Zoom’s indirect marketing could rescue itself

In the midst of an absolutely tumultuous week of horrible reports and revelations about a raft of security lapses, intrusions on private meetings, and even a public warning from the FBI, Zoom has shown not only remarkable poise in the face of intense criticism, but also the ability to respond with grace and professionalism.

Perhaps the most important gesture was CEO Eric Yuan issuing a public apology and a promise to do better – quickly. (Please read his blog post explaining the entire situation.) He was also upfront in admitting that password protection should have been mandated at the outset.

That, in itself, is a critical execution of marketing that could help Zoom get through its maelstrom and survive an anticipated wave of defections to other platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Cisco Webex.

(It’s also yet another of example of why marketing isn’t strictly about the activities of a marketing staff, as I discussed earlier in reference to Robinhood.)

The other is Zoom’s blog post in response to its (perceived) misinterpretation of “end-to-end encryption” and widespread criticism.

The first paragraph goes a very long way toward re-establishing some trust:

In light of recent interest in our encryption practices, we want to start by apologizing for the confusion we have caused by incorrectly suggesting that Zoom meetings were capable of using end-to-end encryption. Zoom has always strived to use encryption to protect content in as many scenarios as possible, and in that spirit, we used the term end-to-end encryption. While we never intended to deceive any of our customers, we recognize that there is a discrepancy between the commonly accepted definition of end-to-end encryption and how we were using it. This blog is intended to rectify that discrepancy and clarify exactly how we encrypt the content that moves across our network.

The rest of the blog post goes into a fairly detailed, yet not overly detailed explanation of how they implement encryption in communications between client endpoints, while emphasizing that Zoom does not peer into any communication data by decrypting it.

Zoom is certainly off to a good start in satisfying widespread concerns about security and user privacy. Following through with critical security feature updates will of course be the most important remedy.