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Ed's AV Handbook
Batting practice for the AV Professional
and primer for the novice

Chapter 10  Page 2

AV Business & Marketing
The 4 P's

Refocus and adjust your business & marketing scope to the spheres of business that you can and must control.  They are the
4P's of marketing: place, product, price, and promote.  The 4P's frame your business strategy & implementing tactics.

The 4 P's of Marketing

1. Place  The 1st P of marketing

   Trade Area:
        Where are your customers?  
        Map the geographical boundaries of where your customers reside.


   Trading Area:
         Where do your customers trade?  
         Map the sites where customers trade in the trade area. 

         Map the address of your proposed site in the trading area.
         Can customers find you?
         When they do, what will they find?

Handbook Note: Page 7 offers, 9-steps to place, a comprehensive location analysis. 
defines trade area boundaries, locates trading areas, compiles trade area demographics, and selects a brick-n-mortar home.

2. Product  The 2nd P of marketing

Define your product or service.
What are its competitive edges?

You are also a product
You are an AV Pro who delivers and installs toe-tapping mesmerizing audio and video experiences derived from a knowledgeable mix of physics, technology, acoustics, light, music, and film.  Essentially you are the lead product.

3. Price The 3rd P of marketing
What will your customers pay for your product or service?
What will you charge?

Price strategy
Price is an apprehensive bipolar subject for many AV Pros.  Many fear customers will walk if they don't offer deep discounts.  They fear they won't be able to pay their bills if they do.  Quell price apprehensions with the following strategy.

As an AV professional, your knowledge and skills place you in a fortunate position.  You can target prospects that will pay a premium price for premium products and services.  P
romote this competitive edge to screen those who cannot afford to pay for your services.

Survey says

I was involved in a customer survey that revealed selection followed by price were the predominant concerns
of customers.  They wanted enough selection to make an informed choice.  They also wanted to ward off having a neighbor tell them they could have purchased their box for less elsewhere.

The tactical bundle
The following recommendation alleviates
customer selection-price concerns while easing AV Pro price-apprehensions with a bundle of selection, price, and you.


Do not hide inventory in the back room.  Place it on the sales floor.  Customers will assume there is still more in the back room. 
If feasible, place empty boxes on high shelves.  They will appear full to customers. 
Similar to the boxes-in-view tactic, offer one up/zero back.  That is, display at least one unit of many AV brands.  It will be assumed you carry the entire line of each brand displayed.

A room full of one-ups, a crowded floor of inventory, plus the empty-assumed-full-boxes, can diffuse customers concerns regarding selection.
If you do not have a retail location, you are at a promotional disadvantage.  However, as part of your presentations, use a binder or tablet with photos of your favorite installations and products.  That may be enough to support an appearance of selection.


Address the concern of price via an advertised big-box-price of one essential high profile box such as a large screen UltraHD TV.   Highlight this item in your proposal.  This price serves as your declaration of competitive pricing, which in turn gives your customer their negotiating win.  Price the balance of the project at normal-profitable margins.  It's a win-win.

Account for yourself

          You are not in the business of selling 'big-box fast-food' audio and video cartons.  You offer customized musical and cinema experiences.  Account for your knowledgeable mix of product, physics, acoustics, light, music, film, and experience in your proposals.  Add yourself as a line item, or at least remember to factor your skill within your price.

Not all prospects are customers
Your proposal is a bundle of products and your professional services. 
Some may insist on an unnecessarily detailed itemized proposal in an attempt to have a competitor 'cherry-pick' and beat your price.  Tell them no and walk away if they insist.   If they do not value your professionalism, then do not allow them to divert you from customers who do.

The bottom price line.
Employ 'the tactical bundle' to resolve the surveyed obstacles of price and selection that expunge the apprehensive symptoms of price. 
It is a tactical bundle that e
xploits your competitive edge of delivering mesmerizing toe-tapping audio/video experiences, not attainable in a box of any size.  Customers will pay your price.

4. Promote   The 4th P of marketing
     Tell customers who you are, what you offer, and close the sale.

The Message
Compose a concise promotional message that emphasizes your competitive edges outlined via product, price, and place.  Write the message with the assistance of this classic advertising acronym - AIDA.    


- Get your customers Attention (scream & wave), 
- Then their Interest (highlight their want),
- Create
(offer a taste),
- And request Action (ask for the sale).

Confirm that you are what the message claims
  You will be perceived as dishonest if you're not.  At best, that will forfeit sales and profit. 
At worst, you will kill your effort.  Therefore, carefully reevaluate and revise your message until it is
authentic, relevant, clear, and concise. 

Promote tactics
All promotional activities - advertising, point-of-purchase materials, promotional events, and personal sales - must include your message. 
Commit a fixed % of your projected sales to a promotional budget.  Then allocate your budget among the four promotional options that follow. 

     1. Advertising -- Tell your story via a website,
email, social media, direct mail, newsletter, billboard, print or broadcast media.

     2. POP -- Tell your story via point of purchase displays, literature, invoices, etc. Keep POP consistent with your promotional message.

     3. Promotions -- Tell your story via events, clinics, seminars, public speaking, publicity.

     4. Personal Sales -- Your sales and installation team is the face of the business.  Coordinate all promotional activities with your team. 
          They must be prepared to tell your story and confirm the claims of your promotional message.  They must conclude the business of
          your market plan -- close the sale. 

Handbook Note: The sales/install team payroll is a stand alone promotion budget expense.

Promotional calendar
Allocate the annual budgeted promotional choices
to quarterly calendars. 

Quarterly Calendar  

Business & marketing plan status
You have established a compass heading -- your customer. 
You have scoped the economic/market landscape and produced a marketing plan. 
Now put your plan into action.

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Ed's AV Handbook   
Copyright 2007 Txu1-598-288 Revised 2024

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