Having worked with over 25 cybersecurity companies in various stages of growth on their cybersecurity marketing strategies, we’ve gleaned some best practices to help avoid common issues as you scale. While it may be tempting in the rapidly moving and congested cybersecurity market to immediately develop one-off programs based on the idea du jour or quickly ramp hiring in sales, believing this is the fastest path to increasing revenue. However, this approach, that feels ultra-entrepreneurial and agile has the potential to derail your growth goals in the long term. To reach the top you must first build a solid foundation.
Don’t Put the Cart Before the Horse
We’ve seen many startups so focused on the end game – whether that be seeking a rapid exit or achieving certain growth milestones – that they skip over some critical foundational elements that will pave the way for their cybersecurity marketingand sales efforts to be fruitful. Jumping ahead can actually be more costly and derail reaching the coveted end goal. Instead, investing the time and energy to establish the strategic direction will enable your teams to scale efficiently and adapt quickly to changing market demands, extremely valuable traits in an ever-evolving industry like cybersecurity.
Stop… Are you on solid ground? In the same way a house should be built on a solid foundation, so should your business.
At a high-level, activities to build this foundation may include a market assessment and target audience identification, key messaging development and differentiation, and the mechanisms and tactics by which you will reach your target customer. Uncovering these types of elements as part of your strategic roadmap will serve as the baseline for cybersecurity marketingand sales efforts and pay dividends. These efforts will also inform your hiring and budgeting decisions, increase ROI, and provide the ability to quickly adapt to changing market demands.
Some sample questions you may ask yourself during this stage:
While this list is certainly not exhaustive, it highlights why it is vital for you to take the time to explore these types of questions. Focusing first on this essential baseline work will be time well spent to ensure your future success and growth and allow you to articulate the unique value of your solution – in the language of your target market – which to your sales team will mean $$$.
To maximize success, it is critical that marketing and sales are in lockstep from the get-go with dynamic and closed loop interaction, as this will set the stage for your teams to scale up efficiently and in unison. Far too many times we have seen disconnected sales and marketing functions that play the blame game to the detriment of the business. Mandate this crucial partnership into your culture and you will reap the rewards.
Scaling Up: Get these Right the First Time
While there are a lot of considerations when scaling up, over the years we have identified some key areas worth a little extra TLC. When done wrong they have long term implications, but when done right they can exponentially contribute to the bottom line.
Investing in cybersecurity marketing strategiesand sales may seem like a daunting task, especially for organizations in the early growth phase. Careful consideration should be taken to build out these functions in the way that will best capitalize on spend and set you up for long term success. The benefits of outsourcing in areas such as marketing can mitigate your hiring risks and validate growth plans before making large investments on internal resources. It can also augment resource gaps that may not justify a full-time headcount or provide oversight on strategic initiatives such as market assessments or messaging development, where specialized experience is particularly useful. If you do decide to outsource, look for experts with specific experience in your industry for maximum results.
Want to learn more? Check out the webinar, Scale Up! Building Your Cybersecurity Sales & Marketing Machine