How European Companies Can Best Market Compliance Programs
Is your organisation getting maximum value from its compliance program? Each compliance report or certification you possess is more than just a document — it’s an affirmation to your customers, prospects, and partners that your company understands the importance of cybersecurity and is fully capable of safeguarding sensitive information.
To spread the word about the assessments that have been completed and what they actually mean, your organisation needs to identify and leverage all available opportunities to market your compliance program and drive new revenue into the business.
Whereas companies in the U.S. — especially in the tech industry — can be quite enthusiastic about promoting their various certifications and achievements, organisations in Europe tend to be a bit more subdued when it comes to compliance marketing. Read on to explore the top tips you should be using to market your unique competitive advantage: compliance.
Publish a Press Release
The press release is a cornerstone piece of compliance marketing material that is used to announce your organisation’s achievement in successfully completing a cybersecurity assessment. Whether it’s produced by the marketing department, a public relations firm, or written yourself, all compliance-related press releases should be brief (roughly 300-400 words) and get straight to the point.
Each press release will focus on one main idea. When strategising for a release, ask yourself, “What is the key takeaway for readers?” Write your answer down as a statement and use that assertion as the backbone of the writeup. For example, that statement might be, “We have successfully obtained a SOC 2 report, proving our commitment to protecting customers’ information and expanding the business on a global scale.”
While press releases are formal announcements intended to share breaking news about your company, that doesn’t mean they have to be boring or confined strictly to the minutiae of official names and dates. Talk about your accomplishment without using technical jargon and try to answer any questions that the average reader might have, such as:
- Why did your business conduct this assessment?
- What are the key impacts or benefits?
- Does it change the way your customers do business with you?
- How does the certification or report reinforce your company values?
Flavour your press release with direct quotes from your senior management as well as your auditor. Ultimately, you want all the facts surrounding the assessment to be placed in the context of how your customers and partners will benefit.
Pro tip- When writing, include the most important information at the top of the press release. If the reader stops after the first paragraph, this writing structure ensures they have still acquired the key message.
Update Your Website
Because your company’s website serves as an “always-on” marketing tool, it needs to effectively communicate your compliance achievements. Showcasing these credentials on your website shows that you take cybersecurity seriously and can be trusted with different types of information.
While some documents like a SOC 3 report are intended to be shared publicly, most compliance reports are reserved for situations where a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is in place. That’s why updating your website often entails adding social proof (such as certification badges) to indicate that you have completed certain assessments without revealing all the sensitive details.
You can also use your website to host educational materials about the security principles and policies behind different assessments as well as your organisation’s unique philosophy on information security and privacy.
Supercharge Sales Enablement
Another valuable use case for compliance reports and certifications is sales collateral. In marketing parlance, sales enablement materials can be considered more “bottom of the funnel” compared to press releases and educational resources because they can be directly tied to deals closed and revenue earned.
Compliance reports allow your sales team to build trusting relationships by bridging audit requirements and the prospect’s organisational needs. Identify people on your sales team who are willing to experiment with new techniques and work with them to identify how your cybersecurity assessments could be used to give your company a competitive advantage. Ask questions like:
- Do our customers ever ask us to fill out a security questionnaire?
- At what point in the sales process do we typically position our technical strengths?
- What teams and job titles care about security the most?
- Which of our competitors have not gone through the audit process that we could call attention to?
From these conversations your marketing and sales teams can work together to drill down specific language about the benefits of compliance to use across emails, phone calls, and enablement content. While your plan will depend on the specific needs of your organisation, here are some examples of sales materials you might consider:
- Battlecard: This is a single, comprehensive resource that salespeople can use to articulate various details about the report, as well as guidance for handling common questions or objections that may arise. This may take the form of a one-pager within an internal training system, a printed resource that gets delivered to each member of the sales team, or even just a list of bullet points that is distributed via email.
- Presentation slides: Your sales team likely has a standard presentation deck they use when meeting with customers. Help them put together a few slides to include in the presentation that displays your report and includes high-level information about what it means and why it is valuable. Be sure to include information about the independent auditor you used to pass the assessment.
- Proposal template: Include a reference to your audit report in your standard proposal template. Because this document is a culmination of all your strongest selling points combined with the financial proposal that is sent to the customer, it’s a great place to give a concise statement on how you take your customers’ security seriously.
Leverage Your Community and Partners
For maximum reach, look beyond your own website and marketing channels to distribute messaging about your organisation’s compliance achievements. This might include opportunities like guest blogs, webinar speaking engagements, engaging on social media, or getting a piece of your content placed in an industry newsletter.
The key to this type of marketing is to avoid being self-promotional — instead, focus on the compliance benefits your organisation has realised and why other businesses would want to replicate your success. Many companies have not been through the cybersecurity audit process and may feel overwhelmed when approaching such an endeavour for the first time. By strategically sharing the high-level knowledge you’ve acquired, you can establish key figures in your organisation as thought leaders in this area, which increases recognition of your business as a symbol of compliance excellence in your industry.
Some of the security professionals you have on staff have likely picked up compliance best practices from their peers at other companies. Giving back to the community and sharing your story is a great way to establish your reputation as a champion of compliance for everyone.
Building Trusting Relationships Through Compliance Marketing
Effective compliance program marketing is all about nurturing relationships of trust with your customers, prospects, and partners. In many ways, the work of passing the assessment is the hard part. Now all you must do is strategise about how you will let people know, “Look what we did!” Hopefully the tips listed above will help put you on the right path to devising a compliance marketing strategy that is well-suited to your organisation.
If you are looking to review your organisation’s entire information security program to identify areas where a new assessment would have the greatest impact, A-LIGN can help.