Equip Your Marketing Team to Manage Increased Cyber Risk

Marketing professionals might be ready for the age of the customer but they aren’t necessarily equipped to manage the increased risks that it entails.

Once, corporate reputation was carefully guarded and managed. It was often a static thing requiring the involvement of advertising and public relations professionals to shape and change. Today, with web 3.0 tools and an increasingly digital world, the brand lives and breaths.

The marketer bears the brunt of triaging reputation after your corporate brand takes a hit. In fact, the marketer probably wastes too much time reacting. Tools exist to prevent many major hits to corporate reputation. But given the complex nature of a digital footprint, IT risk and security professionals need to be involved in digital risk protection to truly be proactive and preventative.

A Proactive Approach to Digital Risk

Risk and marketing should work together on digital risk protection activities for a proactive and preventative approach. A few things to consider in this brave new digital world:

1. Customers Play a Big Role in Brand Reputation

The customer plays a much stronger role in shaping brand reputation on and off your corporate social channels. In fact, marketers rely increasingly on customer feedback and input, which heightens the risk of rogue or unwelcome sentiments.

This means customer expectations are higher. If someone tweets about a long weight time during a telecom customer call, they likely expect (or would be pleasantly surprised) by a response. If a fake account responds instead of your customer service and a customer gets hacked, your brand will likely be blamed. We live in a world where customers expect you to mind your digital footprint, just as much as they expect to influence your brand.

2. Imposter Accounts Impact Your Brand

Fraudulent activities masquerading as your brand will impact your real corporate reputation. If you work for a medical device company you know the frustration and tragedy of having corporate IP ripped off and resold off-label: It can result in injury and/or death as well as reputation loss.

If you work for a corporation that guards the “secret sauce” and charges a bit more for newly released products, IP theft can damage revenue predictions.

3. Marketing Must Act to Mitigate Revenue Loss

Marketing typically “reacts” in situations like these. Whether it is to hire News and respond to a breaking news story that casts your organization in an unflattering light or whether its to help drive more leads for your organization to mitigate revenue losses from IP theft or something else, marketing ends up wasting valuable cycles on unplanned marketing activities instead of planned and revenue-driving activities.

Marketers typically monitor social and digital channels they manage neither un-indexed, deep, and dark web nor those social channels posing as your corporate brand. This means they are aware of activities and sentiments happening “on their turf” but not necessarily elsewhere.

The marketing budget is generally allocated toward communication and revenue generating activities. It’s logical for a marketer to monitor the channels they pay or allocate resources to put in play. It’s less natural, at least today, for a marketer to have the budget for risk management tools that facilitate digital risk monitoring for digital risk protection.

4. Marketing & Security Need to Talk and Collaborate

Companies need to start bringing marketing together with cyber security and have a digital risk protection conversation. It’s a shift in corporate governance with an ability to generally improve risk management conversations within your corporation. The shift won’t be easy. It will require re-imagining roles and responsibilities and rethink budget allocations.

Nevertheless, it’s well worth the effort. Proactive and preventative external threat management program saves money in the short and long run. And, it doesn’t have to be expensive with respect to getting the right tools in place.