Cybersecurity Nip Tuck?
SaaS & BYOD Drives Marketing Makeover
Structural SaaS & BYOD driven trends ranging from the proliferation of Software-as-a-Service to the smart device rocket ship, to the Social Media bullet train (more security issues), underpin a great opportunity for a security industry “marketing makeover” (think killer security execs leveraging CPG branding like Pepsi, Coke, and Proctor & Gamble do… ).
Reminds me of how the marketing window flew open via convergence at Communications Service Providers (CSPs) when the Telecom Act of 1996 blew up the RBOC monopoly which had relegated marketing to afterthought status at Carriers for nearly 100 years!
I was fortunate to recruit some of the first serious marketing talent into the newly converged telecom space post Deregulation, and I am now seeing similar opportunities now in the security industry (this time driven by Hackers instead of Uncle Sam).
For the last few years we’ve been conducting mostly SaaS driven Cybersecurity searches (Crowdstrike, Netskope, Finsphere, Webroot) which come with a host of changes to several functions in the executive suite; DevOps vs Engineering, CFO/Ratable vs Perpetual License Accounting, Customer Success vs Customer Service, etc…
But in this post we’re addressing opportunities for the CMO.
Hear me out…
Changes in IT Security marketing over the last decade have been slow, but in the aggregate represent a significant transformation.
As pre-adolescent hackers out-gun Enterprise IT professionals with alarming regularity, new trends are converging under a Cloudy shadow, and all of this has amped the mystique around nextgen cybersecurity – a perfect storm for marketing execs to deliver greater value, and rock their careers!
The CISO’s organization has escalated the importance of proactive protection & forensic muscle in the end user world, but that’s a linear progression compared to the geometric rate of change occurring in the hacker world and security vendor ecosystem.
Disconnects between customer and technology vendor are less glaring now, but still significant, and offer opportunities for security companies to dial up their branding efforts as they solve new SaaS driven problems.
Re-branding is essential in security as the rate of change makes Moore’s Law look like a moped ride… (intriguing when you consider the 1965 white paper by Intel’s co-founder in the context Intel’s acquisition of McAfee in 2011).
I vividly recall that first Security CMO search we conducted in 2002. The state of marketing in security back then wasn’t as bad as pre-deregulation telecom, but my prior experience recruiting marketing execs in an environment where change agency & branding chops were table stakes has proven fruitful in the security arena.
Security was new to me at that point, so I did a rapid-fire assessment of “marketing” execs in the space, and (regardless of their titles) found the field dominated by engineers, sales and finance guys – in fact, most folks carrying a CMO title had never driven a big muscle branding initiative.
After presenting this data to the board, we launched the CMO search on a vector targeting a combination of tech industry marketing, and CPG branding experience (good luck right!?)… I eventually discovered a former Pepsi marketing exec working in Fraud Protection Software, and we had successful outcome, but he was definitely an anomaly.
Given today’s SaaS and BYOD threats, the growing importance of aggressive rebranding affords terrific opportunities to the nextgen Cybersecurity CMO!