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HTSA Adds 54th Member, Launches Marketing Campaign

Home Theater Specialists of America (HTSA), the buying group for specialty A/V dealers, has added its 54th member.

Joining HTSA is Integrated Media Systems, a Washington-area systems integrator founded in 1979 by Tom Wells. Wells, a two-term CEDIA board member, transformed the company from a commercial sound system business into the current full service, 27-installer residential operation based in Sterling, Va.

“We are honored to become an HTSA member and are excited about the benefits of such a membership,” Wells said. Added HTSA’s executive director, Richard Glikes, “Integrated Media Systems and Tom Wells continue the pattern of high profile, highly skilled custom integrators joining the ranks of Home Theater Specialists. The business is being recast before our eyes. Affluent customers are seeking expertise unavailable at big-box retailers. Our membership is adapting to reflect the ever changing buying habits of our chosen niche.”

The $500 million group expects to add three additional members by year’s end, Glikes said.

In other HTSA news, the group has launched its first Web site,, as part of a multimedia marketing campaign.

The informational consumer site features home theater guides and product primers, a glossary of terms, a gallery of room vignettes taken from member showrooms and a ZIP code-based dealer locator.

According to Glikes, the site also utilizes search engine optimization features to help place it on the first page of popular Internet search engines like Google and Yahoo! in response to key word queries like “plasma TV” or “home theater.”

The site, created with support from Sharp, is one element in a multi-pronged marketing effort developed to help raise the profile, traffic and sales of HTSA’s member dealers. To that end, the buying group has also produced two lighthearted TV spots — shot in high definition at the home of a Gramophone customer — that can be tailored to each dealer with customized voiceovers and shots of store exteriors.

In addition, HTSA will supplement its traditional newspaper inserts with an ambitious direct-mail program.

The multimedia marketing campaign was unveiled to dealers and vendors earlier this month at the group’s annual fall meeting, held this year at The Westin Grand hotel in Washington. The event, titled “The Fructuous Fall Pump Up,” featured a profit planning and financial analysis session; a store design and merchandising seminar led by author and consultant Paco Underhill; a visit to Gramophone’s Timonium, Md., showroom; a roundtable discussion on branding; a dinner cruise on the Potomac; and the election of new board members.