In high school, what was your answer when someone asked about your career aspirations? I can still feel the lump that would swell in my throat during my formative years—what would I do with my life? Even more vivid is the memory of clicking through a career questionnaire. With every dip of my finger, I moved closer to my fate. This “definitive” test posed questions like, Are you more concerned with making money or making a difference? Why not both?
I imagine the hardworking people behind today’s cybersecurity startups share my sentiment. Why not both?
For starters, it’s not achievable if your company doesn’t exist. The onslaught of cyberattacks has spurred a fast-growing market, but with too many companies on the losing side. It’s not that we don’t need the technology—quite the opposite. Attacks are rapidly evolving and outpacing deployed security. Startups are dying out, in part, because their message isn’t working.
Want to be successful? Break through the noise.
If your solution can do it for analysts’ alert fatigue, you can do it for your company with these tips:
1. Get a Messaging Framework
Repeat after me: content marketing is a strategic effort. When you enter the marketing/communications world, it can seem like all fluff. I assure you, it’s a whole lot more calculated than it appears on the surface.
Breaking through the noise requires a messaging framework that defines a cohesive, compelling, and strategically-crafted story.
2. Stop Focusing on the Headlines
Sure, big breaches create lots of buzz…then what? People move on. When you want to make the most of your content marketing, you need to focus on creating evergreen content that attracts prospects before, during, and after breaches.
3. Work Smarter, Not Harder
So cliché, right? But seriously, if you have a piece of content that performs well—use it, reuse it, and repurpose it. Can that white paper be an infographic, a blog series, a webinar? If people crave that content, give them more.
4. Do the ‘Mom’ Test
If your mom is anything like mine, she has no idea what you do. (For the record, it goes both ways. My mom is a CPA and you’d never want to hire me to do your books)
There’s a good chance a technical person (or another highly-educated person) is responsible for buying your cybersecurity product or service, but that doesn’t mean they want to sift through complex marketing copy.
Read what you’re putting out to the world—would your mom understand what you are saying? If the answer is no, you need to clarify your messaging. People are busy and our brains don’t want to work hard when processing information.
5. Remember the True Hero in the Story
Cybersecurity marketing is swollen with scare tactics that frames the technology as the hero. This could be the biggest mistake of all. The true heroes are your customers and prospects, and it should be all about them. Technology is interesting, but satisfying a pain point is what closes the deal. It seems basic, but it’s the most common mistake.
The cybersecurity market isn’t getting easier as prospects of fetching a good price in an initial IPO or being the next big acquisition fade. Say good-bye to the jargon-stuffed, crappy FUD marketing messaging of yesterday, or there might not be a tomorrow.
Oh yeah, in case you were curious, the answer to my career test: COMMUNICATIONS.