Creative Marketing Research

November 16, 2013 0 comments

Executive Summary

Video surveillance makes good business sense and is a necessary tool in today’s vulnerable business environment. Digital video provides not only security but an easy- to-use management tool. Just think of each camera as a dedicated employee, who works 24 hours a day without taking a coffee break, vacation or sick day. Most of all, your electronic employee has a memory that does not forget, is accurate and provides a true return on investment.

The effective use of digital video surveillance equipment can reduce liability & workers’ compensation premiums, fraudulent insurance claims, and may assist in the prevention and apprehension of dishonest employees and customers. Today’s technology also provides the ability to watch your business remotely from home or other locations.

There are numerous types of cameras and digital video recorders to fit various applications. Entrance/exit cameras, cash register/counter cameras, interior cameras, exterior cameras and digital recorders are the basic components of a digital video surveillance system.

Our research is focused on finding out what digital video surveillance products are used on today’s market, what features are missing and if we propose a new product of the market what features they expect and what will be the cost.

Background Information

At MarpaSoft LLC, we were thinking to introduce our new product (let us call it MarpaSoft Digital Security) to enter digital security surveillance market.

Key technology:

Web Development, Django/Python/Erlang/PostgreSQL, Online Broadcasting, Offsite Backups.

Problems:

  • How to position its products
  • How to differentiate from competitors
  • Find our what kind of our services are most needed for the market and our customers

Objectives:

  • Find our potential customers' emotional connections to security cameras
  • Find our main pain points with existing solutions on the market
  • The research findings will be used by the company to craft their future marketing message.

Benefits of Going Digital

High Resolution

The resolution and speed of frame capture settings on your digital video is critical in the successful capture of digital video evidence. Without the great looking video you see on your monitor will not be what is actually recorded.

ONLINE REAL TIME DIGITAL SURVEILLANCE

You do not need to have your equipment on site where it can be damaged or stolen in case of the accident. We can provide hosting for all your backups and real time video. We believe that the business community will maximize the Return On Investment using online digital surveillance systems.

Business Facts

  1. Construction Industry: Over 500 pieces of construction equipment go missing each week in the United States. Bad news is only 10-15% is ever recovered. On top of that staggering number is material theft, especially copper. Construction site theft has been increasing by 10% every year since 1996 with no signs of slowing down. Due to this staggering fact, insurance companies are actively denying claims made in regard to construction site property.
  2. Bar & Restaurant Industry: Statistics report 85% of all Bar and Restaurant robberies are inside jobs. Keep an eye on employee activity with our Bar and Restaurant Surveillance Systems. Bar and Restaurant Security Cameras are being installed in Bar and Restaurants across America. They are giving owners and customers an excellent sense of security. Security Systems can now interface with your cash register or POS system which records and displays all transaction data to the recorded image.
  3. Day Care Childcare: Childcare centers are perfect for video surveillance. With the number of working parents increasing, childcare is becoming an essential part of early education. A video surveillance system at your day care or childcare center can help keep children safe and provide parents with peace of mind. Online Real Time Digital Sureillance services: will keep children safe, provide parents with valuable information how their kids doing at the center, keep employers safe.
  4. High School: High Schools today face gang violence, drug activities and other societal problems that threaten both the students and their ability to learn. Our services are giving Students, Teachers and Parents an excellent sense of security. High School Security Cameras have also proved to halt violence before it starts as they catch bully activities, gang visits and drug testing. High School administrators have access to what is going on in and around classrooms. Teachers believe the use of High School Surveillance in classrooms helps improve behavior and even raise test scores!

PROCEDURES AND RESEARCH METHODS USED

I have conducted two ZMELT interviews, 4 in-depth and informational interviews with the Head of Security at Hollywood and Highland Parking structure, Sal Hernandez, a parking security at Wilshire and Nomandie building, Adrian, a taxi driver, Ivan, and a friend who lives in a large residential estate in Los Angeles that costing over 5M.

I also conducted an Internet research what is available on the market, small and large players, their products and services.

Interviews about Surveillance Systems

The First Interview

The first interview took place at Hollywood & Highland Parking location. The head of security, Sal, was answering questions. Sal previously worked as a police officer and detective and had extensive experience with various surveillance systems. He currently works for Andrews International and their symbol of protection is eagle. They currently use AMHouse surveillance system. His company was employed by owner of the building who made a selection of system.

Andrews International (AI), headquartered in Los Angeles, California, is a full service provider of security and risk mitigation services; and the largest private, American-owned full-service security provider in the United States. The firm's portfolio of services includes uniformed security, consulting and investigations, personal protection, asset protection, special event security, disaster and emergency response, and specialized training services nationally & internationally.

Sal said that usually the owners of big locations are selecting the systems they want to work. The market is very competitive and there are plenty of products on the market. He also was working with other digital surveillance providers such as North Star and West Co.

He was talking about the expectations from surveillance systems. Usually people consider spending from 10,000 and up for the installation. But they look for the warranty and expect that equipment will be changed if damaged or outdated and they expect non expensive upgrades of new technology.

They expect to have very high quality of cameras and equipment, because they need to recognize all faces and numbers of vehicles.

He said that there are not many accidents on the location.

Sal says that he also is called to be a consultant for large events. He decides where to set cameras. He said that cameras that go around, sometimes cannot catch everything and it is very important to find the correct places where cameras should be. He said that he is very happy to work with current provider AM House, as well as North Star and West Co, because these companies provide best customer service. The customer service is the most important in this business.

Sal suggested me to contact police offices and firms that conduct investigations because they have limited budgets and they would not expect to spend as much money, and rather pay on monthly basis.

