New Study Challenges Marketing Executives to Make Security an Integral Component of Brand Trust

Comprehensive CMO Council Report Offers Marketers and Business Executives Real-World Examples and More than 50 Best Practices for Security Breach Crisis Containment and Preservation of Brand Trust

PALO ALTO, Calif. (October 4, 2006) — As information security concerns among consumers and other customer constituencies rise, just 29 percent of marketers say that their firm has a crisis containment plan in case of a security breach, according to findings of a major research initiative by the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council. Without such a plan and other security strategies in place, companies are at risk of losing hundreds of million of dollars in market value and loss of reputation and brand trust, according to the study’s findings.

In response, the CMO Council will release today, at its fifth annual CMO Council Summit in San Francisco, a comprehensive report entitled Secure the Trust of Your Brand: How Security and IT Integrity Influence Corporate Brands. The report serves as a reference guide for marketers and other executives, offering real-world examples of companies’ actions following major security breaches, and strategies and best practices for prevention, containment and preservation of brand trust. Available for $295, the full Secure the Trust report can be purchased at

With the Report, the CMO Council continues to stake out aggressive advocacy positions on behalf of global marketers. In releasing Secure the Trust of Your Brand at its Summit, with attendance by senior marketing executives from global brands such as Lenovo, AT&T, Visa, The Boeing Company, Eastman Kodak, among many others, the CMO Council hopes to underscore for all marketers the critical importance of implementing a proactive strategy and vigilant approach to brand protection in an environment where increasingly more sophisticated methods of security breach and data theft are ever more prevalent – and wreak ever greater damage to a company’s brand, reputation and bottom line.

The Report, developed in collaboration with Factiva (a Dow Jones and Reuters Company) and Symantec, details findings that show security concerns of both consumers and executives are rising. It also includes a compendium of best practices strategies for small, medium and large enterprises. Among the top-line recommendations offered in Secure the Trust of Your Brand:

  • Consistency in security and privacy is needed across the enterprise . Marketers must take a highly proactive role in ensuring that security policies and messaging are fully aligned in the organization—from the C-suite, across business lines, through the marketing organization, and down to the rank and file.

  • The study identifies three critical actions that marketers must participate in driving to maintain preservation and promotion of brand trust:

  • Prevention — Foster a pervasive culture of organizational commitment to the right technologies and security policies to keep a security breach from occurring.

  • Crisis Containment —In case of a security breach, communicate openly and proactively with customer, business partners, shareholders and the press, to cushion and mitigate the blow to the brand

  • Restitution —Have a plan ready to help the victims of the breach (consumers, or in the case of B2B, partners or other companies)—financial, or via services such as a free credit check, for example.

  • Marketing executives must understand that the risks associated with security are as much a marketing problem as a technology problem. As such, Secure the Trust suggests a variety of security marketing and messaging techniques, including:

  • Reassure the public and business customers that security is a core company value by creating special programs and communicating them via a Web mini-site and other marcom strategies.

  • Demonstrate the CEO’s involvement in security policies and issues, proving the organization is effectively focused on security.

  • Launch a consumer advocacy program to help customers understand security risks, such as phishing, e-mail fraud and phone fraud.

  • Develop “trust metrics,” a measure of how a person or organization is trusted by others (i.e. eBay’s customer feedback ratings system).

Secure the Trust of Your Brand is the most comprehensive study to date on how security is impacting business value and performance, customer confidence and retention, and brand reputation and integrity. The CMO Council study includes brand and business performance analytics conducted by the Zyman School of Brand Science at Emory University’s Goizeuta Business School; extensive analysis conducted by Factiva of media coverage surrounding security breaches and issues; a revealing case study of ChoicePoint Corp., which suffered a major security breach in 2005 before launching a now textbook crisis containment plan surveys of corporate executives, marketers and customers, including a survey of more than 2,000 consumers in North America and Europe conducted with Opinion Research Corporation, as well as in-depth discussions with 25 leading marketing executives on the study’s advisory board.

“The Secure the Trust study shows that while some companies are aggressively addressing security issues, too many are not,” said Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the CMO Council. “Therefore, we are excited to be able to offer enterprises comprehensive strategic and practical advice on security policies, procedures and messaging that will help deter both brand and business value erosion.”

In addition to the Secure the Trust report, an on-demand Secure the Trust videocast, featuring subject matter expert panelists from Symantec, Factiva, Emory University and Opinion Research Corp. can be downloaded at:

About Factiva ®
Factiva, a Dow Jones and Reuters Company, provides essential business news and information together with the content delivery tools and services that enable professionals to make better decisions faster. Factiva’s unrivalled collection of more than 10,000 authoritative sources includes the exclusive combination of The Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times ®, Dow Jones and Reuters newswires and the Associated Press, as well as Reuters Fundamentals and D&B® company profiles.

Factiva’s innovative, XML-based and Web services-enabled technology platform provides access to this rich content collection via Factiva’s role-specific products or through customized enterprise, group or personal solutions. Executives, information professionals, marketers, salespeople and other professionals can easily monitor and understand the latest news, market trends and business challenges relevant to them – directly from the Microsoft® Office and job-specific applications they use every day.

About Symantec
Symantec is the world leader in providing solutions to help individuals and enterprises assure the security, availability, and integrity of their information. Headquartered in Cupertino, Calif., Symantec has operations in more than 40 countries. More information is available at

About CMO Council
The CMO Council is dedicated to high-level knowledge exchange, thought leadership and personal relationship building among senior marketing and brand decision-makers across a wide-range of global industries. Approximately 2,300 top marketing executives are represented on the CMO Council worldwide, accounting for well over $50 billion in aggregated annual revenues. Visit the CMO Council website to find out about the initiatives geared to address executive marketers’ challenges at