January 4, 2023

(MOp)ping the Floor in Operational Hygiene with Nick Hayes

by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

Listen Now

(MOp)ping the Floor in Operational Hygiene with Nick Hayes

January 4, 2023 Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

00:00:00

Show Notes

This week on Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing, Gianna and Maria sit down with Nick Hayes, Product Marketing Manager at Crowdstrike. During the episode, Nick shares how he went from working as an analyst at Forrester to becoming a cybersecurity marketer. Nick shares how his experience as an analyst translates to his role as PMM as Gianna and Maria ask him fascinating questions. Learn more about being a PMM and listen in to hear Nick share some wisdom that, Maria says, you might not find anywhere else as a marketer. 

 

Timecoded Guide:

[05:01] Becoming an internal marketer and shifts Nick made in his new role

[10:15] Day in the life of a PMM at Crowdstrike

[13:07] Operational Hygiene

[16:03] Balance between internal and external marketing

[18:53] Future of product marketing

 

What was the biggest challenge to overcome moving from analyst to internal marketer?

Nick shares how he had to go from being an adviser to meeting many new challenges as an internal marketer. He says that, while marketers and analysts have a lot in common, marketers align to business objectives differently than analysts. Instead of writing reports, for example, Nick says that marketers have to come up with plans to generate leads and hit specific metrics while defining certain performance goals. 

“In some cases, especially at the startups that I worked at, it was a lot more of ‘you need to define what those metrics and what those performance goals are.’ So that's really, I'd say the biggest challenge, but also something I was kind of looking to do, I wanted to see that, I wanted to experience that.”

 

What do you wish could happen in the future from an analyst and security vendor relationship standpoint? 

Nick highlights the analyst/vendor relationship here, saying that both roles can learn a lot from each other. In a way, Nick says that vendors and analysts fill in gaps for one another, learning vital information from their colleagues who serve as subject matter experts in their respective fields. As for the future of this dynamic, Nick says that marketers will often brief analysts once, thinking that as long as the presentation is perfect, no more work needs to be done. Nick says this changes by following up with analysts after presentations while fostering an ongoing relationship between the two roles. 

“You can learn a lot if you are in the right mindset as an analyst. And I think that two-way, that back-and-forth interaction that you have between the vendor and the analyst, you can be a really positive push and pull.”

 

What’s a day in the life of a PMM at Crowdstrike?

Working for Crowdstrike as a PMM is different every day, Nick says. He says that, at the company, they’re dealing with a good problem to have: they’re growing too quickly. The company is a product of its own success as it became public in 2019 and has continued to grow exponentially from its founding in 2011. Nick says that the company has had to evolve quickly as it has rapidly hit certain benchmarks. Amid the growth, Nick has had to ensure good visibility within the company as he’s worked to make sure that products are understood and fit within the broader context of what Crowdstrike does. 

“A lot of the ways in which your company is producing and performing at that level, you have to evolve quickly to adapt as your company reaches these, you know, amazing benchmarks. And in some ways, when you are just continually successful, you're somewhat a product of your own success, right?”

 

What is operational hygiene? 

One of the things that Nick emphasizes is important as a PMM in operational hygiene. Gianna asks what that is and how, as a PMM, Nick ensures that the hygiene is operationally sufficient. Nick shares that operational hygiene is asking this: how do we do things more consistently and how do we make sure there’s documentation to support the repeatable workflows that we’re doing? In a product launch, for example, good operational hygiene means finding out what the launch looks like, who should be involved, and what the steps are. He says that, ultimately, it comes back to MOps and demand gen while ensuring that things stay consistent. 

“It's thinking about how we actually understand our business from a demand gen perspective, and being able to slice and dice data and tag it in different ways so that we can be nimble and the data support and can be used and fits a number of different product teams within the company.”

----------

Definitions: 

IPO: IPO stands for initial public offering, which is when a company goes on the stock market, making stock shares available to investors for the first time.

MOps: Standing for marketing operations, MOps refers to the functions of ensuring that marketing activities and business objectives align, overseeing and planning campaigns, optimizing people, and managing brand compliance. 

Demand Gen: Demand gen is a term that encompasses an activity in marketing that drives brand awareness and interest in a service or product.

Links:

Keep up with Nick Hayes on Twitter and connect on LinkedIn.

Follow CrowdStrike on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Visit CrowdStrike’s website.

Keep up with Hacker Valley on our website, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter.

Follow Gianna on LinkedIn.

Catch up with Maria on LinkedIn.

Join the Cybersecurity Marketing Society on our website, and keep up with us on Twitter.

Read more

Recent Episodes

November 29, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

In this episode, Charles Gold, Chief Marketing Officer at ThreatConnect, joins Maria and Gianna to discuss why CMOs fail or succeed.  To begin, Charles shares his background in running global marketing organizations. He even started a technology comp...

November 22, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

When you think humor, comedy, LOL, or even LMFAO if you are fancy, cybersecurity isn't typically the first thing that comes to mind. But who says talking about ROI, demand gen, and marketing has to be boring? Humor exists in everything, and with so m...

November 15, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

Welcome to Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing, where we explore the hottest topics in cyber marketing, interview experts and help you become a better cybersecurity marketer! In this episode, Amy Stokes Waters, Founder and Chief Executive Off...

November 8, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

Competitive intelligence programs can be reactionary and one-dimensional due to squeaky-wheel syndrome and we-just-lost-a-deal-to-so-and-so-itis.    Learn from Alex Babar, Vice President of Solutions at Brinqa about 3 categories of competitive intel ...

October 31, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

On this week’s very special Halloween episode, listen as the hosts embark on a journey beyond the seven seas, a thrilling match filled with spooky stories and of course, lighthearted banter (one can’t help but laugh even in fear)... Sink your fangs i...

October 25, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

Since #CyberMarketingCon2023 is coming on December 10th through 13th. We can’t help but replay some of our sessions from previous conferences. This week’s episode is from CyberMarketingCon2022. If you enjoy this session, you will enjoy this year’s li...

October 18, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

In this episode, Joseph Barringhaus, Director of Demand Generation at Sonrai Security, joins Maria and Gianna to discuss all things demand gen. Sonrai Security is a cloud security startup that focuses on identity, access, and permission in the cloud....

October 11, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

The time for #CyberMarketingCon2023 is fast approaching and we hope to see you in Austin in December. So mark those calendars and get your tickets, the conference will be from December 10th through 13th. It's filled with education, the best speakers,...

October 4, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

In this episode, Geordie Carswell, CMO at ActualTech Media joins Maria and Gianna to talk about the stuff no marketer wants to talk about right now: lead generation and content syndication! Can lead generation be a successful part of a demand generat...

September 27, 2023
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

In this episode, Jake Milstein, CRO, and CMO at Critical Insight, joins Maria and Gianna to discuss his unique perspective on serving underrepresented cybersecurity markets, the importance of establishing trust and personal connection with clients, a...