017 | The True Nature of Thought Leadership with Tony Anscombe | Studio CMO

Podcast by | July 20, 2020 Interviews, Positioning and Messaging

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The Episode in 60 Seconds

B2B companies often communicate about their product or applications of their product and then check the box of asserting “thought leadership.” They’re missing it.

Chances are: you know the issues and challenges facing the industry you serve. And I am not just talking about the ones that your product solves directly, but the ones facing the broader domain.

Have you cultivated a point of view that shows the depth of your “get it?” Do you have something to say about how those issues should be addressed?

Tony Anscombe joins us today to help us frame a better picture of thought leadership.

Our Guest

Tony Anscombe is the Chief Security Evangelist for ESET. With over 20 years of security industry experience, Anscombe is an established author, blogger and speaker on the current threat landscape, security technologies and products, data protection, privacy and trust, and Internet safety.

His speaking portfolio includes industry conferences RSA, CTIA, MEF, Gartner Risk and Security, and the Child Internet Safety Summit (CIS). He is regularly quoted in security, technology and business media, including BBC, The Guardian, the New York Times, and USA Today, with broadcast appearances on Bloomberg, BBC, CTV, KRON and CBS.

Show Notes

Tony frequently writes for welivesecurity.com, ESET’s blog. This blog includes frequently updated articles filled with deep research into security matters.


Tony creates a weekly video for ESET for a series called “Week in Security” on YouTube and ESET’s site.


ESET is a “hidden champion” in the security space, a concept inspired by the book Hidden Champions which goes behind the scenes to uncover many companies and products that power the world’s greatest brands.

American Express’ Putting People First program

Tony illustrated some of his points talking about the challenges of deepfake that are on the horizon.

The 2020 Election
The most recent UK election
Deepfake audio

Thought leadership isn’t for everyone. If you want to be a thought leader, you need to:

  • be ready to open your ears and listen before you begin creating content
  • be patient and diligent, because becoming a thought leader in your space doesn’t happen overnight — even if there isn’t steep competition.
  • invest time, strategy, and patience

Read more in Golden Spiral’s article on the matter.


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Mark Whitlock: (00:00) Two words, thought leadership, what do they mean? How do you accomplish it? Why are some B2B tech companies better at it than others today on Studio CMO, we’re going to talk to a man whose life work has been thought leadership and it works.

Mark Whitlock: (00:15) Welcome to Studio CMO I’m Mark Whitlock. Our host is John Farkas and my sidekick Angus Nelson is along for the ride today as well. We’re going to listen back to a conversation recorded at the RSA conference in February in San Francisco and John, our guest today essentially gives us a look at all of the pieces necessary for genuine and successful thought leadership. Doesn’t he?

John Farkas: (00:52) It is super common for B2B companies to communicate things about their product or applications of their product, and then check the box of asserting thought leadership. Well, they’re missing it. Chances are, you know, the issues and challenges facing the industry you serve, and I’m not just talking about the ones your product solves directly, but the ones facing the broader domain. Have you taken the time to cultivate a point of view that shows your depth of your “get it” and have something to say about how those issues should be addressed? Our guest today lives that every day he’s going to help us frame a better picture of thought leadership. Welcome to Studio CMO.

Angus Nelson: (01:39) And we’re talking to Tony Anscombe the Chief Security Evangelist for ESET this little company that’s only been around for just a couple of years, right?

Tony Anscombe: (01:47) Absolutely. Absolutely. And I’m a little, well, we’re about 1600 people, so we’re not so little.

Angus Nelson: (01:52) Is it like a, I remember listening to something you said it was like, you want to say 200 companies, but you actually call them units or something like there’s a different term you use for all the places that you said is a part of it.

Tony Anscombe: (02:04) Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we’re, we’re actually, we have representation in over 200 different countries. So through our channel partners, through distribution and channel partners and in a number of those countries, we have a where we’ve got significant business, we have a decent presence. So for example, here in the U.S. You know, there’s an East set office in San Diego. Um, so yes, but the channel is really important. You, you know, you can’t cut, it’s difficult to cover the world as a, as a smaller, smaller vendor, um, and internationalizing in that way as good.

Angus Nelson: (02:36) And when you came on, um, a little over two years, almost three years ago?

Tony Anscombe: (02:40) three years ago.

Angus Nelson: (02:40) three years ago, and you came from marketing background and then came to this where you got a company, how did you jump into this and, you know, take on this role and champion it right from the get go.

