Much like any other industry, COVID-19 turned the marketing world upside down. According to Gartner’s Annual CMO Spend Survey, almost half of CMOs reported a budget cut of more than five percent since the onset of COVID-19—many reporting cuts of more than 15 percent. With marketing spending down and sales demands on the rise, how can cybersecurity marketers not only stay afloat, but successfully stand out in the overcrowded market?
To explore just that, we teamed up with Women in Technology (WIT) to host a virtual panel session exploring the impact the pandemic has had on the industry and how to successfully pave a path forward. We were joined by a panel of experts including Claire Trimble, CMO at Illusive Networks; Mike Raeder, former deputy CISO at Northrop Grumman and former CISO at OrbitalATK; Katie Teitler, senior analyst at TAG Cyber; and our very own Michelle Schafer, senior vice president & partner.
If you weren’t able to join us, we’ve got you covered! Check out the following takeaways.
Constructing content looks different nowadays. In a breakout discussion between attendees, marketers explained the various ways that COVID-19 has impacted their priorities. Aside from new telework habits, our attendees discussed ways they have shifted content development to better reach their buyers during the pandemic. Understanding that many potential customers are preoccupied with challenges brought about by COVID, marketers have worked to develop shorter, more digestible content that their audiences can quickly sink their teeth into to get a clear message.
Unclear on which content to begin developing? Our recent Marketing and Selling to the CISO report shows that 89 percent of CISOs regularly read vendor blogs. Time to get typing!
Course correction is a silver lining. Claire Trimble, CMO at Illusive Networks, explained that COVID-19 has given her the opportunity to course correct both professionally and personally. From leveraging remote work to spend more time with her family to reallocating travel budgets to more effective marketing spend, there are plenty of positive changes underway too. The pandemic has provided marketers with a unique opportunity to take a step back, evaluate what programs are working or not working, and course correct if needed.
Know your target buyer and be specific with them. With thousands of security vendors in the market, Katie Teitler, senior analyst at TAG Cyber, informed attendees how critical it is for marketers to get specific with their target audiences. Generic messages that do not closely align with buyers’ pain points and decision-making power will no longer fit the bill. Instead, marketers need to take the time to learn who their customer is, what they are responsible for, what their industry peers are buying and more.
Ready to get started? Katie recommends using your customer’s company message as a tool to align your value proposition accordingly. Some extra work on the back end goes a long way for your bottom line!
If marketers are going to give away anything for free during the pandemic, they should do so without expecting something in return.
Lend a helping hand — with good intentions. As a nation, we’re facing a time when helping others is more crucial than ever before. This rings true in the marketing world as well. Claire Trimble explained that if marketers are going to give away anything for free during the pandemic, they should do so without expecting something in return. Mike Raeder, former deputy CISO at Northrop Grumman and former CISO at OrbitalATK, agreed with this practice, as he shared the challenges that his teams faced when it came to providing security services to the rapidly remote workforce at the beginning of the pandemic. Adopting a new technology that was offered in goodwill, his team quickly discovered that the functionality and user experience made this tool essential moving forward. Marketers should push themselves to strike the balance between pushing business forward and offering help when possible—after all, you never know what can come from good karma.
Interested in learning more about how to successfully market to your cyber buyer during COVID-19? Watch the full session, visit our pandemic communications resource center and learn more about our cyber marketing and PR success stories!