Cybersecurity: 5 Things B2B Market Researchers Need to Know

Sean Campbell
Authored bySean Campbell

On this episode of the B2B Market Research podcast, we talk about five things B2B market researchers and competitive intelligence professionals need to know about the cybersecurity industry.

Cybersecurity: 5 Things B2B Market Researchers Need to Know

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During this podcast, we cover five things B2B market researchers and competitive intelligence professionals need to know about the cybersecurity industry:

  • Why the growth of the industry is good news for B2B market researchers.
  • How cybersecurity threats affect business leaders and IT.
  • Why service providers are a crucial part of the puzzle.
  • Want to recruit a cybersecurity professional? Here’s how to do it.
  • How to use cybersecurity communities to mine sentiment.

Thank you for listening to this episode! If you enjoyed it, please feel free to share it using the social media buttons on this page.

Speaker: Sean Campbell, Cascade Insights’ CEO

[Modified Transcript]

Cloud Computing, Funny Devices And Cloud Design

Hi, everyone. I’m Sean Campbell, Cascade Insights’ CEO, and I want to welcome you to the podcast. If this is your first time listening, thanks for joining. This podcast is produced roughly three to four times a month, and show transcripts are posted on our blog.

While you’re on our site, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and check out our ebooks. Finally, if you have any comments about the show, topics you would like us to cover, or guests you would like us to interview, feel free to send me an email at sean [AT] cascadeinsights.com.

Now, let’s get into the show. We’ll going to talk about the five things B2B market researchers or competitive intelligence professionals need to know about the cybersecurity industry.

Why the growth of the cybersecurity industry is good news for B2B market researchers

The cybersecurity industry is basically in a gold rush mode.

First off, the cybersecurity industry is basically in a gold rush mode. For example, the RSA conference, a premier security event, had record attendance this year. I attended, and I didn’t see many sad faces from the vendor community.

In addition, a number of cybersecurity articles have talked about how this new emphasis on cybersecurity is equivalent to a new Silicon Valley gold rush. Right now there is a lot of emphasis on players in the cybersecurity middleware space, including managed security services, Internet of things (IoT) focused security plays and a wide array of data security and privacy products. So obviously, this is a pretty big space and it’s pretty hot.

What does the growth of the cybersecurity industry mean for you though as a market research or competitive intelligence professional?

In short, there are strong opportunities for market research teams to engage with security-focused stakeholders, discuss their research needs, and build research agendas aligned with those needs. This is true even for security products, since recent breaches beg reexamining cybersecurity solutions in a new light.

How cybersecurity threats affect both business leaders and IT

Cybersecurity is just as much a business decision as it is an IT decision.

Cybersecurity is just as much a business decision as it is an IT decision. Obviously, no one wants to be the next Sony or Target. There’s a great visualization on this from Information is Beautiful which lays out some of the world’s biggest data breaches. Some of the businesses included on the list are Home Depot, AOL, Target, UPS, Evernote, Adobe and Domino’s Pizza.

The public sector isn’t immune either. The U.S. military has had breaches, the Department of Veterans Affairs has had breaches and so on.

When a breach occurs, business leaders are concerned about the damage to their company’s public image, while IT leaders are concerned about the breach itself. Hence, if you’re analyzing cybersecurity threat products, you’ll need to interview folks on the business side and the IT security side. You want to make sure you look at both perspectives.

Why service providers are a crucial part of the puzzle

Considering service providers is key – and looking at influencers and partners that are driving the cybersecurity sales process forward is vital. Partners are a fundamental component in a typical security monitoring effort; they’re used for forensics and incident response, security audits and penetration testing.

Hence, B2B market researchers and CI professionals need to interview more than just the business side and the internal security team. Include service partners so you have a complete picture of the landscape for a given cybersecurity solution.

Want to recruit a cybersecurity professional? Here’s how to do it

If I were to summarize the nature of the ideal cybersecurity market research recruit, I’d characterize them as a bit paranoid and relatively difficult to attract. That’s mentioned somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but there is truth to it.

That said, Cybersecurity folks are often easy to identify. They stand out amongst the IT crowd and the developer crowd. They’re not likely to be found on a panel. The reason for that is pretty clear.

The cybersecurity solution recruits that you’re going to want to look are focused on solving real problems – today.

The cybersecurity solution recruits that you’re going to want to look are focused on solving real problems – today. With new products and new solutions to help them meet these business demands. By definition, these are nascent products with newer customer bases.

Unfortunately, a typical panel provider is likely to be more focused on giving you AWS customers or VMware customers (i.e. products that have been in market for some time) hence that same panel provider isn’t going to be able to provide the cybersecurity professionals you want. Therefore you’re going to have to do some hand-picked recruiting.

In addition, due to the wariness that comes by nature of their profession, ideal recruits can be hard to schedule. They are suspicious of emails that come out of the blue. You’re going to have to think long and hard about how you word your email so it doesn’t come across as a phishing attempt.

In sum, if you steer clear of panels and do your own recruiting, these folks are easier to find.

Once you identify them, cybersecurity professionals can also be harder to entice than the typical recruit. Incentives will have to be a little higher and they’ll want more information on who you are (research firm identity and client identity) than the average candidate.

How to use cyber security-specific communities to mine sentiment

My final point centers on the number of cybersecurity specific communities that are out there. Security, as an IT discipline, has been with us for a long time. It just hasn’t had quite the same emphasis until recently.

A variety of cybersecurity communities are being pumped up, from LinkedIn-specific groups to federally-funded initiatives like CyberCompEx or industry associations like the Information Systems Security Association. In short, there are a lot of different places you can go to – if you want to interact with cybersecurity professionals.

With that, I want to wrap up this episode of the B2B Marketing Research podcast. Thanks for listening! If you have any questions about the podcast, feel free to email me at sean@cascadeinsights.com.

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