Tony Anscombe: (02:51) Well, if we go back slightly further, um, I’m going to give myself what I believe is some credibility here, right? I started life as a, a coder in Copeland FORTRAN. And you guys look old enough to actually know what I’m talking about.

John Farkas: (03:05) Don’t be scared, be scared by the word FORTRAN

Tony Anscombe: (03:09) Well, at assembler, I used to do machine that machine cutting assembler so well. So that’s going back some, some time. Um, but I ended up working for a number of what I define as very serious security companies. So companies that were doing, uh, military contracts and government contracts in the UK, uh, and I decided to take a break and somebody turned and said to me, um, during this break, I just knocked down a wall in a bathroom and the phone rang and they said, could you come and see me? Uh, we’ve got this great opportunity. There’s this company over in Germany, you should go and talk to. I got on a plane, went to see them in Germany and left the wall half… You can imagine how the wife is feeling in this moment. Um, and I looked at the technology, this company in Germany had, and, uh, actually worked out that the best thing they could do is not, is not trying to internationalize with a, a product that was predominantly business orientated, but actually go after a consumer market. And that’s kind of where, where my career changed more across into, I would say the marketing side and the commercial side, because it was at that point where they actually, the guy who owned the company turned around and said, yeah, but we don’t do that . We do business products, we don’t do consumer products. And he threw the plan back across the table and said, you do it. And I said, okay. Two and a half years later, I took them from 8 million users to 80 million users. And that’s where my marketing background came from. And this was a small family run business in Southern Germany. No, not anymore.

Mark Whitlock: (04:42) Yeah. That type of growth is it’s unwieldy. It’s top heavy. What were some of the challenges that you saw from a marketing standpoint of the rapidity of that to manage?

Tony Anscombe: (04:55) I think in the security arena, you were in a transitional phase, it was kind of at that point where security required lead it to become normalized. Whereas up until that point, it was disruptive, but not criminal. I mean, it’s always been criminal, but there’s a distinct difference in stealing identity or stealing money becomes truly criminal. Yeah. Being disruptive while it’s, it may be against the law. It’s just disruptive. It needed people to understand that you actually had to have good security software. You had to have it installed on your machine. It had to be running in the right way. So actually it was around, you know, providing people with the option to have that on their machine at, at a price point where they understood, um, and it quickly commoditized. So I went from that company to another company that did something reasonably similar, uh, which we then went public, which was good. Um, it was a great experience. And then here I am at ESET, which is great. Yeah.

John Farkas: (05:53) That’s a great segue. Why don’t you just tell us about what ESET is about like, what are as you look at security, what is your corner of the world and how are you, how are you protecting people in that context?

Tony Anscombe: (06:04) We have the whole world. Firstly, ESET is a family-owned business. Um, and when I say family-owned, it’s, it’s what I defined by that is it’s the original founders. So it feels like a family-owned business. Uh, so it’s privately held. And I think that’s really super important. If you look at the pressures of public companies or companies with private equity or venture capital behind them, you know, they’re either working on a three month time scale or, you know, they’re working because the private equity company wants a 10 X out, you know, wants to rip the company’s dividends out on the way and all those, all those sorts of things. When you work for a company that’s still owned and completely funded by its founders, then the moral and ethical reason they started the company is still how the company runs.

John Farkas: (07:01) You can have a clearer mission focus, right?

Tony Anscombe: (07:03) So if you look at ESET, the founders originally started, um, actually before, before the [Berlin] wall came down. Wow. So they, they actually created a product that you then commercially couldn’t sell it. And they were providing it to friends and family. When the wall came down, it, it became a commercial company, but those ethos is still there. So for example, if you go to welivesecurity.com our blog site, what you’ll see is some deep research. And it’s an easy question for somebody to turn and say, well, how does that relate into product? How, how does it help you sell more product? Well, actually our research has researched what they want to research. So if they see something interesting, they go off and research, it, it doesn’t always translate into, into product, but them having a deep knowledge about cyberthreats and how malicious people work, that piece does translate into product because that expertise becomes part of the product strategy.

Tony Anscombe: (08:02) Um, I’ll give you a great example. A couple of years ago, we, a couple of our researchers found, uh, the second Ukrainian blackout. They found that it was an infection in, in, in an industrial control system. So, you know, there’s boxes that sit on walls that we don’t think do anything cause laymen. Yeah. They found that it was an infection in there. Yeah. And to our knowledge, that was one of the first, you know, that one of the first ICS infections in that way, uh, and was attacking infrastructure. How, how can you protect that? Or you can to protect the environment around that, but there’s nothing you can run on an ICS system in that way to protect it. But was the research super valuable? Yeah, absolutely.

