Marketing Lessons from Security: Guards

Marketing Lessons from Security: Guards

Security Guards have a place in the world, albeit a small one. I have used security guards multiple times for different scenarios. There are multiple issues with hiring security guards:

  1. No supervision
  2. Difficult to state post orders
  3. No accountability
  4. No return on investment

After reading those four things, you are probably thinking… What use are security guards? They have a use but I will explain that later. First, lets delve into the four points above:

No supervision… a security guard who enters your business has a post order of what to do but they do not report to anyone directly in the store. Their supervisor is out and roving and their direct branch manager is at the regional office most of the time. This leads to the second issue, difficult to state post orders. When a guard arrives, they have post order that were outlined by the hiring business. These post orders could be riddled with questions for the guard, which is not really their fault. The post orders may state “check customers receipts at the door” and the guard is probably asking numerous questions including: Do I restrain them if they do not have it, how do I approach them, what if they attack me, what if they cuss me out? So in the end, I feel for the guard because imagine you are working on a regular basis with a vague idea of what you should be doing. It is demeaning and difficult. Unfortunately this leads to the third issue which is no accountability. In business there is discipline if an employee makes a mistake or conducts themselves badly… but with a security guard there isn’t. There is only politely asking them to do differently and if they do not, they leave. That is it, like two options. Makes it very difficult to be effective when using security guards. So it benefits everybody to really emphasize what the post orders are and to write them very effectively. Lastly, and the biggest issue… they do not have a return on investment and can even potentially cause a lawsuit. An unarmed guard has no authority. They will realistically not recover any money, although they have the slightest possibility of deterring an issue (which is an ROI, but nobody can prove it). An armed guard is just asking for trouble… the guard does not have the training or the pay to be effective decision makers to be able to carry a weapon.

So what is the benefit to security guards? Pretty simple, to the average person they give an impression of control. It is viewed the area is more secure with a guard.

So what this has to do with marketing is a number of things; first, ensure that when you instruct a person to do something or you  begin something – have a plan… a blueprint. Outline every bit of it so that the person executing the plan has all of the tools to be entirely successful. The last lesson this teaches is ROI. Sometimes a return on investment will not be evident because you cannot prove it. You need to cross your T’s and dot your I’s when conducting an action to ensure that you can track the ROI for it otherwise there is hardly an argument to keep putting effort out to it.

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