"I like the ability to work with Anne on strategic issues. Periodically, she and I stand back and say, 'What could we do better?' And she always has ideas grounded in the data."- Jack DeMao, CEO
The Challenge:On the day Jack DeMao became the new CEO of Electric Guard Dog, the market leader in electric security fences in the U.S., the company lost its largest national customer.
Jack explains, “I immediately visited all the top national accounts to determine what their needs were. But there was no way I could get to thousands of small accounts and I needed to check if their interests were different from my national customers.” Having known Anne Mayfield as a fellow alumnus of the Harvard Business School, Jack contacted her for market research. “I asked Anne to quickly do a survey of my smaller accounts.”
The information turned up was surprising.
The Solution:Jack and Anne discovered that while the company’s motto evoked a positive emotional response from small business owners, enthusiasm turned out to be inversely proportional with the effect on larger companies. The bigger the company, the more problematic EGD’s branding became.
On a brighter note, the same market research provided a handy piece of data for the security company: a full 95% of EGD customers cited “No external theft after installation.” This was information EGD could use to inspire a new tagline and data for their messaging.
- New Branding and Messaging
- CRM and Marketing Automation Tools to Measure Results
- Hiring Outside Sales Representatives
- Designing a Structured Sales Process
- Press, PR, and Content Marketing
DeMao opted for all the proposals. He was going to reshape the company’s sales and marketing. “We became the #1 Theft Deterrent Service™”, Jack explains. “And messaging about how ‘safe and effective’ our technology is helped to answer liability concerns with our national customers.”
DeMao also purchased Salesforce.com (SFDC) and HubSpot. Katie Carswell, Senior Project Manager at Mayfield, was brought in to define the customers and the process and customize SFDC and define metrics and reports so EGD’s sales team and management could operate in concert. Katie’s customization had the added benefit of allowing Katie to review longstanding SOP procedures at Electric Guard Dog.
Jack recounts, “The last thing we did is add Ideal Customer Profile scoring. We have identified the characteristics of our ideal customer and, using in concert with HubSpot, we can score every lead and opportunity in our funnel: scores for target markets, geographic concentration, etc. This helps us work on the top opportunities, those most likely to close.”
The final objective was to raise brand awareness, once the website and marketing materials had been revamped with the new messaging and the new sales team had been trained to utilize that messaging.
DeMao recounts, “We’d made a heady investment in expanding our sales resources and that left a very modest marketing budget for a brand that was relatively unknown. But Kathleen Hannon, Senior PR Consultant at Mayfield, made persistence pay off. She’s managed to obtain a number of features and editorials, plus the blog series she wrote, the radio feature she snared…she convinced us to be at the forefront of our industry in content marketing.”
“Kathleen also encouraged me to maximize our presence on Glassdoor. I did that, and we've since discovered it offers our employees a way to communicate directly with management and let us know what their concerns are. We just recently achieved Open Company status there.”
The Results:With Mayfield's assistance, Electric Guard Dog:
- Attained Inc. List "Honor Roll" status by appearing on the list for 5 years
- Was named Dealer of the Year 2016 in a leading security trade journal
- DeMao being named a Finalist for EY’s “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2016
- Rose 7 rankings on the SDM 100 List of the Top Security Companies in America
- Was sold for an undisclosed high multiple to Snow Phipps in 2016
While the multiple EGD sold for cannot be disclosed, it can be compared. Security giant ADT sold the same year for money, but EGD had the higher multiple.
Looking back, Jack comments, “We have so many awards now we don’t even have room for them all.” In closing, Jack adds, “I like the ability to work with Anne on strategic issues. Periodically, she and I stand back and say, ‘What could we do better?’ And she always has ideas grounded in the data.”