John Farkas: (08:45) Yeah. Lots of contextual learning there that helped inform other opportunities. Yeah.

Tony Anscombe: (08:49) And it raises the awareness. It gets people to understand that actually they should be protecting infrastructure. And now if you look at Department of Homeland Security, I mean, they run frequent, uh, frequent seminars and webinars on protecting critical infrastructure. You know, we were talking about this three years,

John Farkas: (09:07) How would you describe just in a nutshell, what your purview is, the whole world, doing what?

Tony Anscombe: (09:11) So he said are an endpoint security company. I mean, that’s the first way to look at it. However, we’re also kind of, there’s, there’s a great book actually called Hidden Champions about companies and ESET aren’t in this, it’s a German book and it talks about German companies that you might know their products, but you don’t know the company. And actually, I think ESET is one of those hidden champions. It’s like that. If you’re an ESET user, you probably have it on your machine. You’ve probably had it there for years and you probably use ESET and are really happy, but you probably don’t know. ESET, and if you don’t know, ESET, and not using our technology. If you started using it in five years time, you’d still be using it because it’s one of those products that sits there and does exactly what it says on the tin.

Tony Anscombe: (09:54) It doesn’t bug you. It doesn’t say anything. Yeah. It doesn’t say too much. And it just sits there in the background protecting you. Um, now I say, even if you don’t have it on your machine, I’m looking at your MacBook here on, on, on, on the desk. Yeah. I’d like to think you have something on here securing your MacBook. Cause there are viruses on max, by the way. Yes, there are. But do you run Chrome? So he has, and he has ESET on his machine in, in deep, in crime. Isn’t ESET engine. Hmm. Wow. So the good news is he’s protected by us in some way. So there you go. There’s, there’s the hidden, and that’s my point. It’s the hidden champion. We’re in the background providing all that protection for people. I’m looking at your phones. Now you’re all Apple people. If one of you had an Android phone and go to the play store, we’re also part of the app defense Alliance. And there’s three vendors in there that work with Google in, in securing the play store. Okay.

John Farkas: (10:54) So just defining endpoint for those out there, who don’t exactly know what end point is. It’s our phones, it’s our computers, it’s, uh, IOT devices that are somehow interacting with the, the web technology, everything, any place that receives and sends it is qualified as a endpoint. Is that a fair definition?

Tony Anscombe: (11:16) That’s quite a broad definition. I know We don’t protect everything that’s connected, but yeah. Basically if you’re connecting something to the internet, it’s an endpoint. Yeah. Yeah. So you could argue, yeah aTesla driving past outside as an endpoint,

John Farkas: (11:29) Particularly volatile endpoint by some definitions.

Angus Nelson: (11:31) But it’s a nice looking endpoint. So, um, I watched some of your videos. You have your, your two-minute videos and you’re giving, you know, information, quality, current, et cetera. Part of this is because of your role is personal brand. That’s, you’re also identifying as the company and connecting and you’re creating kind of a human element, how powerful is that from a marketing perspective, of course, as you know, evangelist, what, what does that look like for you? And how did that start was at a strategy that you came up with?

Tony Anscombe: (12:07) Well, so let’s go back to the blog site. Welivesecurity.com, which is a great place by the way, for deep research and news that’s happening in the industry.

Mark Whitlock: (12:15) And we will connect to that from our show notes. If you go to studiocmo.com, click on the Tony Anscombe interview, you’ll be able to find a way to link right out there into the book that you mentioned as well.

Tony Anscombe: (12:24) That website, if you look at it, there’s some really great technical research on there. So the problem is, is, you know, we talked earlier on that we’re in 200 different countries. Now, now if we, if we go down to the, the reseller in some outposts, that’s selling our product. Yeah. The deep research may or may not be of interest to him. It probably definitely is not ever an interest to the salespeople that are in that company. So how do you take something that maybe is super technical, um, or certainly newsworthy and put it into a two-minute video that they can watch get their talking points for their next meeting in their next customer. And how do you know? And then you’ve got the, got the other side of, you know, welivesecurity.com. It is all textual. I mean, there’s obviously pictures, but I mean, you have to go and read it. Um, so anybody under 25, doesn’t go there and I’m generalizing. So you also need to have video content for that next generation that work on pictures and video clips.

