Marketer's guide on how to be creative in a complex industry

Marketers, it is a hard truth but today staying ahead of the curve requires more than just a mastery of conventional marketing strategies. Knowing when to post and how to include CTA sentences is not enough. 

Moreover, if you add a complex industry such as cybersecurity to it, well.. good luck driving sales and creating engagement around the brand's name. 

However, we look at companies such as Surfshark and wonder how they do it - seems like they have it cracked. 

It is a good thing that Surshark happens to be idialogue’s partner and Employer Brand Team Lead at Surfshark Simona Lubytė agreed to share with fellow marketers and other professionals insights on how to be creative and stay successful in your marketing efforts. 


Cultivate deep understanding of the industry 


I think every marketer out there knows that understanding your audience is a key, and understanding the industry is just as important as knowing, for example, what social media channels your audience uses. 

When you know the industry you understand customer pains, problems, or sometimes even the stereotypes faced. Only then your output becomes relatable and reaches a wider audience. 

I would advise continuous learning about the industry, as you will then discover so many different levels to connect with your audience and will have much more room for ideas.


Speak the language of your audience


Speaking the language of your audience should always be kept on top of the mind. As with languages it is, if you will speak a foreign language with your audience - nobody will understand and moreover connect with you or buy from you.

This comes hand in hand with knowing your audience and the industry because then can you truly find a way to convey a clear and engaging message. 

For example, here at Surfshark, we knew that the biggest issue with cybersecurity as an industry was the fact that people found it too complicated. It was a common stereotype that if you want to protect yourself online, you need to be very tech-savvy, and therefore, those who didn’t understand such things would dismiss using a VPN, antivirus, or other software. 

So, in our communication, we started educating our audience on very simple things to help it understand why cybersecurity is important. We wanted to humanize the often overcomplicated information and we continue to do so up to this day. 


Think of engaging community centered content


We always try to think about what kind of content would be interesting and engaging to our audience. 

For instance, with our employer branding communication we target various specialists in different fields, the variety is huge but we try to maintain it within our brand identity. In other words, we try to find a way to relate to the audience without losing ourselves as a brand. 

For example, we know our audience is waiting for a new Black Mirror season on Netflix, so we craft a job ad that is related to this show. It’s relatable to our audience but also isn’t too far from who we are as a brand - which is being creative. 


Choose a different approach to stand out 


Ever since Surfshark’s launch in 2018 we focused on humanizing rather complex ideas, which was the key distinction between us and our competitors. 

At that time, most of our competitors product-wise  were targeting tech-savvy internet users and we wanted to go into a different direction where focus was on educating the audience. 

This decision dictated our communication strategy - how we want to be perceived as a brand, and it also allowed us to go beyond just being a cybersecurity company. 

Because of this decision, we came up with one of the most successful initiatives - research projects. We conduct various cybersecurity related research projects that later on are picked up by some of the biggest media outlets around the world and, in this way, not only put Surfshark’s name out there but also educate people about potential threats. 


There are no mistakes as long as you follow your brand values


As mentioned before, we don’t think there’s one right way to do things. This field is so dynamic and rapidly changing that sometimes, it’s hard to keep up. 

When YouTube first started, and people began uploading their videos to try to build a career from it, some laughed at them and called it a mistake. Today, influencer marketing is one of the most successful channels that almost every brand uses to drive their sales, and there are millions of influencers across many different media platforms. 

So, I think the most important things to keep in mind are the basic values every brand should have and follow — being honest, transparent, and respectful. 


Get excited about AI


When talking about AI, a lot of people focus on how it could be used in tech but we also see many opportunities to use it for marketing purposes. Tools like MidJourney could save some precious time on looking for stock pictures and help us get the material we need in seconds.

ChatGPT saves time on content creation by quickly providing drafts instead of starting from scratch. With AI, we don’t seek to replace humans - instead we see it as a way to work faster and much more efficiently. 


Finally, 5 key insights on creative marketing 


  1. Know your brand identity. Understanding how you want to be perceived and what things are brand’s do and don’ts.
  2. Don’t be afraid to experiment. The reality is that no one knows the right way to do things, so you might as well have some fun with it and stumble on something really great. 
  3. Know your competition, but don’t follow it blindly. It’s good to know what others are doing but what works for others might not work for your brand, so use it more as a source of inspiration.
  4. Think beyond your industry. If you look for inspiration or ideas just within your industry, chances are you’ll simply end up doing what everyone else is. So, look at brands in other fields, like fashion, that always come up with new and creative ideas to market the same item.
  5. Involve other teams. We learned from past campaigns that it’s important to involve stakeholders from other teams to hear their insights and ideas. It’s not possible for one person to know everything, so involving others helps gain a bit more perspective and develop more effective marketing initiatives.


Interested to join Surshark’s ride in their creative journey? Great, as they have open positions for you!

Join idialogue!

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