The Marketing Behind Heartbleed | Tier10lab
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The Marketing Behind Heartbleed | Tier10lab

The Marketing Behind Heartbleed
Katie Reilly

A major security flaw in the most popular data encryption software has initiated action throughout the web and led to the flooding of inboxes everywhere with “Change Your Password” style messages. The word about this bug has spread faster than a real-life flu virus, and a strong marketing campaign is responsible.

Typically, knowledge of a bug in any kind of software is quietly released in the technology community and scarcely ever reaches the mainstream news networks. Coding language means little to the general public, and a programming error incites minimal panic, if any. But what about a flaw that opens up nearly 70 percent of private information on the web to theft and has gone undetected for the past two years? Upon discovery of the Heartbleed bug, it became obvious that an issue of this size required widespread and abrupt action.

The marketing behind Heartbleed conveys its message in a manner that is straightforward, simple and relevant to its target audience. It begins by grabbing the viewer’s attention with a name that suggests immediate danger while relating back to the problem itself. In the programming world, a heartbeat is a small package of data sent from one computer to another, signaling that it is safe to release private information. The flaw behind Heartbleed allows an unauthorized computer to send a faux heartbeat to another computer, which initiates the transfer of information stored in its memory.

With that in mind, the heart serves as the ideal/perfect symbol for the marketing campaign. [T1] The human heart operates in the center of the chest and is responsible for pumping blood to the rest of the form – essentially keeping all of its extensions alive. Combine this idea with the crimson image, and it will surely induce alarm. The unauthorized release of private information leaves one vulnerable, just as bleeding out can result in death. By relating these concepts, the explanation of a particularly technical subject becomes user-friendly.

This consistent messaging continues on the public webpage. features a single question-and-answer style homepage. At the top, the familiar logo, a red bleeding heart, is recognizable, unmistakable and eye-catching, and the authoritative nature of the image properly convinces a large audience that the text is high-priority. The technical writing on the page leaves nothing to the imagination and uses easily understood layman’s terms. Throughout each element of the messaging, the reader understands that this knowledge and its subsequent action are vital in protecting their private information.

The goal to successful marketing, as evidenced by the team behind, is to implement uncomplicated, unique and uniform strategy. If the importance and urgency of a message are clearly defined, it will easily reach its targeted audience.