Crommunity Round-Up: Exploring the marketing activities ofKitchener-Waterloo's technology companies
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  • February

Crommunity Round-Up: January 2021

‘Twas a bit of a slow month in product marketing land as businesses took time to emerge from a little holiday hibernation, but we’ve still got some neat stuff in the January 2021 Crommunity Round-Up—starting with some excellent thought leadership from Magnet Forensics.

Need to catch up? Check out past Round-Ups

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Magnet Forensics picks the brains of DFIR professionals

As January drew to an end, Magnet Forensics released The State of Corporate Digital Forensics in Cybersecurity 2021 Report: Extracting experiences, unearthing insights, and pulling predictions from DFIR experts.

For the unfamiliar (and quoting from the report), “Digital forensics is a rapidly growing and continually evolving branch of forensic science that focuses on acquiring, analyzing and reporting on evidence from digital systems.”

This tight 20-page report examines the results of a survey of hundreds of digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) professionals who work in, or provide services to, the corporate realm. It’s a fascinating look at the field as perceived by its practitioners and is perhaps the first such large-scale examination. Why is that important? Because, “For an occupation and field that is all about extracting insights and discovering the truth, relatively little is known about the state of digital forensics in today’s corporations.”

In a single piece of content, Magnet Forensics has created a quantitative source of truth about corporate digital forensics and about the professionals who work in the field. It’s a fascinating look at demographics, job functions, case types, trends, challenges, and more. Plus, it even compares and contrasts between roles (e.g. executives, senior leaders, managers, and individual contributors) and between in-house DFIR personnel and DFIR consulting or professional services pros.

A winning content marketing tactic

This type of content is an important piece within a larger content marketing strategy, for a number of reasons.

First, the investment effort to produce a report like this one is predictable and finite, because the process is straightforward:

  1. Do a bit of thinking about project goals
  2. Prepare a survey
  3. Get a bunch of participants
  4. Crunch the results
  5. Share the results in an interesting way (report, webinar, social snippets, etc.)

Notably, the only variable outside your direct control is getting a bunch of participants. You have a few options here, including leveraging your own opt-in mailing list (you do have one, right?), sharing/promoting the survey in industry communities, or paying an analyst (recall SSIMWAVE’s Streaming Ahead in 2020 report).

Second, there are several ways that this type of project generates value for you:

  • Increasing awareness: because it’s educational and is the only source of such information, it is more likely to be consumed, shared, and cited—you even open the door to the possibility of becoming the go-to authority for a particular domain, potentially dramatically increasing awareness of your company and establishing your reputation as an expert within an industry or market
  • Creating demand: beyond the demand that rides the coattails of awareness, a report like this one can shine a light on the prevalence and importance of particular problems—problems that your company can solve
  • Providing your company with market intelligence: provided you have enough participants and have asked decent questions, the absolute worst case scenario outcome is that you gathered unique market intelligence that can inform a whole host of internal decisions (e.g. go-to-market strategy, product features, positioning, messaging, etc.)—a tremendous way to hedge your investment in this project

And of course, just because you gathered a bunch of information doesn’t mean you have to make it all public. Put the interesting-but-inert stuff in the report (knowing that competitors will see it) and keep all the goodies for your exclusive benefit.

Third, the info you gather can level-up pretty much all of your other content. For instance, compare these two statements:

  • “<Problem> is a common challenge in <industry>”
  • “X% of <industry> professionals experience <problem> on a day-to-day basis.”

The first is a weak, self-serving statement of opinion; the second is a confident assertion of a quantifiable fact. Adopting this latter version in your decks, sheets, etc., allows your value proposition to stand on a firm foundation; plus, you’re always pointing people over to your authoritative study, in a virtuous cycle.

All of these factors combine to make a well-executed survey-driven report exactly the type of asymmetric content—by which I mean the returns have the potential to vastly, vastly exceed the investment—that can generate amazing results for your company.

So what’s stopping you?

“Make asymmetric bets” is technique #5 in our 10 timeless techniques to make your marketing do more.

Bits and Bytes

Here are a few other January notables:

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Aaaand that’s a wrap.

If you want to nominate something for inclusion in the February round-up, then hit me up.