Singapore – When it comes to marketing strategies, thought leadership content may not be looked to as the most reliable, with its nature not necessarily one to be said as a ‘hard sell’. 

For one, thought leadership content banks on the bulk and credibility of content rather than, say, the impact and swiftness of creative copy. Thought leadership would also of course at the onset, require thought leaders, and this alone takes a process to establish or develop; however, when it comes to chief information security officers (CISOs) as consumers, the persuasion of thought leadership may be stronger than it is given credit for. 

According to research by Code Red, a global PR-communication security network, which surveyed 52 IT security decision-makers in Singapore, about 46 percent of CISOs in the country claim to have used thought leadership content when making a final decision to appoint a cybersecurity company. 

Furthermore, even if a deal has already been agreed on, thought leadership remains a paramount guide, with 38 percent of the surveyed CISOs increasing their business with an existing supplier because of strong thought leadership. 

According to the study, 83 percent of CISOs in Singapore would pay a premium to work with cybersecurity vendors that are simply thought leaders. 

Indeed, cybersecurity companies have a lot to learn from this insight. Not only is it an effective tool in building trust among potential customers, it’s that it also presents as a reliable way to manage retention among consumers, showing to be influential in every stage of the customer buying life cycle among CISOs.  

The effectiveness of thought leadership may be owed to the sophisticated nature of both the consumer and the vendor of this situation, with cybersecurity naturally being a complex product. The study just further proves that cybersecurity vendors ought to treat such type of content as a whole funnel tactic, rather than just top-line awareness. 

Studying further on how CISOs locate trusted thought leadership content, the research found three key approaches they use: independent research using keywords, reviewing content shared by friends or family, and reading trade media publications. 

“This ‘trusted triangle’ is the gateway between thought leadership and its target audience,” said Code Red. 

The study found that 73 percent of CISOs in Singapore measure credibility based on whether the content provides detailed information on the subject that they are interested in, with the same volume of respondents – 73 percent – confirming that IT and cybersecurity trade media is their preferred format of content.

Robin Campbell-Burt, CEO at Code Red, comments on the findings, “Thought leadership is a fundamental prerequisite for successful marketing campaigns, and the report findings are testament to that. Establishing yourself as an industry thought leader is no mean feat as it takes effort and persistence, but those who commit themselves to this marketing approach will gain an important competitive advantage and build value for stakeholders in their own business.”