A Challenging Year

There’s not going to be much excitement among SMEs and private security companies as we step into 2011.  The challenges in particular for the security industry are going to be enormous:  austerity measures are beginning to bite, and many government organisations are cutting down on expenses more than ever before.  This is adversely affecting the security industry, particularly those that have contracts with national and local governments. In general, many businesses are cutting down on their security budget by 30% – 40%. However, while the expenses have been cut, the expectations about the quality of service remains high, leaving the security agencies to do more for less.

Security agencies, like Magenta have been preparing to meet the challenges for sometime. We have already taken steps to respond to the recession by cutting costs wherever possible. However, one thing that kept us going through the difficult phase is our constant endeavour to invest in marketing. We believe that unlike most businesses that tend to cut down on their marketing budgets during recession, spending on marketing can be beneficial in the long run.  Often, as businesses emerge out of recession, they struggle to reach out to consumers because their brand gets erased from the public memory.

In my opinion, marketing is one tool that businesses should not abandon during a crisis. This is of particular importance to the security industry. One of the key challenges during recession is to win over consumer confidence, and the best way to do this is to assure your consumers that your products or services are reliable and can be trusted. Smart marketing alongside good delivery of service can boost consumer confidence and help businesses grow. The security industry in general is synonymous with having qualities like reliability, trust, confidence and safety. It is vital that we reflect these qualities in our messages to the public. Security is not defined by the market forces. It is required both during bad and good times. In fact, the demand can be slightly higher during tough times as rising unemployment during recession can lead to social unrest and petty crimes. The credibility of a security firm becomes even greater in good times if we have a proven record of providing services during difficult times.

One of the key challenges in 2011 will be to win business from other sources and we remain confident that adopting smart marketing strategies will help us to achieve the goal.

Abbey Petkar

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