Take 5 for Cyber is a PAN Communications series that shares insights from cybersecurity experts on the state of the industry and the tools, techniques, and tactics they use to stay ahead of the curve.
Kate Bachman is Vice President of Corporate Communications & Brand at Invicti Security, an international brand focused on web applications security.
The biggest challenge for me is probably team alignment on what I would consider “the basics” across marketing functions and with other teams like Product, Engineering and Sales. By basics, I mean buyer and user persona work, core competitor tracking, messaging, etc.
While probably not unique to cyber, this industry is really noisy and everyone has a different view on exactly what CISOs, security teams, developers, etc. think and want from vendors, and how to talk to those audiences. Getting everyone on the same page and keeping them there is tough.
The pandemic really just solidified many things I already thought about marketing: the value of clear thinking, even clearer communication and the importance of understanding human beings — the wants, needs, pains, experiences, etc. If it changed anything, I might say it made me more skeptical of how data is collected and presented as it relates to understanding stakeholder behavior and the impact of marketing. I ask a lot more questions about why certain things did or didn’t work and what makes us confident in understanding the ‘why.’
Honestly I’m trying to get fewer tools in my life! There is definitely a place for tools like Cision, Google Analytics, SFDC, Marketo, Slack, project management tools, etc., but the context-switching needed when using a lot of tools and the proficiency needed to get the most out of them take a lot of time and energy. At worst, I see people relying too much on tools to do the thinking for them, which is a detriment to great marketing.
Cybersecurity marketing is still a bit all over the place. It’s also still pretty surface-level and fluffy, but we’re maturing. There was this idea for a long time that cyber marketing was this ”Do ALL the news/content jacking on the latest breach!” — which put speed above substance.
As the industry matures … marketers need to get closer to what cyber professionals actually want and need.
Now as the industry matures, that doesn’t work as well and marketers need to get closer to what cyber professionals actually want and need. I see more companies trying to have more substance in their marketing and moving toward more value-oriented messages, but we still have work to do.