, and as a mobile showroom for MultiDyne road shows and training initiatives. The Accelerated team installed and engineered all equipment […]

featured Image

Asking the Right Questions

I’m an extrovert. Most people assume this means I love to talk all the time, I’m energized by social situations, I like to solve problems by discussing them, I’m extremely friendly and imminently approachable and I am easy to get to know. Those are all generally true, but being married to an introvert has enlightened […]

featured Image

Should You Pay Co-op Dollars for Placement?

This can be a sensitive subject to both suppliers and resellers, so I will endeavor to tread lightly. In CE retail, co-op promotional costs are largely the norm. That’s where the supplier supports their dealers’ sales efforts with measures that can range from subsidizing advertising costs, to sell-through credits, to paying for product placement in-store. […]

featured Image

Top House of Worship Ads of 2017

You’d think that here at the end of 2017, the AV industry would learn to not waste marketing co-op and advertising dollars. But, no. In this industry, advertising and promotional efforts generally continue to pander to no one in particular with no hope of tracking a return on investment (ROI). 2018 should be the year […]

featured Image

The Truth and Nothing But the Truth?

The title of this column is a phrase that is the basis of a legal oath that has been part of English Law since at least medieval times and has essentially become embedded in our shared societal structure. The beliefs that have come to encompass our laws and governance concepts remain at their core based […]

featured Image

Creativity Matters in Public Relations – Barco’s PR Team Needs a Raise

PR (public relations) in the AV industry, generally, sucks. Trust me. Not only do I teach to PR students at the University of North Carolina and see (and read) great PR pitches all the time from them, but the agony of reading boringly written or overly-flub-ridden press releases from MOST (not all, just most) PR […]

featured Image

Marketing AV

Just about every week I do a Selling AV podcast, (shameless plug) but I thought I’d turn my attention to Marketing AV for a moment. It’s no secret that there has been a large amount of evolution in the AV industry over the last several years. Of course, as with any industry steeped in technology, […]

featured Image

What Are You Giving Away to Churches?

Mobile-first is a term used to describe the 2017 statistic where people begin their internet searches, browsing and application usage on their mobile device more than on a desktop or laptop computer. They’re searching for social proof (what others say about a brand, service or product), helpful knowledge-building and early research to educate their decision-making […]

featured Image

Trade Show Fails!

By Sam Malik I have attended trade shows for nearly 25 years and I have seen it all. CES, COMDEX, CEDIA, DSE, ISE, NAB, InfoComm, etc. Trade Shows are not cheap to attend and require planning and usually a significant investment, even for a smaller booth. I personally have designed and worked booths from 10’x10′ […]

featured Image

Become Multidisciplinary or Else

It’s time to fire up the legendary waaaay-back machine once again to go to the year 1982. Why? Because it was in that year that the National Sound Contractors Association was formed and held its first convention/meeting. (On a side note, that was also the year I launched Sound & Video Contractor Magazine (S&VC) and […]

featured Image

Has Anyone Else Noticed Barco’s Rebranding?

Barco — Belgian American Radio Corporation I am sure I can’t be the only person in AV who’s noticed the subtle re-branding of Barco. But no one seems to be talking about it. Go look at their website, for example. It’s different — more retail-like. And, then, on Friday, I found this video — it only has 800 […]

featured Image

It’s 2017 and Video Content Is Missing

Video sharing and advertising are ironically lacking from the audio, video and lighting (AVL) industry while the growth of this format and medium continues to become the defacto standard for consumption. The stats are in and they’re staggering. Sometimes the writing is on the wall so clearly that you have to look at another wall […]

featured Image

A Message for Small [and New] Manufacturers in AV

Are you a new company selling a new product? Well, this blog’s for you! Listen, don’t let people fool you — this industry is NOT that complicated. You don’t need a fancy marketing campaign and you certainly don’t need to waste your money with banner ads on on-line publications to make it BIG in AV. […]

featured Image