Angus Nelson: (13:31) Yeah. And it’s super powerful, right? From a marketing perspective, (a) the more video you have out there, particularly with like YouTube now, their document, all of that, they’re extracting all of that. That’s now keyword, you know, loaded. Now you’ve got SEO power and then people’s attention span is shortened up. And now I know I’m only committed to two minutes, bam, I’m out. And then the third piece is, and this is our observation from a B2B, the decision-maker is not the person out looking for the solution. It is that millennial that’s being charged with go find me, you know, three, four, five vendors that are gonna, you know, meet our criteria. And now all of a sudden, they’re the ones that are discovering you because of this video. It’s approachable, understandable, and searchable.

Tony Anscombe: (14:15) Well, exactly. And that’s the point. In fact, I have a really good example. It’s just a very personal example. A couple of years ago, I made a small video about Snapchat, about, yeah. Just trying to tell parents that actually what this platform does and how it works, et cetera. And it wasn’t, it wasn’t hugely technical or anything. It was just meant to be a piece of good advice. I had a text from a friend in the UK last year who turned and said, I’ve just been to some school internet safety thing, um, for my kids’ school. And they played your video. And that’s the, that’s the entire point, isn’t it? It’s the video lingers. It hangs around, it’s a piece of expert knowledge and it gets used by other people for education purposes, which is great.

John Farkas: (14:56) Tony, if you were to just sort of give us a mission focus of your role in the context of set, how would you describe that?

Tony Anscombe: (15:03) Well, so my title is Chief Security Evangelist. So I’m exactly that I’m here to evangelize. I’m not necessarily in fact, not necessarily about our product. So I very, very rarely talk about our products. You know, there’s lots of great people in a set that can go and talk about our products, but it’s talking about the, uh, the issues around the industry and the issues that people need to be concerned about. So it’s an education and an awareness role, um, and giving people that thought leadership. I mean, before we started recording, the four of us were sitting here talking about privacy legislation. Does my mom understand the privacy legislation? But you know, it’s taking subjects like that and it’s putting them in layman’s terms, you know, looking at the issues around them and making sure that people understand what they need to be doing.

John Farkas: (15:46) Yeah. You’re not just focused on the product. You’re not selling. Yeah. You’re out there as a representative of ESET helping people into the privacy security conversation. Right.

Tony Anscombe: (15:57) Absolutely. I mean, one of the big things recently that I’ve been seen as an issue is SIM swapping. Do you know what SIM swapping is?

Mark Whitlock: (16:04) Take it out of a phone and give it to someone else.

Tony Anscombe: (16:07) So no. So, um, somebody goes into your carrier shop today. Okay. Um, they have, you know, semi fake license in their wallet of you, which isn’t that difficult to create? Not anymore. Unfortunately. Yeah. It stays in the wallet. They go into the carrier show up and turn and say, I’ve lost my phone. Can you give me a replacement SIM? Ah, and uh, unfortunately social engineering with the person behind the counter will give you, give them the SIM. Um, your phone will start to stop working and they own everything. And they can walk into a bank and get a temporary ATM card. Cause as long as they know who you bank with, they can go in and turn and say, I’ve lost my ATM card.

Tony Anscombe: (16:51) The bank teller will turn and say, I’ll send a code to your phone. They send a text message. The coach sends up. Can you tell me what the code is? Yeah. Bang ATM card. Is that a security issue? Is that a privacy issue? No, but it’s definitely a cyber issue. Isn’t it? We should all be aware of telling people to go into their phone carrier and set a password on any SIM replacement and doing things like that. To me, keeps people safe online. So yes, my topics can be much broader than our product and not necessarily all the things you think about the cyber cyber security.

John Farkas: (17:23) How have you seen that elevate the ESET brand as you’ve made those connections, as you’ve built those relationships in the context of the conversations that are going on around security, how have you seen that effect you set?

Tony Anscombe: (17:36) Well, I think about security for it for a moment. Um, you know, let’s, I’m going to pick, I’m going to pick on you. You’re sitting here with a laptop out, right? Yes. We can put a security product on your laptop. I really do hope you’ve got one, but you’ve got it. You’ve got a laptop out here. Now we can put a security technology in place that stops some malicious behavior. Yeah. It’s a malware coming in and all those sorts of good things. I can’t stop you. And this is where the awareness and education piece comes in. You know, how does what I do help ESET? Well, actually what I’m doing is helping [Mark] here because I’m stopping him. Yeah. And I’m going to educate him on actually you need to look after the SIM card in your phone. Yeah. You shouldn’t click on that phishing link, right? Yeah. You shouldn’t answer those SMS messages in that way. Yeah. You shouldn’t take those pictures. Now we will leave those there. I can help educate him so that he stays safe. So then he’s working in harmony with the security software. So it’s not just about technology. It’s about an education of the user as well.

