I just read another scary marketing email. This one from one of my favorite firms. I love Cisco. They have done a great deal for America and our way of life and I really appreciate them. They are creators and innovators and I am honored to have interacted with Cisco through the years.
But their marketing team has fallen for the trap so many other marketing firms have. They are spreading mis-truths, probably because they want to believe that what they heard somewhere is true.
A recent note from them tells me that:
“In fact, more than four out of 10 cyberattacks target small businesses, and 60% go out of business within six months of an attack. “
Wow, this is a pretty serious fact.
Sounds an awful lot like a fact many of us in the community recognized as bullshit when we first heard it back in 2011. Can you imagine if 60% of businesses that had a cyber attack went out of business? Given that we are all pretty much under attack all the time, we would not have any businesses left would we?
So I went to Google and did a bit of searching to see if I could back up Cisco’s claim.
Best overview I saw spelling out how specious their statement is is at a BankInfoSecurity article from May 2017. The statistic seems to have no basis in fact. But some people said it. That is all.
For marketing teams everywhere, try this one on:
100 percent of small businesses go out of business one nanosecond after the simplest of cyberattacks.
I happen to know that one is B.S. because I just made it up. But from now on whenever I see a marketer use that tired old made up statistic about 60% of businesses I am going to try correcting them with my new statistic and see if they will use my number instead of theirs. Or maybe it will cause them to think a bit more before spreading their own specious content.
OK enough poking fun at marketing departments around the world. I actually feel for them, they have a really hard job. They need to find ways to stand out in an environment where 1,000’s of firms are competing for the attention of every decision-maker in the enterprise. It is a tough job. I would just encourage all in the marketing department to stay grounded in reality by being sure to check facts, and, whenever possible, run your marketing copy by the business side of your organization to get their inputs.
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