The End of “Fear Factor” Marketing Nowhere in Sight

The screaming headlines have been running for years. Whether they’re in press releases about cybercrime exceeding international drug profits or the billions of dollars lost to breach disclosures or videos highlighting the meltdown of power generators due to a myriad of vulnerabilities, the anti-malware industry has long relied on fear to move their products…

Refusing to play the fear factor game can prove liberating to IT organisations. It can help align anti-malware defense with other infrastructure management disciplines at the organisation. This can open the door to bringing anti-malware defense up the operational effectiveness ladder from reactive fire-fighting to rationally priced and smoothly delivered service to end-users. Finally, service-oriented anti-malware concepts can turn the tables on vendors, forcing them to re-think their value propositions as well as how and what they charge customers…

Fear factor marketing will continue for at least the next couple of years. Old habits die hard and as real differentiation evaporates, fear factor vendors will amp up their repertoire of ghost stories. Commoditization, however, has an irresistible logic of its own…

Forward thinking IT leaders will learn how to leverage commoditization to do more than to drive harder bargains with vendors. They will see it as a pathway for moving security up the operational maturity pyramid and in doing so, moving the organization to IT value delivery excellence.

Article from SC Magazine (here)


6 thoughts on “The End of “Fear Factor” Marketing Nowhere in Sight

  1. Pingback: Rational Risk Management Ends The Fear Factor |

  2. yawn. I lived in Canada, fear marketing permeates all media. seems no one sells anything appealing to people’s sense of style, well being, or a bright future impressing hotties.
    It’s always “do this or you will die”…

  3. So long as FUD still sells, why would the marketers stop using it? I think your prediction that it will persist for ‘at least a couple of years’ is a gross underestimate.

    Compliance also sells, and for the same reasons (‘comply or go to jail’ has a certain resonance for accountable managers).

    Risk management is always a hard sell. I just chanced across a Harvard book from 2004 pointing out some of the reasons why managers fail to predict the predictable. Basic human psychology is at least partly to blame.


  4. FUD will persist for a long, long time. However FUD marketing for security software will lessen as business moves to operationalize and mature their security programs. The drivers for how one defines, develops, and implements security will not solely be fear based and the vendors that serve the market will adapt

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