Now Cyber Security?!

Now Cyber Security?!

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 5 Minutes

Covid, remote teams, layoffs, diversity and inclusion, trade wars, and now security risk? There is so much on the plate of CMO’s already, and now they need to focus on cyber risk. Yes, according to Patrick Kehoe, Chief Marketing Officer at Coalfire, a cyber risk assessment firm. 

The FBI says cybercrime reports quadrupled during COVID-19 pandemic; other reports and our experience reflects the same.  In short, security isn’t an IT problem, it’s a business problem—and it’s one that marketing needs to pay attention to, given the amount of technology it now controls.”

What specifically should the heads of marketing be concerned with? Well, start with remote teams accessing customer databases, content management systems and those “off the IT radar” landing pages, microsites and websites. According to Kehoe, “it’s time to come clean with the IT department. If you haven’t already been breached, it is likely just a matter of when, not if, so you have to stay proactive.”



A recent RSA CMO study showed that 20% of security incidents can be linked back to marketing activities. What can you do to be prepared? “The number one thing marketers can do is get a seat at the table. Use the IT organization to assess vendors and make it clear to them that security is paramount. Ensure an incident response plan is in place and be a part of the cyber security strategy,” according to Kehoe. 

A good cyber security policy can also have an upside. Use it in your marketing material. Ensuring customers, especially at this time, that you have a solid understanding of the risk, and have plans in place to address them is essential. Don’t be shy about listing your certifications and/or seals on your website.

Security and risk assessments are now table stakes, according to Kehoe. “If you want to make it into the consideration set, you have to demonstrate that you have a clear and proactive approach to addressing security issues. But don’t overstate it, if your cyber security solution only blocks 99% of attacks, don’t say it blocks all attacks.” 

Finally, being honest about your success rate and the capabilities of your solution is the best way to build long-term relationships and drive more positive customer referrals over time. But first, you have to have that honest but difficult conversation with the IT department about those things they may not know about. Good luck, and stay safe!



To hear Scott’s entire conversation with Patrick Kehoe, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer at Coalfire Systems Inc. about “What CMO’s Need To Know About Cyber Security”, listen or download here:



Getting Through This Together

Getting Through This Together

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 4 Minutes

Our goal when we founded Carbon Design LLC was not to get rich or famous. It was about doing meaningful work for clients who appreciate it. We don’t apply for awards or recognition that others chase, preferring to focus on the work and making clients happy. It’s why I’m excited to share some of the feedback we’ve received recently. 

Before COVID hit we had scoped a follow on project for a Coalfire, a cyber security firm. Unfortunately, our client’s budget was cut before we got started. Knowing the importance of the project, we did the work for what little of the budget that remained.

We delivered the findings in early June and the week later received a package containing a thank you and a Coalfire branded jacket. They were impressed with the insight we delivered but more importantly they thanked us for our flexibility and partnership.

At the end of the month we receive more positive feedback. 

For years, Tony Anticole and I have worked with the team at Challenger to turn the commercial insight they create for clients into marketing campaigns and assets through a 1.5 day workshop.

With the pandemic, the team had to figure out how to turn an in person session into a digital experience that created the same value…not an easy task. We were generally concerned with our ability to read and respond to the attendees remotely. 

On top of this already challenging scenario the lead person from the Challenger team left the organization leaving the remaining member of the team in a difficult position. She had only attended one other session as an observer. 

Two weeks ago, we delivered the last of 5 weekly (2-3 hr) workshops. Last week, we received the feedback below from the client via our Challenger partner Taeya Sharrock, mentioned above. 

I wanted to pass along feedback from Bassel about the CCS workshops: 

“I thought it was brilliant, Tony & Scott were amazing & did a great job over the 5 weeks. The workshops were thought-provoking – this was the best part, changing the mindset completely. Everyone who attended had really good feedback to share.”

Taeya was also kind enough to pass along the comments below about her experience.  

“Will, I wanted to let you know what a great job Tony & Scott did and how incredibly generous they have been with their time. I know they were only able to bill back a limited number of hours for preparation, but they have been keen to have additional calls/debriefs as we prepared for sessions, and have given a lot of additional brainpower to ensuring the insight was strong enough that we would get to a good end-point.” With David having left before we got into the nitty-gritty of figuring out how to run these sessions, and with only ever having seen one Content Strategy workshop, I have really appreciated all of their help!

