CE Pro April 2021 - 34

CE PROFILE
JUST ONE TOUCH/VIDEO & AUDIO CENTER

directly when he can. He gets a voice transcript of every incoming call logged into
his email that enables him to audit the
response times.

STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE

Because consumer electronics changes
so rapidly, Akhtarzad focuses on staying abreast of the latest technologies. He
works closely with the Home Technology Specialists of America (HTSA) buy-

ing group, and even has an internal R&D
team to investigate the newest product
offerings that includes industry veteran
Tom Campbell, chief technologist for the
company and a Consumer Technology
Association Hall of Famer.
Campbell has been with the team for
over a decade, while other employees have
been with the company for 30 years.
" As an integrator, you must always stay
at the top of your game. You have to make

Marketing Push, Special
Events Boost Awareness
CUSTOM INTEGRATION COMPANIES in general do little to no marketing. Since most of their clientele is derived from word-of-mouth
referrals, they avoid spending any effort on marketing, but not Just
One Touch/Video & Audio Center. The company does radio, TV,
print, social media and online marketing, as well as hosts events
designed to highlight its presence in the bustling L.A. market.
" We are really almost the sole voice for consumer electronics
and custom electronics in Southern California, " says chief technologist Tom Campbell, who heads up the marketing efforts.
Campbell makes sure the company's marketing messages
aren't focused just on product and price, but revolve around service and quality. For example, he has created campaigns around
video resolution that explain elements like 4K, 8K, color gamut
and color depth to potential customers. To compete against the
Internet and the showrooming trend in which clients come into
the retail store to check out product before purchasing online,
Campbell consistently highlights Video & Audio Center's free,
same-day or next-day setup service.
" That has really worked well, " he explains. " It is not custom
installation per se, but that gives the opportunity once again to
talk about Just One Touch with clients. "
Campbell follows what he calls the " three D's " of marketing:
discovery, desire and demand.
" First of all, you have to let people know the products exist; if
they don't know about it, they can't want it. When they come in
the store or call our hotline, they are going to engage with a real
person. We then make sure we inform them that we have the
product in stock and ready, " he says.
The tactic has enabled Video & Audio Center to combat showrooming and flip it to what Campbell calls " webrooming, " which
describes customers doing online research about a product first,
then coming into the showroom to see, hear or touch it ... and
hopefully buy it.
Another marketing tactic that has been successful for Video
& Audio Center (obviously pre-COVID-19) is planning and hosting

34	

sure you are bringing the latest and greatest
to the market and constantly evolving. If
you do not evolve or change, you will die.
I learned that from my early days in retail, "
advises Akhtarzad.
He says the changing nature of consumer electronics is the hardest element of this
business. " In other businesses, " he remarks,
" the value of your inventory doesn't go
down on a daily basis or become obsolete
is a short time. " CE Pro

special events, mostly around technology debuts such as the
launch of 4K. At those special showroom events, the focus is on
content and lifestyle, not price.
" For example, streaming is so important today. Customers
want to see what 4K images look like streaming. They can't do
that online; they need to see it in person, " Campbell notes. One
other key to the success of the special events is attracting the
media. Campbell aims to have local media coverage that will
include getting real customers to engage with the media.
" It makes the price secondary to the message, " he notes. " If
price was the only consideration, everything would be purchased via the Internet. We need to show the performance for
audio, video and other technology.
Video & Audio Center's stores are designed so that each
manufacturer has a dedicated area. So, for example, LG, Sony
and Samsung each have their own space with multiple displays.
Principal Joseph Akhtarzad has even a hand in store design,
including recently creating a spectacular 360-degree, 20-foot-tall
tower that features a dozen LG OLED displays on it.
Uniquely, each display will always have a different picture on
it and be coming from different sources.
" One display might be showing a hockey game, the next one
football, and the next one a motion picture, " says Campbell. " We
do that because it shows you the difference in every display.
Some might be using a feed from cable TV, others have content
streaming from a media server, while others are showing content
from a Blu-ray player. "
Akhtarzad believes the focus on marketing has helped distinguish Just One Touch/Video & Audio Center in the crowded L.A.
market.
" Most integrators don't do any marketing mainly because
they don't have a budget. It's expensive. Also, they don't have
any idea how to create a marketing department within their
company, " he says.
Akhtarzad says the awareness level of smart home automation
has risen in recent years, but most consumers still have no clue
who to contact to have professional installation for their electronics. " We always include Just One Touch in our marketing. It takes
time to gain consumers' trust, but that is what we are doing. "

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CE Pro April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CE Pro April 2021

CE Pro April 2021 - 1
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover1
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover2
CE Pro April 2021 - 1
CE Pro April 2021 - 2
CE Pro April 2021 - 3
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CE Pro April 2021 - Cover3
CE Pro April 2021 - Cover4
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