Cybersecurity: the toughest job in marketing?

Imagine you’re an end-user client. Your whole firm is being thrown into the spin-cycle by digital disruption. Your business units are struggling with new customer demands. Your financial department and corporate treasury are having to integrate new payments channels, automate their AP/AR and use Big Data to work out what’s going on. Your board has consultants in – so a senior partner has sold them on an agile digital transformation and then shipped in a dozen 23-year olds who know nothing about your business and expect to be taught on the job while racking up as many billable hours as possible not solving your problems.

And then someone says. “What about cybersecurity?”

No wonder it’s hard to market cybersecurity solutions. You’re essentially trying to sell a software package into businesses struggling with dozens of legacy software packages, overwhelmed in every area of the business by people selling new software packages. Most of the people selling those software packages is a relatively small, relatively new start-up. And most are not yet doing a great job of differentiating their products from the competition or using real-world case studies and client stories to do so.

This is the reality of digital transformation. Executives and their teams are trying to keep the underlying business going while changing customer and supplier behaviours, new competition and revolutions in business processes threaten to destabilise the existing operations and offer new opportunities beyond them.

This partly explains why even companies with a developed IT staff infrastructure have tended to put cybersecurity low on their agendas: they are being judged on what boards see as existential threats to today's business, not the possibility of a problem tomorrow. But it's not the whole story.

Cybersecurity vendors have tended to ignore the fact that they sell software and have assumed that businesses will accept the critical nature of their products. They have done a poor job differentiating themselves from their competitors. They have presented their solutions as black boxes, hardly reassuring in a world in which end-users are being told that third-party suppliers are one of the largest sources of cyber risk. They have been slow to offer up transparent, detailed case studies and client implementation examples.

And let's face it. End users - as in most markets - are spoilt. Everyone is desperate to get in front of them. For them there really is such a thing as a free lunch.

So how do you jump the queue? How do you rise above the noise? How do you gain access and create visibility with clients struggling with the new, digital world?

With this group we hope to help you do just that.

- by Simon Brady, Managing Editor
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