CyberWeek 2017: Proven Advice from Cybersecurity Experts
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CyberWeek concluded with a bang. Marketing Envy’s own “Grill the Experts” meetup, where you had the chance to ask our guest experts the tough questions.
Whether you are trying to raise that next round, reach out to analysts for coverage or grab more leads you are not the only one. Startups trying to stand out in the crowded cybersecurity space need the secret sauce, and what better way to get it than asking cybersecurity veterans?These are the main highlights from the event, you can also check out the full decks.
On Analyst Relations
Talk: How to Speak to Gartner Analysts with Maximum Impact
Speaker: Nancy Shapira-Aronovic, Business Development Director and Ayal Tirosh, Senior Research Analyst, Gartner
Did you know that 50% of IT Decision makers say that industry analyst information is the most important information used when shortlisting vendors? (According to Hill & Knowlton Survey of IT Decision Makers). So what is the secret to building and maintaining analyst relations?
Be Strategic about Your Analyst Relations:
- Engage Analysts on an ongoing, continuous basis.
- Prioritize which analysts you will focus your efforts on and which will be a lower priority. Ideally, you should maintain regular contact with 1-2 primary analysts, occasional contact with 2-10 referral analysts, and stay on the radar of 10-20 adjacent market analysts.
Use Vendor Briefings Wisely:
- Adapt your deck to fit the analyst’s agenda. According to Ayal Tirosh “End users make up majority of our conversation, what aspects of your offering are particularly suited to address their pain points”. Stress how your offering fits with the changing customer requirements, emerging market trends, competitive shifts and cool new technologies (i.e target “Cool Vendors” special report).
- Make sure to set enough time aside for the analyst to ask questions.
- Less than 30% of what an analyst knows ever gets published. In fact, telephone inquiries are the primary channel for two-way interaction between the analysts and his end-customers.
- Encourage your prospective clients to contact the analyst. This approach is great for a few of reasons. First, the prospects are likely to leverage Gartner research or inquiries anyway. Second, it displays a level of confidence that your prospects should find reassuring.
Give the VCs What They Want
Talk: How to Grab VC attention to secure your next round
Speaker: Ofer Shreiber, Partner, YL ventures
YL Ventures is a global VC firm that invests in seed-stage deep-tech B2B software companies. And they are very selective. So how can you grab the investors attention?
Here are the things they are going to scrutinize you for:
- Founding Team: The quality of the founding team is one of the very first things an investor looks at. Do you have industry specific expertise? What is your track record? Does your team have the right mix of skills?
- The size of the opportunity: What is the market you are ACTUALLY targeting? Be prepared, and answer honestly. Who is the customer and do they have money for your product? YL ventures in particular are looking at startups with the total addressable market > $1B.
- Incremental improvement is not enough: Small improvements in efficiency to current solutions are not going to cut it. What YL ventures and other VCs are looking for are real solutions to real problems.
- CISO’s fatigue: CISOs are barraged by offers. Your best bet to get their attention is to solve one of the top five problems out of the hundreds they have. Validate the problem with real CISOs, make sure that it’s a true pain, something that keeps them up at night. Your offering must be very compelling, and make sure it doesn’t compete with too many established vendors before you pitch to a VC.
- Investing in “cyber for X” is actually investing in “X”: The big question is: what is the probability that the big enterprise customers will adopt this particular solution? Do they have a need for it? What can you do to convince investors in the cybersecurity space that your solution is valid? Identify new emerging categories, demonstrate growth adoption stats, take advantage of the known attacks.
Words from a Blazing Startup CMO
Talk: 11 tactics to attract C-levels
Speaker: Dori Harpaz, CMO at Secdo
Dori from SECDO, a preemptive incident response startup has shared 11 Tips that have worked for him in targeting higher positions in the cybersecurity space.
#1 C-levels listen to C-levels - Find a c-level customer or partner and give them incentives to evangelize.
#2 Send them mail. Real mail. To their office - Find something nice that corresponds to your brand and send it to their office. Afterwards, follow up by email or phone. It works great to establish the rapport.
#3 Prepare marketing collateral for C-levels - Marketing collateral for users of your product, e.g. SOC manager should be different than the ones aimed at C-level decision makers. Highlight business value as opposed to technical features, show dashboards, reports, summaries.
#4 C-levels do consult with analysts - Maintain analyst relations, establish a regular brief at least on a quarterly basis. When your product falls into several categories, make sure to maintain contact with analysts in each of these. Find ones that like you, and direct prospects and potential customers to them.
#5 C-levels read competitive reviews - Comparisons are in your interest, especially when you are small and competing with the big guys. There are two sources: Review sites (e.g G2Crowd) and evangelists. If someone is moving from competitor to you- ask them to write a review. Such strategy is great for generating leads.
#6 C-levels respond to cold emails - If the email is interesting - they will open it. Around 1% end to end conversion is not bad, especially when dealing with big numbers. They are very interested in knowing what other C- levels are doing, send them content generated by their colleagues. Short, simple, CTAs that should be highlighted. And make sure it’s from a real person; add picture
#7 C- levels don’t have a lot of time, so use video There are three types of videos that are effective at targeting C-levels: humoristic, demo, explainer video. Best to have them all and test which works.
#8 Automate LinkedIn messages - Automate connection requests and messages. You can get up to 20% connection approvals and up to 10% follow up replies
#9 LinkedIn sponsored posts - LinkedIn is a great place to target C-levels with paid campaigns. To get an overview, read our blog on the topic.
#10 Pre-connect with C-levels before an event Before going to the event, buy last year’s attendees and set up as many meetings as possible.
#11 Marketing is for the long haul. To be truly effective make sure to cover all three aspects on an ongoing basis: Content + social + marketing automation.
Take it from the Marketing Veterans
Talk: Tailoring your message per audience & effective leadgen
Speaker: Lior Katz, Inbound Marketing Manager, Marketing Envy
Nothing works alone, there are no silver bullets, quick hacks or magic tricks. So when it comes to reaching your target audience: how do successful cybersecurity companies get it done? A combination of a solid SEO, content and social media strategy.
Content and SEO
- Organic traffic is key: keyword research, SEO optimization
- More content = more leads. The more content, offers, and landing pages you create, more opportunities to generate more leads.
- Create Offers For Different Buying Stages
- Companies that blog 6-8 times per month double their lead volume.
- Know your audience, Set SMART KPIs, Set relevant CTAs
Marketing automation - Make sure you don’t miss a single lead and each one is nurtured as much as possible.
Become an influencer - Be your prospects’ go to resource for ecosystem insights. Build a loyal following to later use influencer connections for content sharing.
PPC and A/B Testing - Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google AdWords - they each have their unique purpose, know them and test them.
See you next time!