Lisanne Meerkerk – Orange Cyberdefense

Lisanne Meerkerk – Orange Cyberdefense

Lisanne Meerkerk is Head of Global Marketing Campaigns for Orange Cyberdefense, the cybersecurity business unit of the Orange Group, providing managed security, managed threat detection and response services to organisations around the world. Orange Cyberdefense expanded into Europe when they bought SecureLink and SecureData in 2019. Lisanne’s main responsibility is defining, planning, and executing the roadmap for Global Campaigns and Marketing Automation by collaborating with the rest of the Global Marketing team, and stakeholders in Orange Cyberdefense, Orange Business Services and Orange Group. Lisanne: “From SecureLink, we already were the main network and security provider, now, as Orange Cyberdefense, we are the European leader. Not just on the defensive part, making sure companies aren’t attacked, but also detecting and responding to attacks to make the world a little safer. As Orange Cyberdefense, we are mainly active throughout Europe, but as Orange, we also have offices in Asia, Russia, America, Africa, and the Middle East. We work globally, but we have a primary focus on Europe.”

Main KPIs for growth

“After Orange Cyberdefense rebranded in 2019 after acquisitions, we are still working on our growth”, Lisanne continues. “On the one hand, we have KPIs to make sure our database of contacts grows, in the broadest sense of the word, to increase our reach. Next to that, we look at things like the number of downloads of our content, our annual report – the Security Navigator – of the cybersecurity landscape as an example. On the other hand, we look at the number of marketing qualified leads. We are in a growing market and need to acquire new labels and contribute to the growth in revenue. Marketing qualified leads is our most important KPI. It ensures the highest contribution to making sure people have multiple interactions with our content, and one of the easiest KPIs to measure. One of our symbolic milestones for next year is 1 billion euro’s in revenue, which says a lot about our ambitions.”

Lisanne: “We are fairly data-driven. Of course, we have tried a lot these last few years and have seen many things that worked and things that didn’t. As a new organisation, you deal with a lot of different cultures, and some things just work better in some countries than in others. We find out as we learn, which is part of the eagerness we possess, and we know that contributes to that symbolic milestone.” Lisanne shares what the role of data-driven decision making is within their organisation, and with regards to brand growth: “We measure a lot, but we also learn a lot. Because we, as a – consolidated – new organisation, also do things for the first time, there is a lot of trial and error. Of course, we look at what works, and we base our decisions on data, but there is also a certain degree of gut feeling.”

“A lot of companies in cybersecurity do similar things, as we are all marketing to the same audience. But I do hope we bring a positive note in that landscape.”

Integrating data

When it comes to competitors, Lisanne shares that in IT and cybersecurity, A lot of companies in cybersecurity do similar things, as we are all marketing to the same audience. Lisanne: “We try to distinguish ourselves by staying away from what is considered in the market as ‘FUD’: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt. We don’t want to sow fear, but try to share as much knowledge based on the data and intelligence we have. We wouldn’t dive into something new straight away just to respond and spread more FUD. So, I think we set ourselves apart in that area. Of course, a lot is similar, as we are all marketing to the same audience. But I do hope we bring a positive note in the fearmongering.”

“The past few months we mainly focused on what the impact of corona has been on cybersecurity”, Lisanne continues. “We try to create content that is as positive as possible, with a lot of data and insights. Recently, the SolarWinds attacks was a huge incident in the market. You can decide to be the first to respond to it, but we prefer to wait so we can truly delve deeper and provide insights that others can’t. That has always been the focus of our creatives. As Orange Cyberdefense, we set up a global organisation where we work with Centres of Excellence, from product managers to people working in the research teams. Our Research Centre studies where ransomware attacks originate, and what their impact is. Of course, some parties will ‘retire’ in the end, and will no longer be active. We try to share all those insights, instead of fuelling the FUD. Everyone wants to be relevant at the right moment, and I think that this underlines who we want to be and what we want to do: contribute to a safer society.” Lisanne shares that their main challenge is speed: “You want to be fast, but you also want to provide thorough output. Speed, in combination with a good and insightful story, that’s the biggest challenge.”

Measuring success

Lisanne shares that data provides a lot of insight and ensures that you learn more and more, and can adjust your campaigns accordingly: “However, it is important that you know what your objectives are, that the data you use is correct and that all marketers understand it and can work with it. It is also important that you continue to discuss what that data means so that you can make the right decisions, preferably as quickly as possible.”

For Orange Cyberdefense, LinkedIn is an important channel in the business-to-business market. Lisanne: “Last year, we launched a rebranding campaign on social media. We worked with an agency that helped us find out what worked, and what didn’t, and how we could optimise. On LinkedIn, there is a metric that measures how much percent of the video has been watched, so you know those first 10, 15 seconds are essential. If you haven’t shown your brand logo in that time, people might not know that the video came from you. Those are things you learn from and do differently next time.” Lisanne shares that they only tested the campaign after it was live, as being agile is part of their DNA: “Research and testing are very relevant to find out how you should market in different cultures. In Belgium and France, we are also a B2C brand, so we also have national campaigns on TV and are present in the papers. Sometimes, we have content that is very relevant for specific countries, but we can’t share from a global perspective, as it doesn’t fit the target group we are trying to reach. You need to see what matches and works per country.”

In one place

Lisanne sees simplification as one of the most important trends for the future of data. “Interest in data-driven decision making and analytics will continue to grow, and I think many organisations struggle with the complexity and possible confusion that data analytics can generate. Fortunately, you see many marketing organisations consolidating so that more information is available in one place. Think of your CRM system, where so much more data comes together than before. This will be displayed and shared more and more simply.”