John Farkas: (18:43) Yeah. And that’s really important to underscore because so often people come to the thought leadership idea and they think it’s got to connect with a very straight undotted line to ROI for our company and in our world where conversations are so important. And the context is so important. And there’s a lot that goes around. Like if you think about how self-service sale happens in the B2B world, right? We’re not just going to a website or we’re not just encountering a sales person, having a conversation and buying something that’s hardly ever happening anymore. A lot of times it’s, you’re getting context. It’s pulling you into a conversation. You go from A, to B to C and you end up somewhere. That’s meaningful. What people need to understand is a lot of times the A in that Aa to B to C is a very informal conversation, right. It starts with, Hey, I heard this guy who was talking about security at ESET and that leads them into something that you’ve created. And that leads in, you know, it, it just starts a chain. And so often they just say, thought leadership needs to be about our product, you know? Well, who wants to publish that? Yeah. Who wants to invite you to speak about your product?

Tony Anscombe: (19:58) Well, and, and that’s the issue and when talking about security, you need to talk about stories. Exactly. Yeah. And experiences because it’s no good me turning around and saying, well, actually this is how we stop phishing links. And this is how great you’re not interested. No. Yeah. It’s just not going to be interesting, interesting to you at all. Um, and, and there’s the other side of, of admitting that you’ve been a victim. Yeah. Um, security people are very good at turning around and ignoring the fact sometimes they’re victims. Uh, and I’ll give you a great example. So you may remember the British Airways got hacked. Uh, they had an injection of code on their website. So the bad guy was actually sending stuff to another server. So he was collecting the same data that BA was seeing, um, I was part of that hack. Yeah. Seven and a half thousand dollars out of my bank account three months later. Yeah. Wow. Now, now the experience of going through it was pretty good because actually the bank just put the money back in the account and it was, yeah, it was all taken care of. But um, even somebody in the cyber security industry can become the victim. So, so my point is as much as I could sit here and talk to you about not doing something wrong, sometimes actually something might happen to you that you, that is out of your control.

Angus Nelson: (21:14) I love the fact that you start a conversation around things that customers actually care about. You’re not talking about the brand because now we’re narcissistic, we’re just talking about our, you know, all that we do rather than what do you care about and where are you in your journey and where are you as, as a human being [and how does this apply to you directly?] So you’re bridging people into a discovery process, which is super organic and natural and safe and trust building. And so many other marketers are trying to just go for the jugular as soon as they step into the game.

Tony Anscombe: (21:44) You know, even when you start looking at, uh, uh, you know, ESET’s business products, um, which is a completely different conversation again, because it becomes less personal. Um, it’s all about data. So security today really is actually looking for anomalies, looking for longterm things that have been in networks, you know, EDR products. And that’s the whole new conversation in the marketplace. Um, while it’s been in the marketplace for a couple of years, you know, if you look at adoption, uh, companies now are starting to put this stuff in and yeah, that’s a much longer term. It’s a specialized and expert role as well. So you become more part of it is it’s no longer a commodity product. Yeah. Commodity product. It’s this very specialized market

Angus Nelson: (22:27) In the last three years, those relationships that you started, how are you creating those kinds of opportunities? How are you developing those relationships and that rapport?

Tony Anscombe: (22:36) When somebody asks you a question. So if you guys sent me a question this morning and turned around and said, yeah, this new story is here. You know, what is, you know, what’s your view. If, if the answer I give you is, well, if you’re running our endpoint product, you’re safe, aren’t you?” I’m not giving you an opinion. Yeah. I need to talk to you in actually terms that your listener is going to understand. I need to put it in a language. That actually means something. So, you know, if we saw a certain data breach or somebody drilling very noisily behind us, if I sort of, yeah. If we saw a data breach, isn’t it, it’s not about, okay, well, there’s the security of what was breached, how they got the data, et cetera, but it’s, what do you need to do? How do you need to protect yourself? You’re talking to people and putting it in terms that they understand and making it relatable, both in business and in personal life.

