Effective Digital Channel Marketing for Cybersecurity Solutions

Smaller organizations are prime targets for hackers and malware, because these businesses lack cybersecurity plans and the resources to survive a serious security incident. To exploit this market opportunity, cybersecurity solution providers need to leverage the power of downstream channel members. We investigate how a supplier's digital channel marketing can encourage value-added resellers to sell that supplier's cybersecurity solutions. Our analysis of survey data from 9 value-added resellers of a multinational supplier shows that resellers are more committed to stock and sell cybersecurity products and services if the supplier's digital channel marketing provides tools that help them sell the solutions to end customers. This support is likely needed because cybersecurity offerings are technologically complex and systemic by nature, as supported by the finding that value-added resellers pay little attention to supplier's campaigns and price discounts. Thus, cybersecurity suppliers should maintain trusted and informative relationships with their resellers and provide them with hands-on sales tools, because a reseller's commitment to selling cybersecurity solutions is linked with their ability to understand the offering and with the extent of their supplier relationship. These findings are in line with previous literature on the challenges perceived by salespeople in selling novel and complex technology.

Westerlund, Mika;Rajala, Risto
Technology Innovation Management Review
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