How do you prove your value when your current customers want to keep their relationship with you a secret?
Case studies are challenging for many businesses. Cybersecurity companies have an even harder time generating the necessary proof points to help prospects justify a purchase. Even satisfied users often don’t want to reveal security products and services they employ or admit to flaws that drove them to seek help from a security vendor in the first place.
When data isn’t available from your customers, you need a different way to tell your story. We’ve found that with cybersecurity companies, one of the most effective strategies is to aggregate and analyze data across a wide range of users. With this approach you can avoid naming any individual customer and identify trends that demonstrate broader impact for your target audience. Those data points become talking points for sales conversations, media briefings and investor calls that build your authority and make your case.
Depending on your resources, there are a number of ways to develop unique, data-backed content.
1. Free assessments provide great data
If you have the ability to offer a free trial of your product, you can collect lots of data from a large group of users — not just paying customers. Services such as free assessments will highlight common problems faced by customers and could allow you to compare and contrast findings across company type, industry, age, software or other factors.
For example, cyber startup NormShield offers a limited version of its Executive Risk Scorecard online. By analyzing results for the 140+ organizations that completed the assessment, NormShield was able to demonstrate the most common areas of risk, score the level of risk, and compare findings across different types of respondents. NormShield used the data to explain the need for its product in sales calls, investor briefings and interviews with major media.
2. Third-party surveys add credibility
Partnering with an industry analyst lends instant authority to your findings and ensures that data you collect is statistically significant.
We recently helped Metalogix create a joint study with cybersecurity analysts at Ponemon Institute which demonstrated the security risks of collaboration and file share tools.
With this data in hand, Metalogix was able to reach a new audience of information security experts and make the case for its automated security and information governance solutions. IT and security news outlets picked up the story, key social media influencers commented on the findings, and several hundred downloads of the survey report drove new sales pipeline.
3. DIY surveys get you started
If you don’t have the budget to partner with a third party, you can execute a survey yourself using tools like QuestionPro or SurveyMonkey and your email database and social media outlets.
We help mail security provider SoBran produce an annual survey on attitudes and tactics used to combat mail terrorism. The resulting content provides a platform to demonstrate best practices for mail screening and helps prospects justify working with an expert partner.
Research and data analysis are fodder for an ongoing pipeline of unique content that no one else in your industry will have. It helps you build authority as a thought leader contributing to the knowledge base of the industry and helping customers make informed decisions.
Think you have some interesting data that helps you tell your story? Interested in creating some original data? Let’s talk.