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March 05, 2012

Vroom, Vroom, fast cars, fast woman and security?

loglogicNow that RSA is over it is time for my annual rant on how we sell security.  As my friend Mike Rothman wrote, this years RSA was full of optimism, race cars and booth babes. The optimism was a refreshing change from the last few years of glass half empty, shoveling sand against the tide pessimism. But I don’t get the race cars and you know I don’t like the booth babes.

First the race cars. I will admit it, I am not a big NASCAR guy.  I am not even an Indy/Formula One guy. But just as I don’t mind seeing a beautiful woman, there is some sort of primal attraction of guys to race cars. My question is what does that have to do with security? 

So some security vendors (who seem to be awash in cash) find that sponsoring a race car is a good use of marketing funds. First of all I would be hard pressed to agree that it is a good use of funds, but hey its their money to spend as they see fit. That does not make it about security though does it?  Like Mike said, it is not like they were raffling off these cars. Is it that they think having a car is going to draw me over to look at it and while there they are going to sneak a security conversation in?  Seems weak to me, no?

Let’s substitute a pretty woman for the car.  Dress her scantily of course and have her hold a sign that says size matters.  You pretty much just described the Loglogic booth. So what is that about? How about you women reading this out there? How do you feel. Is there a connection here?

I have said it before and I will say it again, in spite of what my friend from ATL says. Booth babes have no business at a security conference in San Francisco. You want to do this in Vegas, I can understand it is the Vegas thing. But not at RSA, not here.

For the life of me I don’t understand what smooth tires and bumpy women have to do with security.  If your message isn’t good enough to attract the attention of the people who come to RSA, get a better message. Don’t try to compensate with fast cars and fast women. I think marketing folks who resort to these tactics need to figure out why someone would want their product or service beyond taking a picture with a car or booth babe. 

We have come a long way since the geeky dweeb who would never have a pretty girl talk to him was the norm in this industry.  It is time our marketing caught up.

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