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The second annual CyberMarketingCon is this week and I’m excited to moderate a panel session on Friday, September 25th at 11am ET focused on how thought leadership can help marketers reach and influence the CISO buyer — as we’ve seen time and again in Merritt Group’s Security practice. Panelists include Mike Raeder, former CISO and Management Advisor, as well as Ryan Shopp, CMO of Deep Instinct and Young-Sae Song, CMO of Bolster, Inc.

The crux of the panel discussion will center around this year’s Code Red* survey of 819 senior security decision-makers from the UK, US, France, Germany, Benelux, Singapore, UAE, Australia and New Zealand, which highlights the role of thought leadership and its impact on security purchasing decisions. The panel will include real-world perspectives from top cyber-focused CMOs and CISOs and address the following burning questions:

  • What is thought leadership and how does it influence cybersecurity purchasing decisions, especially during the era of COVID-19?
  • How do CISOs spend their time learning about new technologies and what types of marketing content, topics and media outlets do they find most valuable?
  • How have CMOs built thought leadership campaigns that have moved the needle, in terms of marketing and sales?

The panel will also debate some of the most unique takeaways from the Code Red survey, Inside the Mind of the CISO 2021 including:

  • 74% of security decision-makers said they would pay a premium to work with a cybersecurity vendor who is a thought leader in its market sector. 
  • 43% said they’ve used thought leadership content when making a final decision to select a cybersecurity company and 35% have grown their business with an existing supplier because of strong thought leadership.
  • 60% said they read trade media articles, 43% prefer videos and 38% utilize webinars, however podcasts, blogs and eBooks were all at the bottom of the list

Additionally, a key stat to call out — and one that many cyber marketers and PR teams will appreciate — is that 54% of survey respondents said they read cybersecurity and IT trade publications and 30% read national newspapers to get thought leadership content. This is notable because a lot of cyber marketers want brand visibility in Bloomberg, WSJ, CNBC and more. While it’s great to achieve high-profile placements in these types of media outlets, that’s not always where the audience (or core buyer) is that they want to reach. 

In our own Merritt Group research report, Marketing & Selling to the CISO: The 2020 Edition, we’ve found Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), who are also top decision-makers, seek out industry trade publications like DarkReading, SC Magazine, KrebsonSecurity, and CSO, among others. They often turn to their trusted peers when evaluating and making decisions on vendor products, too.

If you are a cyber marketing professional who wants to learn how thought leadership campaigns can impact your core buyers, please join us for this CyberMarketingCon panel this Friday! We’re confident it will not only unpack some great data with unique CMO and CISO perspectives, but it will also provide useful tips for cyber marketers as they build new marketing strategies, campaigns and collateral, and ultimately improve their overall thought leadership!

To join our session at CyberMarketingCon, please visit: 

*Code Red is a global alliance of cybersecurity-focused PR firms providing security vendors worldwide the support they need to enter and thrive in international markets. Contact Merritt Group to learn how we can help your global outreach succeed. 

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