Author Chris Spellman
So you want to be a cybersecurity marketer? Or maybe you’re just curious what those crazy marketers at your cybersecurity org are doing all day. Marketing at a cybersecurity firm is more than finding technical-oriented memes and locating stock photos of people in a SOC. Ultimately it’s about building the brand, creating and capturing demand, and driving revenue for the company. Yes, but isn’t B2B marketing all about driving leads? Not exactly. There are high-intent prospects ready to make a purchasing decision and already interested in your product or solution. And then there are low-quality “leads” who just happened to fill out a form for an eBook they’ll never read and won’t even remember the name of your company or what you do. Good B2B marketing is about driving the former and not the latter. It’s not some numbers game to pile up more and more “leads” for your sales team to follow up on. That’s not much different from cold outreach, which sales can do on its own, without marketing. Marketing at a cybersecurity company is about creating demand through various strategies and tactics which may include organic social media, podcast, live online events, building a community, reaching a new audience via social media advertising, and so on. You’re not going to create demand through tactics like Search Engine Optimization (SEO), paid search, review sites, and the like because these all presuppose that your prospective customers are already in the market to buy. These tactics can be great at capturing demand for the very small percentage of your TAM (Total Addressable Market or all those who can buy from you) that is ready and looking to buy. But a smart cybersecurity company will invest mostly in creating demand and not 100% in just capturing it. So what about my own story and how I got into cybersecurity marketing. I actually didn’t study marketing in school (it turns out that’s a good thing because schools are at least a decade behind what really works). I got a job as an SEO copywriter which parlayed into a Marketing/Communications role at a software company. From there, I worked at various software and tech companies until I found the Center for Internet Security, a growing cybersecurity org based in upstate New York. When I started at CIS five years ago, there were a little over 100 employees in the org. Today there are over 400. This type of rapid growth is common among cybersecurity firms. After CIS, I did marketing operations (running marketing systems and analytics) and later demand generation, both for Offensive Security, a cybersecurity training and development company well-known for their OSCP certification, among others. Again, the company saw rapid growth, going from about 150 employees when I started to well over 300 in just two years. Today, I am with SCYTHE, an adversary emulation platform, running demand generation for the org. It is a small marketing team, which means we all do a little bit of everything. This has been a great experience as I am used to bigger teams where people are more specialized rather than generalists. Lots of interesting problems to solve and demand to be created and captured! For those interested in breaking into cybersecurity marketing here are a few tips:
Join a community, such as the Cybersecurity Marketing Society or OffSec’s Discord community. These interactions with others will help you learn more about cybersecurity and also how to break into the field. The Cybersecurity Marketing Society even has a job board which is regularly updated. If you are interested in marketing, especially demand generation, the DEMAND community from Metadata is another great option (also with an active job board)!
Land a job in another software or tech company where you can learn about B2B Marketing and then parlay into cybersecurity.
Find a mentor who has been doing cybersecurity for a number of years and can advise you on what you need to know.
Hopefully that helps shed some light on marketing in the cybersecurity field and how to break into it (if you so wish)! You can find me on LinkedIn if you have further questions or things I can help with. Good luck! About the Author: Chris is a marketing leader with over a decade of experience helping organizations grow. He is dedicated to leading cybersecurity orgs in driving brand, demand, and revenue. Some of his specialties include: demand generation strategy, marketing automation and customer relationship management (CRM) tools, paid social, podcast strategy/production, email marketing, and reporting/analytics. He is also co-author (with his wife) of The Shadows of Freedom series, a dystopian fiction series now available! For more information, check out SpellmanBooks.com.