Many people think of open-source intelligence (OSINT) as identifying and mitigating threats for the security team. In this episode, we explore how OSINT is used to drive revenue. We talk about the role social media and OSINT play in marketing campaigns, particularly around brand awareness, brand reputation, go-to-market (GTM) strategy, and overall revenue generation. We also discuss what marketing and security teams can learn from OSINT intelligence tradecraft, particularly when there are threats to the brand’s reputation.
Here are the 4 Topics We Cover in This Episode:
1) Even in Marketing, Context and Insights Provide Intelligence, Not Data:
Raw data is not intelligence; rather, intelligence is a refined product where context is provided around information and data. Similar to the national security and enterprise security world, where adversaries are trying to commit crimes and espionage, businesses want to attract people to their brand. Open-source and social media information are powerful data points when analyzed, providing critical intelligence on what consumers and businesses want to buy. Every human being is now a signal no different from radio intercepts during Pearl Harbor.
2) The Role of OSINT in Driving Revenue for the Brand; Quantitative and Qualitative Metrics:
In the security world, attribution to a particular organization is necessary to continue to receive fundraising, whether it’s a hacking group or a terrorist organization. In the marketing world, brand intelligence is a crucial piece in the following three elements to influence a person:
- Persuasive content
- Delivered from a credible voice
- Network or audience with a high engagement rate
Open-source intelligence can be mined in a way that provides insights stronger than traditional marketing focus groups. While celebrities attract attention, people are likely to follow people like themselves, aka micro-influencers.
Quantitatively, numbers increasing in revenue, sharing, engagements are critical metrics. Qualitatively, marketing teams can mine social media data to determine what people are thinking about a particular product, but also to understand how the products are performing, and then design and build future products. The crowd will tell a brand what they want and they don’t have yet, and you can use that data to build future products.
3) Where Marketing Meets Security: Threats to Brand Reputation:
Security teams should work with marketing teams daily to protect the brand. In today’s threats to brands, the human dimension of what people say online is of equal credibility if not more important than technical signals that show a company has suffered a breach, particularly regarding misinformation and disinformation. The human dimension is converging with a technical dimension, and a true holistic hybrid model is needed for enterprise security and intelligence teams. An example of reputation threats that happen in business every day:
- Smear campaigns using disinformation and misinformation from competitors introduce uncertainty into a brand’s ecosystem.
4) Where Security Meets Marketing: Privacy Taken Seriously That Enhances the Brand:
On the flip side, marketing teams should look for ways to promote the security of their products as business differentiators. Marketing teams should also consult with the security teams to understand all the different data lakes that are available in social media, dark web, and open source to ensure they can collect on the proper type of sentiment where brands are being discussed.