Cybersecurity marketing in 2023 is a dynamic profession that moves as quickly as the technology that it seeks to promote. New work models and new approaches to creating content have impacted marketing. At the same time, some of the steady and reliable methods of social media use all factor into the marketing arena. In recent years, these have created new opportunities for cybersecurity marketing, while also improving some of the standard practices that have worked all along.
Adapting To Outsourcing
Recently, the technology industry has experienced a dramatic shedding of jobs that have not been seen in decades. Some companies have eliminated almost half of their entire workforce. The cause can be attributed to the difficulty in hiring that took place prior to the pandemic. There were millions of available jobs that remained vacant, and during the lockdown period, many folks leaned on the security of the job that they currently held, rather than risk moving to a new employer. Along with that, the lockdowns placed strains on technological readiness and supply chains.
For cybersecurity companies, the lockdowns created opportunities for growth, because every company around the world was affected and had to reevaluate their IT infrastructure and their cybersecurity posture all at the same time. What actually happened post-pandemic was that there were a lot of vacancies – especially in cybersecurity, that remained unfilled.
When businesses started to get back to functioning normally, it felt like cybersecurity companies were participating in a bit of a “land grab,” where the more people they employed and the more work they did, and the more tactical programs they launched, would potentially result in sales because of the effect of the pandemic. It felt like the more individual companies did, the more sales would result in that activity. However, that did not come to fruition. Ultimately, what happened was that companies that had taken on additional staff spent a lot of money on marketing activities, but didn’t see their sales numbers rise to match the proportion of that spend. This is a contributing factor to the massive layoffs that have been taking place.
What we have seen is that the layoffs are also proportionately higher in marketing. This is typical of this kind of cutback because it is far easier to cut back on things like staff training and marketing spend because it’s a simple switch that can be turned on and off very easily. Companies tend to immediately target those cost-saving activities. They can easily reduce the budget by cutting that type of department.
This created an opportunity for independent marketing firms by enabling companies to dedicate the same amount of budget to employ an external marketing agency that can provide a service without the other overhead of retaining employees. For companies like us, the alternative to a smaller marketing department to keep up the same level of activity is to outsource it so that it can be switched on and off very easily. For Bora specifically, the result has been an increase on top of our existing client list. Outsourcing provides a really good way for companies to maintain the level of service to their sales lead generation without having the overhead of staff.
Utilizing AI Imagery
Another interesting development in the marketing profession is the new popularity and accessibility of artificial intelligence to create content. So far, it seems to be useful for coding. If you can give it some criteria to work with, it can create a recipe or a knitting pattern. There is a broad spectrum of uses that will evolve like most new innovations. Whether it is good enough to write robust coding or to write a book or other tasks will depend on how the technology evolves. However, if we look back at the type of technology that’s evolved in the marketing and design industry, some of it completely eradicated certain services. For example, we used to rely on photographers to go out and take specific photographs, of certain scenarios that we wanted to include in the marketing materials we created. This was the birth of photo libraries and stock photography. Now, there is so much stock photography available, that it has obviated the need for new stock photography.
When the early photo libraries first started, they weren’t great to work with, the search function was terrible, and the images they contained weren’t very good at all. But that’s changed dramatically over 15 years. We can similarly predict that AI tools will develop and get better. Technology will refine and get better and will become more usable in our day-to-day lives than we can currently anticipate.
In the marketing profession, the images that are being created with AI are actually really interesting. It’s another evolving element of the stock photography scenario in that, we’ve gone from photographers to stock photography, to electronic retouching, to image creation that has unique elements that were previously unattainable for most people. It will be interesting to see how it evolves, but one thing is for sure, is that it will continually improve.
Social Media Selectivity
Social media has changed in recent years as well. At one time, Facebook was the predominant platform for sharing information. However, after many of the problems that it faced, whether from the social experiments it conducted on some of its members, to the sharing of information with third parties, the platform’s popularity has dropped dramatically. Recent shakeups at Twitter have also created too much tension for many of its members. LinkedIn, however, has remained a constant, reliable marketing tool.
For specific marketing business use, LinkedIn is by far the best for organic content or paid-for content. The audience is geared more towards sales and business development people, and although there isn’t a lot of potential for cybersecurity companies to reach people who influence decisions on purchasing, the platform still serves as a reliable delivery method for marketing content.
From a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) perspective, LinkedIn performs well, and there is the opportunity to add content, such as articles, to your LinkedIn page that is available by search. This can bring value in having an overall strategic plan for how you manage your LinkedIn account, and what you are trying to do with the different types of content that you can post, either organically or in paid-for campaigns. As a marketer, this enables you to take people through a “top of the funnel” experience, through the middle, and to the bottom of the funnel with LinkedIn, depending on the type of content you create. Ultimately, you can collect sales leads by directing them to certain assets that they’re either willing to provide contact details for, or in a paid campaign, you are promoting to a specific audience.
Just as all industries have experienced changes in recent years, and current upheavals in the technology industry continue to mount, there are also positive developments on the horizon. New directions in working relationships with technology, such as artificial intelligence, as well as older, proven methods, can be harnessed to thrive in this new environment. At Bora, we always look to find new ways to bring together many pieces of the puzzle to create the most effective marketing for our clients.