Axon & PoliceOne’s Decade-long Integrated Marketing Success
Axon (formally TASER International, Inc.) is known as the premier developer of the TASER less-lethal Electronic Control Device (ECD) weapons for use in law enforcement, corrections and private security. Axon provides a solution to violent officer confrontation by developing products that minimize the risk of serious injury or death. In recent years Axon has also expanded it’s offering to include a revolutionary digital evidence management system in conjunction with a line of officer-worn body cameras.
Axon has been a PoliceOne client since 2002, sponsoring product categories, columnists, editorial and community functions on the PoliceOne site as well as purchasing banner ads and newsletter insertions specific to their products.
Axon approached the Praetorian Group initially to help drive the adoption of the TASER ECD in the law enforcement market. Its needs extended beyond the traditional branding and product marketing provided by print and tradeshow advertising. Axon knew that successfully introducing a new less-lethal weapon to law enforcement would require building a compelling business case for the adoption of the Axon and quickly educating the market. Axon’s objectives included the following:
- Build the business case for TASER use at departments nationwide
- Educate the market on the return of investment of adopting TASERs by disseminating case studies outlining the reduction of officer injuries and decreased liability for departments
- Find a timely and cost-effective mechanism to distribute TASER success stories and news about TASER implementations
- Combat negative media coverage in national and local news organizations
- Create a dialogue with police officers to address product development, training and implementation
PoliceOne developed a comprehensive marketing program using the TASER and Less Lethal product categories as a foundation. The program married targeted promotion in the PoliceOne product categories and editorial sections with broad-based exposure through banner ads, and e-newsletter insertions.
As part of this strategy, press releases, instructional and promotional videos, success stories, white papers, case studies and testimonials posted in the product categories were aggressively promoted across the site.
Exposure in the PoliceOne product categories, editorial sections, banner ads and e-newsletter insertions all worked to distribute a wide range of information supporting the use of less-lethal weapons and have effectively built the business case for TASER use within the law enforcement community. The broad-based use of PoliceOne as an education tool has helped drive large-scale TASER adoption to law enforcement and has provided a cost effective public relations tool to promote announcements ranging from technology advances to legal victories.
TASER’s company growth has mirrored its success on PoliceOne as the company has transformed into one of the most recognized brands in law enforcement today. In 2002, when TASER first began working with PoliceOne less than 1,400 law enforcement agencies had deployed the TASER. By 2007, more than 50% of major US law enforcement departments had adopted the use of TASER’s. And today, in 2013 there has been more than 2.86 Million TASER ECD uses by law enforcement, reducing officer injury by up to 80% in deployed departments and saving millions of dollars in workers compensation funds.
A Continuing Partnership
More than 10 years later, PoliceOne is still the primary online marketing engine for Axon to bring new products to market and facilitate industry-wide endorsement. Axon has now created the premier digital evidence management system, Evidence.com, and spearheaded the implementation of officer-worn cameras. Similar to the initial strategy deployed in 2002, again PoliceOne was called to boost the adoption of new products into the law enforcement market.
In addition to the core campaign elements that have traditionally performed well for Axon, a combination of new initiatives focused on market feedback, thought leadership and lead generation were also utilized:
- Custom market surveys to judge user opinion and collect relevant data
- Grant funding assistance
- Lead generation campaigns
- Social media outreach
- Webcast promotion and content support
- Direct email marketing campaigns for products launches and major corporate announcements
As a result of this comprehensive approach, PoliceOne has directly impacted the adoption and approval rating of on-officer cameras. A 2013 survey hosted by PoliceOne found that 90% of officers now believe there is a strong need for body worn cameras, and Axon is regarded as the clear market leader for that product segment. In addition to facilitating thought leadership and market acceptance, this partnership also generated substantial advertising and sales performance for Axon.