4 Ways to Crack Your Security Marketing Code
July 28, 2017
Consider this alarming statistic: 84% of organizations have experienced a security breach, but 74% don’t know where the breach originated. For security marketers, statistics like these—which stand to increase as threats emerge—present new and compelling opportunities to leverage the power of sales and marketing when going after security pros, tech’s most elusive audience.
In today’s new-normal world of security, it's increasingly difficult to break through industry guise and differentiate solutions and services in a crowded marketplace. Across the security landscape, there are numerous vendors to engage and choose from, each with a unique product focus, such as:
● Endpoint protection
● Data Loss Prevention (DLP)
● Network Firewall
● Identify and Access Management (IAM)
● Unified Threat Management (UTM)
● And many others…
We gathered a few key questions from today’s security customers, asking them:
Who does what within the organization? Is there overlap of vendors? What pieces in the industry don’t we have covered?
To us, these inquiries imply that large vendors risk being overtaken by smaller players who are honing in on various industry niches. So, for a moment, let’s step into your customers’ shoe. In addition to bearing the weight and responsibility of securing every employee, end user, and piece of data, they are:
Responsible for protecting their organization from external and internal threats and breaches that could cause a highly-wounded reputation or business failure
Attempting to navigate the ever-changing landscape while simultaneously spammed with messages from vendors
Trying to interpret each vendor’s message but are unsure who to trust or how each is different
Customers are pulled in many directions and often tune out marketing when focusing on internal fires, plugging leaks, and investigating alerts—no surprise, since their job, credibility, and reputation is on the line.
Today’s Golden Opportunity For Security Marketers
To tackle all of the challenges listed above, now is the time to seize a golden opportunity and position your security product uniquely in the marketplace with a different approach than your competition. How? Here are a few actionable tips you can put to use:
1. Cultivate Strong Relationships
One of the fundamental ways your organization can differentiate and position itself as a partner and thought leader is to develop content and helpful messaging that moves beyond simple sales tactics. Afterall, no one likes to talk about their company's security challenges—especially the individual that’s tasked with ensuring the organization is secure. So how do you win their trust and partnership?
This is where marketing needs to be in fierce alignment with sales and have their finger on the pulse of the latest security issues. Rather than pushing demos alone, build up a cache of content and tip sheets that specifically help your customers navigate the confusing and constantly-changing security world throughout the implementation process and beyond. Through all communication, make sure they know your mission is to keep them out of the headlines.
Remember to inspire trust and instill value in enterprise contacts which will eventually lead to long-term partnerships. For example, solutions business CDW sets a good example of how security organizations can create meaningful and engaging content that’s supremely beneficial. An example is one of their recent resources which analyzed and interpreted 4,000 security assessments.
2. Expand Your Messaging (And Reach!)
Security issues don't just impact the company and its employees—there can be big implications for vendors and customers as well. Your customers want to feel the safest and best protected by your products and services—and their constituents want to feel that protection, too. So think bigger about who you're reaching with your messages and content.
You more than anyone understand that the topic of security isn’t one-size-fits-all, so your messaging shouldn’t be either. Rather than tackle the world of security head on—from end-users to decision makers—get into the weeds and address issues your customers deal with on the ground floor. Help them find the leaks, plug them, and prevent them in the future by expanding your messaging. The result of doing so? A honed in message and also, an expanded reach to your market.
3. Embrace Your Uniqueness
Just like you tune out sales pitches, so do your customers—especially since carefully avoiding spam and phishing schemes is high on everyone’s radar. This cohort wants authenticity and uniqueness, meaning they want to have the ability to say something differently and use creativity to stand out in an otherwise stale landscape that's traditionally been dominated by a few heavyweights.
With all of the news concerning breaches and threats at large companies, security has become a mission critical topic for the enterprise. That’s why it’s important to understand what your competitors are saying—and identify how your content can say it better. For example, ask yourself how your solution can help customers solve tangible problems. What unique marketing channels will deliver the most value and relevance to your audience?
4. Decision By Committee
Everyone in the company cares about and is affected by security. A single security failure can cost an organization dearly. So expect that those deciding on the best security solution for their needs to represent a variety of departments including IT and beyond—like finance, operations legal and procurement, to name a few.
It’s nearly impossible for security companies to hone in on a single contact in an organization and be successful in their marketing approach. Like many tech purchases, not only are end users and decision makers involved, but an entire corporate committee and perhaps, a Board of Directors oversees the final purchase.
To successfully navigate the complex process, security marketers can put Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to use and identify, target and build relationships with stakeholders across the organization who are invested in the decision. Marketers can utilize LinkedIn’s unique Account Targeting capabilities to target all members of the buying committee with tools like Sponsored Content, InMail, Dynamic and Display Ads, and even Text Ads.
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