Skip to content

How to Stop Annoying CISOs

The most common "buyer persona" I have is the CISO.

But I don't hang out with CISOs.

Most marketers don't.

(We hang out with other marketers and complain about sales teams. Obviously 😉.)

This makes actually understanding their pain points and marketing effectively a challenge. So to close this knowledge gap, I started listening religiously to the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Series podcast.

Here's what I've learned so far:

1. Your cold pitch basically has no chance. They're just too busy to deal with cold email pitches (I don't engage with cold email pitches myself...) The answer to this is NOT to play a numbers game and annoy 500 CISOs with the hope of getting single response.

2. Be REALLY specific about the problem you're solving - this applies to sales too. A number of times on the podcast, the hosts have mentioned pitches like "we solve all your security problems". No you don't. Stop pretending.

3. Be very careful when using 'buzzwords'. AI, ML, Blockchain, etc. Vendors overpromise around these words. If you know that going in, you can make sure to head off some of their objections early.

4. For digital marketing, just provide pure value. Don't ask for more information that you have to, don't ask for their phone number for an infographic. And if your CMO/CEO will let you - ungate your content.

5. Offline introductions is still the best way for vendors to get CISO face time. But CISOs do still go out of their way to check out new tech.

6. Do your homework before reaching out. Don't ask "what are your problems?" unless you want your company to be anonymously called out on the podcast.

7. Do valuable things for the CISO community (AKA, more than free lunches). Be a real resource - even if that means ungating your precious lead generation ebook.

8. Engage with people lower down the corporate ladder. Sure, the security engineer can't sign on a $100,000/yr product. But they can spend more of their time evaluating it and making recommendations.

I think every cybersecurity marketer is guilty of violating at least one of these rules on a regular basis. But that's to forget what good B2B marketing is - to be a trusted resource for your leads.

This is an extract from a LinkedIn post published by our fearless leader, Josh Feigenbaum


Share share title underline scrible