Executive Interview with Paras Shah, Managing Director at LAMR Group

Marketing Darwinism had the opportunity to meet up with Paras Shah, Managing Director at LAMR Group Inc.

Marketing Darwinism:  Paras, you are an acknowledged expert in Security and Privacy.  Tell us about these areas and please inflect with your experience.

Paras Shah:  Thanks Paul.  I am not sure I am an expert.  I say this not out of false humility but because one can never truly be an expert in these areas, given the pace of technological change, always expanding attack surface and the complexity of risk scenarios  arrayed against any organization.  But, yes, I’ve been in the space for 20 years and am struck by two seemingly contradictory themes.  

The first is that much of what we knew even 10 years ago, particularly around probable targets, has been rubbished by later developments.  Technologies change rapidly and with the democratization of devices and technology-business singularity, threats are literally ubiquitous.  20 years ago, many thought only about large organizations and companies being under threat.  Now, threats are equal opportunity.  So yes, that has materially altered the threat landscape and along with it the solution market place.

The second is how much has stayed the same.  We had a mantra decades ago that security was about technology but also people, process, culture, and other factors.  Well, that’s still the same.  So, any framework you build to deal with Security and Privacy has to have multiple components in its composition and spirit.

Marketing Darwinism:  What roles does LAMR Group play in this space? 

Paras Shah:  We follow what I just covered as a core tenet of our value proposition.  We offer consultation and frameworks but also human capital to large and medium sized companies so that they can think of Security and Privacy holistically.  We also identify best in breed products and managed services in the Security space and either resell them or advise customers on their adoption.  Business has been brisk, which is an indication of just how much work has to be done in the space.

Marketing Darwinism:  Many of our readers are Marketers by profession though all are senior enough to wear multiple hats.  How does marketing play a role in this space?

Paras Shah:  Marketing plays a very large role in Security and Privacy, in some expected ways and in some unexpected ways.  

Given the ubiquity of the “Security” conversation, almost all companies that deal with technology, data, personal information, or anything even remotely “sensitive” have to refer to their security and privacy protocols in marketing literature – communicating good security hygiene has become “table stakes” for a competent marketer. This is good and bad.  It’s good that almost all organizations take these areas seriously but also, as is the wont of marketers, there are many boasts and hyperbolic statements that set organizations up for failure.  Too good to be true is, well, never true.  Technologists and Security professionals have to deal with the fallout of these marketing claims.  I’d ask all Marketers to consult with Security and Privacy people before making claims that cannot be paid off.

Marketing Darwinism:  It’s almost a marketing ethics issue isn’t it?

Paras Shah:  In some ways yes but also, to cut folks some slack, there are some misconceptions about Security and Privacy;  that there are quick fixes or silver bullets or that doing an “audit” then remediation is a one-time deal.  Not at all.  These are constant, continuous, dynamic spaces that require frequent attention –  top of mind always.

Marketing Darwinism:  Parting thoughts? 

Paras Shah:  All people in Security have to be evangelists of some sort.  So, all I can really say is that for all organizations, of any size, Security and Privacy to be a Board-Level issue and a core strategic pillar. Security and privacy cannot be relegated  to a parenthetical discussion.

Written by Paul Dunay
Paul Dunay is an award-winning B2B marketing expert with more than 20 years’ success in generating demand and creating awareness for leading technology, consumer products, financial services and professional services organizations. Paul is the global vice president of marketing for Maxymiser a leading web optimization firm, and author of four “Dummies” books: Facebook Marketing for Dummies (Wiley 2009), Social Media and the Contact Center for Dummies (Wiley Custom Publishing 2010), Facebook Advertising for Dummies (Wiley 2010) and Facebook Marketing for Dummies 2nd Edition (Wiley 2011). His unique approach to marketing has led to recognition of Paul as a BtoB Magazine Top 25 B2B Marketer of the Year for 2010 and 2009 and winner of the DemandGen Award for Utilizing Marketing Automation to Fuel Corporate Growth in 2008. He is also a finalist for the last six years in a row in the Marketing Excellence Awards competition of the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), and is a 2010 and 2005 gold award winner in Driving Demand. Buzz Marketing for Technology, Paul’s blog, has been recognized as a Top 20 Marketing Blog for 2009 and 2008, a Top Blog to Watch for 2009 and 2008, and an Advertising Age Power 150 blog in the “Daily Ranking of Marketing Blogs.” Paul has shared his marketing thought leadership as a featured speaker for the American Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine, CMO Club, MarketingProfs, Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG), and ITSMA. He has appeared on Fox News, and his articles have been featured in BusinessWeek, The New York Times, BtoB Magazine, MarketingProfs and MarketingSherpa. Paul holds an Executive Certificate in Strategy and Innovation from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Computer Science from Ithaca College.