The cybersecurity field has grown exponentially over the past few years as data breaches and attacks keep increasing. In 2020 alone, the total number of record breaches exceeded 37 billion. This is by far the most record breaches ever recorded in a single year. Because data breaches are on the rise, interest in the cybersecurity field has grown and the need for cybersecurity marketing has risen. The market for cybersecurity solutions is now vast and saturated, making it difficult for your brand to stand out.
Against this noisy backdrop is a target audience that can be hard to reach. They’ve seen it all and are skeptical of new software solutions. By shifting your marketing away from a product focus and taking a more holistic approach instead, you’ll be better positioned to engage with this audience and earn their trust. But to compete at this level, you need more resources.
If you build out your internal marketing team, you may end up spending more on salaries and still not have all the necessary skill sets needed to achieve your strategy successfully. We recommend you look carefully at your current program to identify gaps in coverage, then engage an agency partner to help fill those holes.
The following suggestions will help you understand how to market to cybersecurity professionals. A partner focused in cybersecurity marketing could expand on these steps with their extensive background and experience.
Identify your target audience/personas
Who are you marketing to? Who is your target buyer? If you don’t know, try asking yourself the following questions:
- What are the demographics/firmographics of companies you’re targeting?
- Who is the decision-maker, and who’s on the purchasing committee?
- Who are the competitors? What are the differences between your solution vs. theirs?
When it comes to targeting, if your audience is too small, you won’t reach them on the necessary ad platforms. But if the audience is too big, you run the risk of overspending and diluting your impact. Generally, you want to start on the smaller side to see better results.
Targeting the CIO, CTO and CISO is usually the right approach, but keep in mind that these folks are generally not going to be your first point of contact. One strategy is to reach out to people at director and VP levels. Win them over, and they’ll take your solution to the appropriate folks in the C-suite.
According to IDG, there are over 15 stakeholders involved in choosing a technology that drives the business forward. Because the team members on the various IT and Security teams usually make vendor recommendations to the C-suite, you’ll want to make sure you’re connecting with enough folks on these teams. That way, you’ll reach the people who are a part of the decision-making process.
Reach your targets
Now that you have your ideal targets defined, how will you reach them? Start by creating a persona and brand voice that speaks to the audience you established in step 1. This is key to generating interest from your target audience.
In order to ensure you’re able to reach your target audience effectively, leverage the granular targeting of platforms like LinkedIn. An agency with experience in cybersecurity marketing could help craft salient messages for your personas.
Another technique is to lean on the domain expertise of your own leadership team. Blog posts and social media content from your C-suite are great ways to build thought leadership. Webinars are another way to achieve this. Leverage your leadership team to create engaging video content that addresses timely cybersecurity issues that resonate with your target audience.
Once your content converts, it’ll be time to engage your audience in thoughtful email campaigns.
When it’s time to start properly messaging your product, focus on your audience’s needs. Don’t focus on your product’s technical abilities; you want to make sure you highlight how you can solve the pain security professionals are feeling.
Security professionals have a lot on their plate. The entire field faces a talent shortage, leading to incredibly high-demand jobs. In fact, there is currently a gap of nearly 3 million cybersecurity jobs globally. On top of this, there is an ever-rising amount of security threats. There’s also the risk of not knowing what’s happening in your cloud. Think about how your solution relates to these pain points, then make sure your messaging crisply provides a solution.
You can also leverage industry reports from Gartner or Forrester Research to help educate your prospects and reinforce your value proposition. Similarly, know that a security manager’s needs are very different from the needs of a CISO. Specific features and functionality are more appealing to the manager, while the C-suite is looking for the value your product will bring to their business.
A good cybersecurity marketing partner is great at identifying the problems that professionals face and incorporating current events into the overall strategy. For example, when the WannaCry ransomware attack happened in 2017, we supported a cybersecurity client whose software protected against this cryptoworm. We quickly put together a webinar that featured a live demo showing how their software could protect against this threat. The key was to move fast and do a little newsjacking so our client could leverage this to build awareness of their solution.
It Takes Time
Selling cybersecurity solutions typically takes 6-12 months. According to a 2019 Cisco Report, this process is getting even longer due to customer data privacy concerns, losses from data breaches, and GDPR readiness. Is your organization committed to a long buying cycle?
Make sure you’re considering your audience, too. As mentioned earlier, it can take time to build trust with cybersecurity professionals. Do you have the brand awareness and credibility to assuage these concerns?
When it comes to finding the right cybersecurity marketing partner, VSSL is the way to go. We have intensive cybersecurity domain expertise, including supporting clients like Ensilo, BehavioSec, ForgePoint, Concourse Labs, Invotas, GroupSense, Nisos, FireEye, and Verizon Cybersecurity.
We have a deep understanding of CISOs and purchasing committee personalities. We know what they’re looking for, and we know what works. At VSSL, we’re a full-service strategic partner who provides you with detailed reporting and optimization every step of the way.
Marketing your cybersecurity product in-house can be risky. The cybersecurity market is hard to tap into. We’re here to make sure that you do.