Polk Joins CI Market, Partners with Starin Marketing
Distributor aims to guide the traditionally residential speaker manufacturer through the commercial sales and marketing processes.

Article


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Polk Audio product line manager Al Baron says SurroundBars, or sound bars, are nice options for boardrooms.
June 17, 2011 By Tom LeBlanc

It’s not news that several—make that many—traditionally residential solutions providers are entering the commercial electronics market. These include a slew of InfoComm 2011 exhibitors.

The smart ones are treating the commercial market as a unique division within their company. Sometimes that means hiring a commercial division manager. It should also include recognizing that their distribution model for the residential market can’t be carried over to commercial.

Polk Audio
appears to be one of the smart ones. The 38-year-old speaker manufacturer makes its second InfoComm exhibit appearance in 2011, but 2010 was more of a toe-dipping venture, says product line manager Al Baron.

In 2011, “we’re all in,” he says.

A distribution partnership with Starin Marketing backs up Baron’s claim that Polk recognizes that commercial “is a very different market than residential.”

Jim Starin, CEO, says it’s much more than a distribution relationship and that Starin will be guiding Polk through the commercial sales and marketing processes.

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About the author

Tom LeBlanc - Editor-in-Chief, CI,
Tom has been covering electronics integration since 2003. Prior to being named editor-in-chief of CI, he was senior writer and managing editor of CE Pro. Before that, he wrote for the sports department of the Boston Herald. Migrating to magazines, he was a staff editor for a golf publication and an outdoor sports publication. Follow him on Twitter @leblanctom.
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