I wanted to share these comments because we’re all probably being asked to make sacrifices, do things we’ve never done before, and perhaps, may be getting paid less for it. 

Keep your head up and stay focused. We’ll get through this together but we need patience, flexibility and understanding. Onward! 

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor.  *Webcast Now Available On-Demand*

Build Your Personal Brand & Become a Trusted Advisor. *Webcast Now Available On-Demand*

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

Now that we’re online almost exclusively, every interaction with buyers is being scrutinized.  You ARE the company’s brand, now more than ever.  Learn how to navigate this high risk environment with our CEO Scott Gillum and xiQ, Inc. CEO Usman Sheikh.  Webcast now available on demand here.

Before people decide what they think of your message, they decide what they think of you.  The more personalized our communication, the more we show that we care. Whether it’s an email or a one-on-one presentation, marketers and sellers need to do their homework on understanding their prospects and their business needs to appeal to their emotions and build trust.

Personality-Driven Engagement (PDE) by xiQ equips B2B professionals with the insights to build highly personalized messages that build emotional connections with their clients. xiQ uses AI to understand what motivates people, what drives them, and how to influence their decisions.

B2B professionals will learn how to:

  • Build their own personal brand
  • Understand the personality type of their buyers
  • Individualize communication
  • Analyze content that resonates

Who should view this webcast?
CMOs, CROs, B2B Account Managers, ABM & Sales Leaders, Marketing and Sales Professionals MUST attend this webinar. This session is OPEN for All.

View the webcast here.

Supporting Sales with Inbound Marketing

Supporting Sales with Inbound Marketing

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

Episode 5: Getting Sales to Buy Into Inbound Marketing with Special Guest, Matt Stevens

Matt Stevens, former head Digital Marketing at Gartner and CEB, faced a significant set of challenges in building out an inbound marketing engine that would deliver sales. Scott and Matt discuss how he was able to get the sales organization to accept Inbound Marketing as a solution to increase their productivity and make quota.


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Run Your Race

Run Your Race

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

I was out for a run this weekend and heard the footsteps coming from behind me. Soon, he was on me, and then past me. At that point I increased my pace as the competitive instinct kicked in when the words “run your race” ran through my mind.

It’s a lesson I learned many years ago while training for 10 milers. After many months of training, planning my race strategy, and setting time goals, I’d be thrown off my pace early in a race, as soon as someone in my age group was passing me.

Chasing them, I thought, was pushing me to a better end result. At least, the competitor in me believed. In reality, it only drained my tank causing me to be out of gas later in the race, resulting in a poor time and disappointment. All the months of training wasted because I ran someone else’s race.

Unemployment is now at its highest level since the great depression which has touched all of us in some way. It’s an incredibly difficult time that can easily be made more stressful by how we now measure ourselves, and our success.

It’s easy to become a victim of the trap I fell into running races. Comparing ourselves to others, feeling like you’re falling behind or being passed by your peers. It’s a feeling all too familiar. In the first 2 years of marriage, my wife and I were laid off a combined total of 4 times.

The first, a month after we put a deposit on a house. By the fourth “downsizing,” my parents were helping us pay our mortgage and my wife’s parents were bringing us groceries.

So first know this, this is not your fault, it’s not something you did. You’ve hit a very challenging and unplanned part of the course.

Second, no one remembers where you started or how many people passed you during the race, only the end results will be remembered. And most importantly, the only thing that matters about the results will be how you will feel about them.

By the third or fourth race, I had developed the discipline to stick to my race plan. My performance improved, but more importantly, so did my sense of accomplishment. I also noticed another thing even more satisfying, the guys who passed me earlier were now being passed by me later in the race.

Our lives are made up of a series of marathons. There are still many miles and difficult stretches of road to cover. Keep your head up, eyes focused forward, and run your race.

WTF Do We Do Next – And Why

WTF Do We Do Next – And Why

by Scott Gillum
Estimated read time: 3 Minutes

It’s a good question given the current uncertainty of our world. When will the economy reopen, what will be the impact, and what should we do about it? To gain better insights into what might be, Carbon Design went back and looked at what clients were focused on during the “Great Recession”. Looking at projects from 2007 to 2010 Scott found 5 interesting trends across industries, 3 which he wrote about in the article,WTF Do We Do Now. In the webinar, Scott will share the research behind the article, insights from 30+ client projects, and how you can use this information to help form your marketing, sales, and internal efforts.

Watch the webcast for insight you can use to gain a competitive advantage: