As we wrap up the series on the “Products That We Love” we look at new services that are coming out, and which can impact a business in a positive way.  These are the ways in which you do digital marketing and ads, and overall security awareness training.

Microsoft Advertising – BING

Gone are the days when a business would rely purely upon the traditional means of marketing. This would include such as items snail mail campaigns, TV and radio commercials, direct telemarketing, billboards, and print ads.  Now everything is digital, and because of that, Social Media is all the rage.  Everybody wants to do Pay Per Click campaigns (aka PPCs), so that they can get ranked high in the Google search rankings.

But there are other avenues as well that you can use to increase your digital footprint – this is using what is known as “Microsoft Advertising”, which was once known as “Bing Ads”.  By using the Bing platform to deploy your PPC ads, they will appear in three different search engines, which are:

  • AOL;
  • Bing;
  • Yahoo.

It is important to note that although the above may not have the market dominance that Google has, these search engines are still widely used by both individuals and businesses alike in order to search for specific items, such as products and services.  To further substantiate this, using the Microsoft Advertising platform accounted for well over 25% of all searches that were done in 2019,

(SOURCE:  1).

This number translates into 11,000,000 extra searches that were conducted outside of the Google search engine.  Ever since the name change, Microsoft Advertising now offers a plethora of more digital marketing services.  Some of these include the following:

  1. The use of targeted advertising:

To make things much more effective, you can set your target parameters based upon demographics, socioeconomic factors, geography, and even by types of business and industry.  The platform comes with a feature that allows you to find the most robust keywords that you can use to zero in on your PPC ads.  You can also have them launched so that they can be seen during certain parts of the day, and for those business owners that still run the traditional mom and pop stores, you can even schedule your PPC ads to run during normal business hours.

  1. The use of shopping campaigns:

By utilizing the Microsoft Shopping Campaign functionality, you can very quickly create online shopping catalogs for your various products and services so that they can be displayed in the Bing search engine.  With this, you can insert pictures of your goods, and any content you wish to use in order to garner the most attention to it.  If you even have a Google campaign that is running, you can even import it into this platform quite seamlessly.  One of the other key advantages of using the Microsoft Shopping Campaign is that you can increase the scalability of your online catalog in just a matter of a few minutes based upon the following variables:

  • The categories of your products and services;
  • Their brand names;
  • Their specific type (in other words, what needs they fill);
  • Your unique product/service identifier.

 

  1. You have even further reach:

As previously described, your PPC ads will be automatically placed in three different engines.  But if you opt to, you can even expand these horizons by having your ads places across the entire Microsoft Search Network.  With this, you can be guaranteed that your digital ads will be placed across all of the syndicated sites of Microsoft and their related partners.  This includes the likes of the giants MSN.com and even Yahoo.com.  Based upon your current budget and marketing needs, you can effectively increase or narrow the scope of your PPC ads with just a few clicks of the mouse. For example, you can choose to have them be seen across different market segments all over the world, or just one segment in one specific geographic location.

  1. You have AI at your disposal:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is now all of the rage in digital marketing, and Microsoft has made this even easier to use than ever before.  For example, it is already built into another platform known as the “Microsoft Audience Network”.  This is an easy to use tool that tracks engagements with your PPC ads in real time, and even provides recommendations as to how you can get the biggest bang for your marketing dollars.  It also comes with easy to understand graphics and dashboards so that you can gauge instantaneously how your digital ads are doing.

You may even be asking at this point, “Yea, this all sounds great, but doesn’t Google have a bigger piece of the digital marketing pie”?  Yes, they do, but consider this one very crucial statistic:

The PPC ads that appear on the Microsoft Search Network primarily attracts those people that are in the 35-54-year-old age bracket.  In fact, this represents about 7% of the entire users that utilize the Bing search engine, and the average income of this age group is at $70,000, thus making them much more lucrative prospects to go after.

(SOURCE:  2).

Finally, you can run a very effective digital marketing campaign by using PPC ads placed instead of Google, as the below graphic depicts:

(SOURCE:  3).

Why do we love using Microsoft Advertising? (To be filled in by Barbara)

Security Awareness Training – KnowBe4

In today’s Cybersecurity world, there is no doubt that newer threat variants are on the rise, almost even on an hour by hour basis.  It is important to keep in mind that these are not totally brand-new attack vectors; but rather, they have concocted from older forms of Cyberattacks.

It’s just that the hacker is now learning how to build a better mousetrap with what is already available, rather than having to spend an exorbitant amount of money to create a brand-new threat variant.

In this regard, Phishing is the oldest, yet still the most effective Cyberattack weapon still yet available.  It actually goes back all the way to the early 1990’s, with the first public attack occurring to AOL in the late 90’s, during the height of the Internet bubble.

Despite all of the training that businesses put their employees through so that they can recognize what a Phishing Email looks like, many of them still fall prey to it.  Part of the reason for this is that given the increased sophistication level of the Cyberattacker, it is getting close to impossible to tell what a legitimate Email is or not, or for that matter, even if a website is even authentic.

But now, there is a way to see exactly where your employees are falling short when it comes to recognizing a Phishing E-Mail.  This is new method is now a simulated Phishing attack and is a service by a pioneer in the field, KnowBe4.  It comes with the following functionalities:

  1. Baseline Testing:

You can quickly and easily run a basic simulated Phishing attack against your own employees to see the total percentage that fall victim to it, which can be sorted out by department and even job title.

  1. A limitless amount of material:

Since KnowBe4 is the innovator, it provides your company with an entire gamut of training content, probably even more that what any other Cybersecurity vendor can offer.  It includes the following:

  • Interactive modules;
  • The most up to date videos;
  • Gamification techniques;
  • Infographics;
  • Regular newsletters;
    1. Launch even more sophisticated Phishing attacks:

Your company will have access to completely automated style Phishing attack techniques, with over thousands of templates that you can choose from on an unlimited basis.  The primary advantage here is that you will be able to educate your employees into what the latest Phishing Emails look like, and how to react to them, appropriately.  Also, you will be provided with phony, but non-malicious looking file attachments, such as those of .DOC, .XLS, .PPT., .PDF, etc.

      1. Instantaneous results:

Your company will be given access to its own, unique portal in which you will be provided with dashboards and other key metrics to see how well your employees are responding to your new training methods, using the simulated Phishing attack scenarios.  By seeing the quick ROI, you are thus in a much stronger position to ask for an increased amount of funding for your overall Cybersecurity budget.

Why do we love KnowBe4?

Conclusions

Overall, this article has examined the use of Microsoft Advertising and using the tools of KnowBe4 in order to mitigate the threats of a Phishing attack.  With the former, keep in mind that although Google may be proverbial 800-pound gorilla, you can probably ROI by using PPC ads placed in Bing. Also, with regards to the latter, simply training your employees once is not enough.  They need to be made aware of what the latest Phishing Email attack vectors look like.

Sources