It’s hard to describe just how unique cybersecurity is in comparison to other rapidly evolving industries, such as healthcare technology, Fintech and various B2B SaaS segments, such as supply chain tech and retail tech. While all of these industries are both transcendent and distinctive in their own ways, none of them move at the accelerated pace of cybersecurity, nor do they sell products and services within such a hyper-saturated competitive landscape.
I’ve written a lot in recent years about what marketers need to know about cybersecurity PR, how infosec analysts play such a major role in shaping the industry and most recently, about how cybersecurity journalists responded to marketing initiatives tied to COVID-19. To hear the perspective from the client side, we recently sat down with Sanna-Maaria Mattila, the senior manager of global PR and communications at cybersecurity client Irdeto, a leader in digital platform security. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: What drew you to cybersecurity marketing/PR and to your current role at Irdeto?
A: Several years ago, as a master’s student, I worked on a project with Irdeto; so I knew from firsthand experience what an innovative and fun company Irdeto is. Since then, Irdeto has always appealed to me, primarily because it is so active within many lines of businesses and constantly at the forefront of meaningful technological ingenuity. So, when I heard about the job opening, and saw that it aligned very closely with my skills, expertise and professional ambitions, I immediately became interested in learning more. Previously, my career spanned many different industries, most recently in the paints and coatings industry, but never in tech, so I knew that jumping to Irdeto would represent a dramatic change. However, that transition was further complicated by COVID-19. My tenure at Irdeto began right after the pandemic started to disrupt our daily lives in Europe. The challenges presented by the “first wave” had some impact on onboarding, as well as facilitating changes to the overall digital landscape. This disruption prompted a deeper and faster than usual learning curve beyond the inherent difficulties of learning a new industry. What a time to transition to cybersecurity!
Q: Irdeto has products that span several sectors of cybersecurity? What challenges does that present to you as a marketer and for your team?
A: Each business unit operates in a very different marketplace which has very different dynamics and product and service needs. We go from transport to healthcare and from video entrainment to video gaming and lots of technologies in between. Some of our products span across several sectors while some solutions are very specific to certain sectors. Our marketing team has three main pillars that drive success for the business:
- Tell the Irdeto Story – we are leaders in several markets, all at different stages of maturity and among those that value Irdeto for different reasons. Not only is it marketing’s job to stitch that story up at the top to ensure consistency of brand and tone horizontally, but we also need to fully understand what each segment values from the company, and ensure that all of our marketing efforts reflect that.
- Generate Top Line Value – By creating engagement opportunities at the right time, we ensure that we differentiate and create preference within key targets.
- Drive Company Culture – Our people are our biggest asset and marketing, as the owner of internal communications, drives engagement, connections and our reasons to believe. Being a regionally and culturally diverse company, it’s always been important to stay connected to our global colleagues. But now more than ever, the human touch and communicating our greater purpose as a company is important for everyone to feel that they are contributing meaningfully to a bigger cause. Everyone working from home at the moment has also increased the need to engage and bring our global teams virtually together to ensure everyone really feels part of the team.
Q: What are some of the lessons learned regarding cybersecurity marketing during your first year at Irdeto? What makes it different from some of your previous experiences?
A: The biggest difference is the need and ability to be agile and to witness how digital the industry is. My first year at Irdeto has been an unusual one due to the pandemic and how hard it hit everyone. A lot of traditional marketing practices, especially in the B2B marketing and PR space, went out of the window when COVID hit, and we all had to quickly think out of the box and rebuild our PR and comms strategy. I’m impressed with how quickly our team at Irdeto adapted and went digital on all marketing, PR and lead generation instead of relying on the usual industry practice of face-to-face meetings and industry events.
Q: What do you think 2021 has in store for the cybersecurity industry? If you could crystal ball one year out, what trends do you think might emerge in this crazy of industries?
A: I think digital marketing continues to play a significant role and some of the virtual events are here to stay, too. COVID has had an impact on and escalated a lot of industries we are active in and we had to adapt quickly. If anything, the pandemic has highlighted the need for healthy cybersecurity and anti-piracy practices, so I feel like we are in the right place at the right time.
Q: What propelled Irdeto to seek out an agency partner? What were some of the qualities you were looking for when conducting your search?
A: We needed to fill in a temporary shortage in headcount in our PR team to oversee North American PR and external communications. We also wanted an industry specialist to help us raise our brand awareness in the region. In particular, we needed someone to jump right in, hitting the ground running. I was keen to get an agency specialized in tech, and specifically cybersecurity, onboard, and came across ARPR in my search. My very first chat with ARPR confirmed that this could be a great match – and it has been!
For more information on ARPR’s cybersecurity practice group, download our playbook on the most common mistakes in cybersecurity PR.