Technology and innovation are what drive the world forward; however, it does bring new issues, challenges, and threats. No wonder cybersecurity has become more important than ever for every business, large or small. From hacking and phishing to stealing personal identification in the metaverse, the dangers expand every day. Thankfully, as in every Marvel Movie, there is always a light to fight the darkness. However, at this point, cyber threats still exceed the level of awareness needed to help businesses in reducing their cyber risks. But how can this awareness be increased?
In this article, we will cover three core takeaways after visiting UK Cyber Week, talking to dozens of cybersecurity companies that are making our digital world a better and safer place.
Learning from the competition is a challenge
Although historically speaking, cybersecurity is a relatively new industry; it was rapidly accelerated by the Pandemic. As all of us were forced to stay at home, our digital footprint increased massively. From online shopping to education, from medical consultations to digital health services, from online banking to home-based call centres, and of course, all things Zoom and Meets, we all moved online more.
Needless to say, the amount of sensitive information and its availability also skyrocketed, becoming an attractive target for cybercriminals. The world was in lockdown, but most (especially smaller) businesses were not fully ready to go fully digital, and so their vulnerability became exploited like never before.
This, in return, ignited innovation in cybersecurity. As the market emerged almost overnight, the competition became fierce, yet, almost invisible. Aside from well-known players who dominated the market even pre-pandemic, simultaneous product development led to the creation of many companies, MSPs, services, plugins, and platforms that were launched in a short period of time. These new cyberheroes populated the cybersecurity universe without knowing about each other (or at least without a chance to assess one another).
Luckily for us, there are many extraordinarily talented developers out there who can help our new digitised business world. Unfortunately for them, even if they account for only 0.01% (probably much less) of the population, this negligible number turns into plenty of competitors who came up with a brilliant yet very similar (in its purpose) idea within a very short period of time.
These short timeframes made brand differentiation very difficult. Many new players didn’t have an opportunity to learn and analyse the competition, as pre-launch, there wasn’t any.
Breaching the gap in user education
As we discussed protection against Malware, Ransomware, DDoS attacks, Spam and Phishing, and a whole range of abbreviations that we haven’t even heard of (and are working with some seriously big tech clients for many years), it became even more evident how technical this industry is (surprise surprise). The issue is…the target audience, especially in non-tech-driven industries, such as law, education, healthcare, and oftentimes finance, don’t know any of this. Some may know it all as “hacking”, but very few will know what any of the above-mentioned terms mean specifically, and it is even less likely that they will know how those attacks work and how exactly they can harm their businesses or arm themselves to defend against them.
As far as a less cyber-savvy user is concerned, these tools and services don’t even exist, since there is no way they can search for them, or understand that they are relevant even if they somehow come across some of the terms.
More advanced audiences, on the other hand, will be looking for reliability and/or a strong fresh USP that can bullet-proof their security. Without these essential pieces of the puzzle, both large and small prospects will proceed with a known cyber giant.
The solution would be to conduct in-depth research into the target audience, their pain points, challenges, goals, understanding of target personas, and decision-makers, as well as the level of awareness and education all parties have. This should translate into a comprehensive cybersecurity content marketing strategy that focuses on the challenges, solutions, and needs of your target audience. As important and impressive your features and specs might be, it is crucial to highlight the benefits it all brings to your prospects’ bottom line.
Expanding cybersecurity marketing reach and general awareness
Divide et vince (Divide and conquer).
This is probably my favourite Latin phrase as it is so suitable for cybersecurity marketing and advertising.
As we heard many times throughout Cyber Week, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important for E.V.E.R.Y.O.N.E. When asked “who your target audience” is, most answers were along the lines of “pretty much anyone”. While it is true, it cannot become your cybersecurity marketing messaging. Going too broad in your targeting generally (in any industry) leads to the overdiluting of information so that the whole narrative becomes muddled.
The main reason for it is the point we covered previously; different audiences have very different levels of education and awareness. So when targeting everyone, there is a high chance of being simultaneously too tech and too basic so it is more likely that no one will find your content and messaging persuasive.
Instead, you would want to identify each audience, their jargon (not yours), their pain points, and then create a very clear cybersecurity marketing strategy and sales funnel to capture each audience during various stages of their journey.
Services, solutions, industries, features, case studies, webinars, resources, PR, PPC, SEO, all digital elements and cybersecurity marketing efforts should have a clear structure and a seamless flow. This will not only increase lead generation, but it also increases lead quality and, therefore, reduce the cost per acquisition, shortens the sale cycle, and establishes clearer user expectations paving the way to higher customer retention rates in the future.
Making the digital world a better and safer place
Cybersecurity marketing can be tricky, and the balance between saving the world, reaching KPIs, growing awareness and all that while achieving the best ROI possible can be very difficult to master. However, as progress is inevitable, new technology is vital for businesses of all sizes. Sometimes, it is just a matter of finding the same language, which as digital marketers, we see as our mission.