John Farkas: (23:29) That’s really critical because so often we work with B2B companies all the time and they get very subjective to the world and they are developing product. They are very focused in, on conversations around how their product creates value or solves problems or whatever. And they become very aware of that. And that’s all they want to talk about. And, and, and they become convinced that that’s the most important conversation. When in reality, what is the most important conversations are the problems that real people are facing in the real world every day. And, and there’s this gap that develops between the company and the real world. And they don’t do a good job of crossing the bridge over into how do we, how do we enter into these conversations where real people are really existing and having real issues. And they end up somehow with this gap in between the two,

Tony Anscombe: (24:26) If we started out, I used to code one of the first companies I worked for was American Express. Yeah. So I coded for American express for a while, and I did some networking stuff for them. They had a great program and I believe such a lot of what I do now comes from this program. They ran a so yeah, early twenties. Yeah. This big company, you’re, you’re a number. They ran something called Putting People First. Um, this was, so this was what, 30 years ago, um, this, this program, if your phone rang on your desk and you answered it, and it was a card member, regardless of who you were or what you did in the company, you had to own the customer problem, because that was their belief that the car that was their marketing message, anybody in American Express will help the card member.

Tony Anscombe: (25:20) It’s card members always come first. Now they used to reward you. Yeah. So they used to spoof the cause. So they had a team, another team of people making these calls internally. Yeah. And you used to get a restaurant voucher to have dinner somewhere really fancy if you did a good job. So there was, there was some element of reward in here, but if you’re fat that program, I think kind of put the whole thing in context, don’t forget who it is. You’re trying to help what it is you’re trying to provide at the end point.

Mark Whitlock: (25:52) You were there at American Express that came from culture, right? The culture was card member first, then it became a marketing message. Yes. And in order to live up to the marketing message, they had to enforce the culture. Yeah.

Tony Anscombe: (26:04) Yes. And it was super interesting to see how a company actually implemented that and how it went on. And it was, uh, and it, it truly was

Mark Whitlock: (26:13) How does ESET, reinforce its culture of the founders and the, the moral underpinning that you talked about it? How did, how does that, how does ESET reinforce its culture throughout it’s marketing messages and out through its employees?

Tony Anscombe: (26:27) Well, so firstly, when I go down to our San Diego office, I’m based here in San Francisco, but when I go down to our San Diego office, I like to sit on a particular floor in San Diego. Now that lots of people like to sit in offices or cubicles or whatever. I actually like to sit near our support team. And the reason I like to sit near our support team is the patient’s time that when a customer who’s spent maybe $40 buying an important product for their home. Yeah. You can sit there and listen to one of our support team sitting there for an hour, trying to talk them through some problem they’ve got on their machine or, or some issue they’re having. Um, and to me, that’s the value. Whereas a lot of companies would have passed that off into a call center. It would have been an escalation path you that have tried to up sell and crosssell you to have somebody remote into the machine and do something. No, that original value is still there. Yeah. They’re our customer. We want to help them. And that happens in business and in consumers. So I think that’s super important. So that value that makes ESET, who they are,

John Farkas: (27:34) That the whole idea around keeping the customer problem first is something that we camp on a ton and just can’t underscore the importance of enough. Because again, the tendency is to get entrenched in your product, you figure your solution and then your solution becomes the shape of the problem, which isn’t always necessarily true. Right? I mean the solution, isn’t the shape of the problem. The problem is the shape of the problem. And so are there things that ESET, does that help keep the problem? The real problem?

Tony Anscombe: (28:07) Yeah, absolutely. As I said, our researchers are allowed to research the things that they find. Interesting. So if you look at, for example, lots of people talk about IoT security. Now IoT security is super important. Yeah. Connecting. Yeah. Those things you connect at home and the doorbells and stuff like that. Or even in business, you start connecting, putting cameras up in your offices or whatever they are. They all need to be secured in some way, but it’s actually very complex to secure them. So you buy some cheap device that actually has no ability to run anything on it or whatever. It’s actually, a lot of it really is about how you deploy it, how it’s used, what network it’s on. So a lot of it is that education piece. Um, so actually having researchers researching lots of different things and bringing the education to the market adds the value.

Tony Anscombe: (28:53) It truly adds the value to the product and the entire conversation. So now for example, in our consumer product, that’s connected home monitor. So you go home, you plug in, it’ll tell you which IOT devices you’ve got that might be vulnerable. Which ones you haven’t changed passwords. I can’t make you go and change them by the way. Yeah. I can tell you, you need to change them. I can tell you, you should be doing something. It’s the way you do it. And it’s the how to bring the person in, into understanding security. When real issue, I think around the whole security market is engagement. Security is the thing you need, but you don’t want to have, does it, does that make sense? Sure. We all know we need security, but none of us really wants to take that much time caring about it.

John Farkas: (29:35) Yeah. It’s like buying insurance in some way. You don’t want to think about the difficult things that are around it, but art too, Because it’s just a matter of time. It’s not a question of, if it’s a question of when, right.

Tony Anscombe: (29:45) I always relate back to parents in playgrounds. Yeah. Parents in the school yard are always the funniest. Yeah. Because you stand there and talk to them about something their child might be doing online and they turn and say not my child. Yeah. And if you get around to every parent in the playground, it’s not their child. [Yeah. It’s not my employee] but it is their child. Of course they push boundaries. If your kids aren’t pushing boundaries, they’re not growing up.

John Farkas: (30:08) in the business context. It’s any employee that opens any email that they ought not do opened the world up to the enterprise. Right? Yeah, absolutely.

Tony Anscombe: (30:18) Then, you know, we talk about artificial intelligence in security a lot and that’s official intelligence really in security is actually machine learning. In fact, I think AI generally is more about machine learning than AI truly, but there was a really good example. I don’t know whether you saw there was an article recently and uh, one of the publication about deep fake. Now we think that deepfake being videos. Yeah. I would say so. Yeah, there was a great one during the UK elections recently where Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbin were endorsing each other saying that both of them endorsing the other ones to be prime prime minister. So, and it was actually done as an awareness that they were showing you that you should, you know, during this campaign, you shouldn’t believe what you see, but there was a deepfake audio done recently where, uh, the CFO of an energy company actually transferred 220,000 euros to another company on the CEO say, so it wasn’t the CEO. It was, it was a machine who recorded his voice patterns. And the guy, the CFO actually turned around and said one, it had his German accent. It’s spoken the same melodies as him and in the way he speaks. And it’s.

All: (31:33) Why do you think we’re recording you today? Wait until later he said, if you wanted my money, the $2 20 I’ve got in my bank account, I could have a brochure. We sing the rest of it. So you live in San Francisco, so it totally makes sense.

Angus Nelson: (31:52) Yeah. Um, and I want to just touch on one more thing, too, in that context you were just saying is we are discovering like different international companies have to portray or message themselves differently in accordance to their culture and the way that they understand. And then just some of the, just the different cues of different culture of their country. How have you kind of bridge some of that from an English context, GDPR to New Zealand you’re talking about before, or let’s say you get into the Asian markets, how are you messaging a little bit different or nuanced?

Tony Anscombe: (32:27) Actually you mentioned the 200 countries that would be set, uh, have customers in it and sell product in a lot of those countries require local way of selling. Let me give you an example. If I, for your email address here in the U S you just give it up. Yeah, sure. You don’t think twice if you ask in Germany for somebody’s email address, nothing to do with GDPR, because it’s all locked in, they go, why? Yeah. So here is that you need to have localization. So when a company in any particular country, if you then think I can dominate the world or sell my product globally, with one message from one place, and I push it out from here, you’re wrong. You need to actually have local people with local understanding of how the cultures work, how the ethics and morals in those countries work, how people accept campaigns. So it needs to change it. The message needs to change. You need the resellers, you need the distributors, you need that local expertise on the ground to actually re take your core message and make it digestible in those other countries as well. And to put local tins on it.

John Farkas: (33:39) Do you have any examples of when that hasn’t worked or when you’ve seen pretty decent sized gaps in understanding culturally?

Tony Anscombe: (33:46) So one of the companies I worked for several years ago was a German company. I have watched American companies come at to try and enter the German market with a very American us centric marketing message. Well, that’s just not going to work. You have to adapt. I mean, you can take that message maybe to the UK where, you know, we’re a little bit more aligned with us culture.

John Farkas: (34:11) Yeah, it is. And we were just talking about this last night for what I mean, the German American gap is really discernible for whatever reason. I mean, in both directions, there’s just a sensibility in how market message and how you put it forward is very different. And we see this a lot in these trade shows where there’ll be these companies that are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to come and be a part of RSA from Israel or from Germany or from, and they’re spending all this money to be there and not spending any money in translation. And so they’re ineffective because that’s so devoid of any relative engagement and way of entering in the conversation.

Tony Anscombe: (34:51) The part of walking around the exhibition floor here as well of not just the translation issue,

John Farkas: (34:56) I’m saying cultural translation as much as right.

Tony Anscombe: (34:58) Yeah. Walk around an hour after the exhibition floor opens today and watch the people that sit down. Um, if you look on a lot of those smaller booths and they they’re the people that should be out talking to their, their, their potential customers, cause they’ve probably got a product that answers a problem that you don’t know you have yet. Yep. Yeah. So you need educating on it. So they need to be talking to you and educating you. Why you need this product. There’ll be sitting down the back of the little booth on their chair with their laptop and they’ll wait for people to come up and talk to them. What do they do?

All: (35:34)

No idea. Yeah. Get up, stand in the stop. People, talk

Tony Anscombe: (35:38) To them. Yeah. Yeah. You’re here for a purpose. The purpose is, is to actually talk to people and communicate with people. But also that would help them adapt their message. Yeah. Cause they’ll start understanding what yeah. They think they’ve got something to educate the person on that person might educate them on why it’s different, but what they’re actually issues are start listening to the customer. Yeah.

Angus Nelson: (36:00) They’re all in love with their technology and their solution. And they’re not actually speaking to the pain, whereas if their marketing or messaging spoke straight to, you know, do you struggle with then immediately? You’ve got my attention. Cause if I struggle with that, now we’ve got a conversation. Yeah.

John Farkas: (36:14) Going back to the whole earned media idea, is there a strategy that you have? How does that strategy work? How are you pointed and how you’re engaging as a mouthpiece of the organization?

Tony Anscombe: (36:25) So you have to agree on the topic directions, obviously, because you don’t want to go into a different direction to where the company is going. So, and I said, right at the start, I talk about product, but it’s all about a certain broad spectrum of information or that it’s about engaging with the people that, that have an audience in there. So for example, if you see a journalist that’s writing in that area or you think might be interested in, so again, it’s actually cooling the journalist or emailing the journalist, having a conversation. In fact, I had a conversation on Friday with a journalist up in Canada, talking about, um, privacy around the smart city waterfront that they’re going to build in, uh, in Toronto, it was actually just an exploratory conversation to see where the, where the next time he needs comment on an article they might write, or when something happens, it’s having the time to actually sit down with people and siren and say, Oh, you know, I’ve got this viewpoint and this is what the viewpoint is.

John Farkas: (37:27) And you know, when you actually want comment or when something happens and building that rapport and that relationship, and it’s sorta like what we were just talking about, as far as our product sensibility, you’re starting with understanding what the journalist is talking about and what stream they’re already in and saying, how can I beat that we’ve got and the conversations that we can have with the stream you’re already in. Yeah.

Tony Anscombe: (37:49) And that has the journalists thought about it in this particular way.

Mark Whitlock: (37:58) You’ve been listening to the Studio CMO interview with Tony Anscombe, Chief Security Evangelist for ESET. Now Tony talked about the difference between ESET’s blog and the two-minute videos Tony produces every week. So come on over to studiocmo.com/017 to take a look at both. Look at the deep research published on the blog and then catch a couple of Tony’s excellent and timely videos. Hey, while you’re there at studiocmo.com/017, we have links to the book that Tony mentioned as well as Golden Spiral’s own articles on thought leadership,

Mark Whitlock: (38:34) Hey, have you subscribed to our podcast yet? So when you subscribe, you get the information about upcoming guests and topics before anybody else. So come on over to our website on any page at studiocmo.com, you’ll find a subscribe link there, you click on it, you choose your favorite podcast app. And the next thing you know, our next episode shows up on your tablet, on your phone, on your desktop, whatever device you want that podcast delivered on, you’ll have it. And we want to hear from you, by the way, if you haven’t thought about it yet, we want to hear your comments. What do you like? What do you not like? Who do you want on the podcast? What is your thought on thought leadership? What’s your thought on some of the other topics we’ve tackled? Come on over to studiocmo.com/017. Scroll down to the bottom of the page, click on, start recording. And there you’ll be able to leave a voice message. You can do it from your phone, from your laptop. It doesn’t matter what device you can record directly there. We’ll get it. And who knows, we might end up using your voice and your comment on a future episode of studio CMO. Hey, thanks for listening today. And always remember to fully understand your buyer’s problems lead out of that empathetic understanding, and always make your buyer the hero. We’ll see you next time on Studio CMO.

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