Demystifying Industry Lingo
Webroot launched its original antivirus and spyware solutions in the early 2000s. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) that help protect consumers’ devices from cybersecurity threats were major differentiators. As new antivirus offerings and startups launched into the market, Webroot noticed many touted AI and ML solutions that didn’t seem to have the same sophistication as many of their own. Making matters even worse, the aggressive use of AI and ML terminology in the marketing of those products seemed to cloud customer understanding of what the products actually do.
To better understand this, Webroot commissioned LEWIS to develop a research project to understand the impact of the marketing around AI and ML terminology, and to see if people saw the promised benefits or felt buyer’s remorse.
Our in-house research team designed an online survey to address the main topics around the AI and ML confusion:
- Are companies using AI and ML designed tools to combat cybersecurity threats?
- Do companies see the benefits of those tools or are they less effective than they hoped?
- How are cybercriminals also using AI and ML tools to create cybersecurity threats?
We deployed the survey in the US as well as a localized version in Japan in late 2018. Within one week, we received over 400 responses from senior-level IT professionals at companies with target demographics. Analyzing the data to create a storyboard report that showed the main trends from the research helped the team develop highly relevant story angles for top-tier media coverage.
The report generated 50 media stories focused on the research results including coverage in Forbes, CSO Online and the Wall Street Journal. The report results also secured media to support Webroot at the 2019 RSA Conference. The research has since become an annual study for Webroot, providing data related to their customers as well as external data that is used for media placements that highlight Webroot’s products and services.