Sal uses home surveillance systems for his houses, and mostly buys whatever current on the market. He said there are even more choices for home surveillance systems then for large businesses. He prefers to install everything himself, as he cannot imagine that it will be complicated. Sal did not let me to record anything as he said security business is a very sensitive field. He agreed to be interviewed because this was for the class.

Second Interview

Second Interview was conducted at a big parking structure at Wilshire and Normandie. The name of security guard is Adrian. Adrian works for the company for 8 months. The name of security company is ABM security. They are using Shindler Surveillance. He said that the building had power outage recently and they needed to use generators. He said that the system was very expensive to install, and they pay monthly for the service and they have three engineers at the location at all times because the system requires constant maintenance. Adrian said that engineers needed to stay overtime when there was power outage. So he could not tell me their monthly spendings. He is sure that it does not mater how expensive system will be, they just need a quality and a good service. He said that the systems are protecting only public areas, corridors, elevators, parking, and what is going on streets around the building. The offices have their own security surveillance systems. He said that he recently caught a person stealing a purse and he told me that it was amazing because the thief was on every camera around the building, so security caught him at the other end of the building.

Adrian was asked if he would use security surveillance at home. He said that he does not need to because his other and sister are mostly at home. He would not imagine why he would need a system when a house is protected at all times.

I asked what are the most important images for him that he can associate with security. He said a car, in the first place, the house, in the second place and the girlfriend. All these images make him secure.

Third Interview

The Third Interview was with a taxi driver, Ivan. He works at nights. Most of his trips are going through dangerous areas of Los Angeles. When I asked a question, How secure it is to drive at night? Ivan said he takes chances. Ivan considers Alvarado, East Los Angeles, South Central, Pomona and certain areas in Down Town as dangerous areas and he can tell stories about violence in these areas. Though, Ivan said that there are not so much stealing in taxi. Maybe one time a year, someone takes money from his pockets or gives him a fake dollar bill. Taxi cab travels to high crime neighborhoods. Ivan driver intoxicated passengers all the time.

Ivan and his taxi partner should get a new car with surveillance camera and a good partition. Ivan does not know what system he will get, and his partner has knowledge about it. Ivan said that they need to turn on surveillance system only when they work, and other times taxi stays at secured location with surveillance system.

Fourth Interview

I interviewed a friend who lives in a large house and expensive house in Los Angeles.

A few years ago they installed digital surveillance. Renan said that they turn it off and he even has hard time to remember if they had a need to use it.

Renan says that there are people at home: a cook, a maid at daytime, and a maid at night time, and a gardener, so there is somebody at home all the time; in his opinion, there is no need to record anything. He does not want to know if someone among his staff steals something like food or clothing. He wants to believe that people are honest. The house have a bank next door, so bank probably takes care of surveillance and records a large part of the street around the house.

Interview Five

An attorney, 35 years old, lives in Santa Monica.

He thinks about the security like a child under the blanket: warm, comfortable, secure, protected. This image could be used for advertisement to targeted segment.

He does not like the fact that most video cameras he used have low resolution images, and it is hard to see anything.

He does not like the idea about surveillance, because it is like "big brother watching", government based, but he said it "makes me powerful when I watch other people."

Interview Six

31-year old male Fashion Stylist, lives in Larchmont,Los Angeles. He thinks that security cameras make people want to stay away and makes people feel less welcome.

FINDINGS AND CONCLUSIONS

Survey results show us that people usually are reluctant to talk about security cameras because they feel this information is very sensitive. People in a local bank even did not want to answer any questions.

Homeowners prefer to instal cameras on their own, and they do not mind to use DVR surveillance systems. They are willing to buy expensive cameras and they mostly focused on quality of the images. There will be very hard to make a sale. Businesses who produce cameras can benefit form selling to the homeowners.

The enterprise security systems can be sold directly to the owners of the large commercial real estates because the buying decision is made by the owners or the board of directors. Most of businesses they create product around 4-5 corporate clients. The good part is that these people do not care about the cost, but they are looking for trust and long term relations. They hardly ever change providers.

It makes it very hard to find such clients to be able to sell.

Also when we conducted research, it is obvious that clients expect warranty and liability of equipment. We are in the software business, so in order to provide all services beyond customers’ expectations, we need to have a hardware partners, so clients can replace equipment within 24 hours or sooner.

People really do not care about online backups, and they are more concerned about security that nobody else had access to their footage. We did not interview the owners who hired security companies, but I guess the answer will be different because backups at the datacenter will have all backups if it will be break-and-entry.

We need to conduct more research about needs for online digital surveillance needs in smaller sectors, such as public schools, kindergartens and private detective agencies. There might be a need for a non-expensive surveillance cameras in bad neighborhoods, liquor stores, restaurants, - but these clients will have the most problems and the less ability to pay for the services.

There maybe a need for usage of online real time broadcasting technology for recordings of surveys and focus groups. But we need to make a detailed researches in all closely related areas prior making decisions about introducing a new product to the market.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS

The survey has shown that people are pretty much happy with the solutions they are currently using.

The video surveillance business includes a lot of decisions to make: how to place cameras if locations are large and have a lot of hidden areas. Some people are using specialists just to do this work. The business requires a lot of customer service. Some people prefer to pay for the installations if the installation will be complex. When we were looking into the security business, we did not realize how large is the business and what are customer expectations.

Security business also closely related to local police departments and city permits. It is probably easier to find local police department as a client and start from there. Also it is evident that if we want to be in this industry, we need to find private detective company or private security company who will partner with us: we provide surveillance packages and they apply their knowledge and services.

This business is hard because people have conflicting emotions about security and surveillance. People afraid that cameras can be easily destroyed and complicated to install. It can be too many things to consider for creating of a first product line.

Posted by lisa
Categories: Business Entrepreneurship

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