Best CE Pro Marketing Session I Ever Attended in Pajamas

During CE Pro Live last week, Relidy hosted a virtual roundtable on marketing, revealing some clever ideas that integrators can implement today.

This kind of looks like me, except I'd be wearing socks and slippers and my pajama bottoms would have holes in them. Plus, I use a laptop and two flat-screen monitors and my desk would never look this clean.
Julie Jacobson · November 15, 2010

I just attended one of the liveliest discussions ever on CE Pro marketing, and I did it in my pajamas.

The discussion took place at the Relidy booth at CE Pro Live, the virtual event home for systems integrators. Relidy’s Sean Busha shared some great ideas—like taking “before” pictures of a client’s space and Photoshopping TVs and other gear into the room—but other participants shared useful ideas of their own.

The following is an excerpt of the online discussion (only sligthly edited)—just one of several live roundtables that occurred during CE Pro Live on Nov. 17.

The archived event, including several presentations that drew up to 300 attendees each—can be accessed free of charge at

A Conversation About CE Pro Marketing

Julie Jacobson, CE Pro: Sean, you once shared on a retrofit Webinar a really cool idea from one dealer who developed before/after images of homes for sale. Can you explain to this group?

Sample before/after brochure from Relidy, allowing potential clients to visualize technology in their home. Click to enlarge.

Sean Busha, Relidy: Hey Julie! Sure, we worked with a dealer in southern CA on a flyer that was used to target New Homeowners. A partnership was made with a local Realtor who provided the images of the home “as-is” . The dealer then had our team design the flyer with the images depicting “what the home could be like” with the Dealers systems and services.

Julie:  This is one of the best marketing ideas I’ve ever seen.

Sean: So, our designers would Photoshop TVs on the wall, touchscreens on the coffee table, cameras on the exterior of the home, etc.

Sean: Transform a “wasted space” into a media room or home theater…

Julie: Think this is great because if you don’t know what a touchscreen is, or have no idea you could put a TV on “that wall” it at least gives a reason for the buyer to call.

Justin C., integrator:  That is Very cool. I have always been a fan of before/after stuff. Works great for the “portfolio” section. But that takes it one step better, showing them what they could have. Great!

Sean: This type of project would be perfect for partnerships with Builders too…. especially if you will work with spec builders.

Justin: Especially since when we go out to consult on a prospect, we take photos anyway for later discussion. Sending them our quote with actual photos of what it would look like would be phenomenal.

Julie: Justin ... Yes! I suggest it doesn’t even have to look like a professional Photoshop job—just sort of tack some digital TVs on the wall, even illustrations—take the image and drop little sketches on top.

Justin: What I have been doing is targeting the real estate agents themselves, and trying to get tapped into all of their spheres of influence.

Julie: Justin, how’s that going for you. Seems integrators have tried to work with Realtors forever and they never get it.

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Justin: Since I have extensive IT background, simply fixing their laptops and routers gets me in the door with all of my brochures.

Sean:  Here’s another idea. A customer worked with us on a new multi-page brochure. He figured why not have one with him at all times. He ended up leaving a couple at his doctor’s office waiting room. Shortly after, he landing a $200K+ job plus the doctor himself decided he’d like the idea of retrofitting a new audio system in the office.

Julie:  Justin, so while you’re in their computers, you go …  why don’t we get all of those media files onto the TV?

Justin: Yes, while I am there saving the day rescuing their Outlook, I say, hey, there is a PS3, you can stream video to that from any computer. That type of thing gets the ball rolling.

Cindy Davis, Custom CE Communications: I know I am coming in late. My suggestion to dealers is to buy a $200 webcam and bring it on the job. Shoot a few minutes a day and post it to YouTube. Get the homeowner’s permission though!

Sean: Cindy, yes, that is a cool idea. I love the time-lapse videos that you see for some projects.

Justin:  Cindy, good idea, I would say that having video on your site showing you actually doing a project would also be super effective for our webpage.

Cindy: Give TIPS in the videos—everyone loves to hear cool tips

Julie: How about giving the homeowners a free digital camera if they give you permission to mount it during the install and post time-lapse photos?

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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at

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  Article Topics

News · CEProLive · Marketing · Relidy · All Topics
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