Merritt Group Blog

What Market Forces Are Shaping CSO Buying Decisions for 2016?

We hope  you’ve been enjoying our “Marketing to the CSO” blog series.  If you’re just joining us, you’ve picked a good place to start! This series has been a lot of fun for our Security Practice Group and is based on our 16+ years of working in the cybersecurity industry with dozens and dozens of vendors, conversations with actual CSOs and our aggregation of secondary industry research.  The latter is what we’re going to cover today.

So what is really driving CSO buying decisions? Yes, the obvious answer is based on the fact that the CSO’s job is to reduce the company’s risk profile and do whatever it takes to keep the company’s name out of breach headlines. After all, that’s what keeps CSOs up at night.

However, it’s not an easy job, especially when you consider that the attack surface grows daily as sophisticated cyber criminals relentlessly try to find creative ways to breach networks and steal intellectual property and other sensitive data.

So in our quest to help security marketers better understand the security buyer, we scoured the web for some research from trusted third parties that might help when putting together your 2016 marketing plans:

  • Security budgets aren’t overflowing - even if they should be. 93% of CSOs reported security budgets will increase or remain the same in the next year. Organizations expect to increase security budgets by 11% overall, but that’s only an increase of 6 percentage points since 2012. (IDG Enterprise’s 2015 State of the CSO Survey)
  • Not surprisingly, security staff and management are *really* the ones responsible for most product/buying decisions. More than two-thirds of security staffs are responsible for evaluating products and services, and more than two-thirds of security management are responsible for recommending/selecting vendors. (2014 CSO Security Buying Dynamics Study)
  • CSOs rely on peers to help with their purchasing decisions. They also attend events and conferences to learn more about new security technologies they should invest in. (IDG Enterprise’s 2015 State of the CSO Survey)
  • IT buyers are very reliant on content and media, including white papers, case studies and online videos, to effectively compare vendors and get information on the solutions that will best solve their technology problems. More than 70% of survey respondents also indicated that they consult content that is developed by both third-party experts (most likely industry analyst firms like Gartner, Forrester and others) and technology vendors when conducting research. (TechTarget’s Media Consumption Research Brief)

These are just some quick highlights of the research we found! For more research and insights into how best to market to the CSO, please check out our new eBook, “Reaching and Understanding the Chief Security Officer Buyer.”

Download the CSO Marketing eBook!

 

Topics: Security CSO