I recently spent some time researching RSA exhibitors (looking for Voxus’ next rock star security client!) and noticed that a lot of large security companies had the same strategy: dedicate the home page to a recent analyst report touting the greatness of their products. This is a really compelling way for security companies to get a customer’s attention. But for newer or smaller players that don’t have the luxury of paying tens of thousands of dollars for a report (or the licensing rights) this is not an option. If this is you, keep reading to see a few of our hacks for putting some attention-grabbing validation on your homepage (and everywhere else you talk about your company).
There are a lot of other analyst firms beyond IDC, Forrester and Gartner that produce excellent security reports. While we do recommend meeting with tier one groups annually (they will do so at no cost to you) we also recommend meeting with smaller firms (ABI, EMA, etc.) and even one-person shops (J.Gold Associates). Chat with them about the kind of report that is going to move the needle for your business and how you’d like to use its findings. In our experience, smaller firms are more cost-effective, flexible and faster to fill your specific research request.
Submitting your security product for review is an excellent way to get free, third-party validation. There are three common avenues to consider. The first is the scheduled type. You’ll find these built into a magazine’s editorial calendar (i.e., SC Magazine). Next are ad-hoc or unscheduled reviews, where reporters will evaluate products that are newer to the market any time of the year. Finally, there are reviewers that work as freelancers and may be interested in reviewing your solution for a small fee. Make sure the reviewer has a placement for the review (or makes some guarantee for placement) before signing on the dotted line.
An award win can say a lot about the quality, value or effectiveness of your security product. “Win” logos can be utilized on the web site and in materials with virtually no limitation. Because there are so many awards out there, we recommend tracking a manageable list of around 10 or 12. You’ll find that about half will require a small level of payment. One hidden spot to look for awards is at trade shows (RSA Conference Awards, etc.). Check out the Info Security Products Guide, where several entrants are recognized in each category.
Validation is critical for businesses in every stage of growth. But the type of validation the 800-pound gorilla is using is not realistic for the cost-conscious up-and-comer. Instead, these businesses need to choose obtainable tactics and build on them over time.