• October 10, 2023

Marketing Needs to Work with Security

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A whopping 78 percent of B2C marketing leaders said they don’t know anyone on their companies’ security, risk, and compliance teams, and only 17 percent of decision makers in enterprise risk management said that marketing has supported their efforts in the past 12 months, according to new data from Forrester Research.

At the same time, roughly three-quarters of B2C marketing leaders believe their companies’ security, risk, and compliance teams hinder their marketing efforts.

Apart from vendor assessments or urgent responses to inappropriately sharing consumer data with third parties, marketing and security/risk teams tend to operate in isolation.

And so while the relationship between these two departments is often nonexistent, that lack of collaboration can expose companies to multiple problems, including an increased risk of reputation-damaging data breaches, the firm said in a new report.

Today’s data-driven marketing involves a complex web of marketing technologies, many of which fly under S&R’s radar. The risks are compounded when marketers fail to engage with S&R counterparts during third-party risk assessments or deprovisioning vendors after free trials. Additionally, marketing engages with countless partners, from creative and PR agencies to consultants, who access, store, and process customer data, financial data, and intellectual property.

And although they might seem worlds apart, marketing and S&R actually align on two specific goals: protecting customers and protecting the brand, according to Forrester.

Forrester outlined the following five steps for ensuring this type of partnership:

1. Aim for collaboration, not ownership. Protecting customers and the brand should span multiple departments and functions. Marketing and S&R are key stakeholders and must work together while de-emphasizing outright ownership.

2. Use customers as your common denominator. Customers are the heart of a business. Without them, businesses cannot grow or survive, so it’s ultimately in marketers’ and S&R pros’ best interests to protect customers. Start discussions with a focus on customer outcomes and use that focal point to find common ground.

3. Strive for long-standing relationships, not ad hoc interactions. Expanding marketing and S&R collaboration beyond vendor RFPs requires an understanding of the other department—not just what role that department plays, but who’s on that team and how to best reach them.

4. Be approachable and make space for questions. Being a roadblock presents challenges for any level of collaboration. Instead, look for ways to work together as opposed to saying no.

5. Use third-party risk management as a practical starting point. Marketers can help S&R by creating a cheat sheet of common third parties along with a summary of how they support the marketing organization and the types of data accessed or exchanged. Similarly, S&R can help marketers by creating a checklist for how to safely offboard third parties after a software trial or formal engagement, as well as developing a list of questions marketers should ask when considering new types of third-party tools.

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