November 9, 2022

Corporate Social Responsibility & Fiberglass Alligator Bites with Peter Wheeler

by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

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Corporate Social Responsibility & Fiberglass Alligator Bites with Peter Wheeler

November 9, 2022 Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing


Show Notes

We’re joined this week by Peter Wheeler, Senior Manager PLG - Partnerships, Startups, Nonprofits at Auth0, to find out just what makes him…the most interesting man in the world! After years as a serial entrepreneur, Peter joined Auth0, powered by Okta, to positively impact nonprofits, charities, and for-profits working to benefit social issues. Peter talks with us about product-led growth, giving back even when you don’t have the budget, and caring about customer advocacy before it was cool.


Timecoded Guide:

[00:00] Founding businesses & joining the Auth0 team during COVID

[07:01] Making a conscious effort with cyber to give back to the greater good

[12:18] Diving into cybersecurity special audiences & product-led growth

[19:42] Understanding customer advocacy & reducing verification friction

[27:40] Collecting anecdotal and case studies from self-service customers

[33:11] Being bitten by a fiberglass alligator & biting down on some brisket


What advice do you have for cybersecurity companies that would want to have a corporate social responsibility, but are either too small or don’t have the funding? 

Instead of hiding behind the excuses of not being big enough or wealthy enough, Peter believes that cybersecurity companies all have the potential to give back to nonprofits and startups. Peter says when in doubt of what to do, think simply. If your company is interested in equitable product access for companies with limited budgets, consider offering mentorship or training opportunities, or engaging your staff by offering time off for volunteering. 

“You can never be too small. We can all volunteer independently, we can all sit on a board, we can all show up. That's it, just show up. You can mentor. Yeah, you might not have enough money. You can avoid that, you can skip that. Just simple things, it doesn't have to be a lot.”


What are your “strong opinions” on special audiences, now that you work with them? 

Many of the audiences Peter works with have not made a budgetary allocation mentally, or financially, towards things like cybersecurity. Part of his work with Auth0, because of this unaware audience, has involved implementing training and educational processes for these businesses. Showing them why cybersecurity is so important and teaching them to implement good first steps like stronger passwords is vital for marketing efforts and product-led growth. 

“In nonprofits, in startups, there's a big shareholder footprint, stakeholder footprint, people that are affected by what the organization does. Educating that audience is good. Making them understand what cybersecurity truly is is good, so they implement at least the simple things.” 


How does Auth0 implement product-led growth? 

Auth0’s freemium, the self-service product can satisfy just about everyone. The secret sauce of their success? Increasing customer advocacy and refusing friction. Good documentation, strong outside-of-network customer support, being active with customers and having your staff invigorated about your product all contribute to a more satisfying and therefore more trustworthy environment, which keeps companies coming back for more.

“If you're building community, you're working with developers, you're working with individuals, you're working with smaller organizations, and you're putting a free or cheap product in front of them, whether it be discounted enterprise or freemium model, you're developing that trust.”


What are you doing for this user so they feel like they're being treated like an enterprise, even though they may be a team of one? 20:13

Self-service customers are rarely given the same treatment as enterprise customers in most companies, Peter explains, but Auth0 works hard to provide the documentation and ease of access needed to make things as frictionless as possible for those users. Additionally, validating an organization’s startup or nonprofit status can take time and create friction, too. Auth0 works with third-party organizations to quicken and simplify this process as well. 

“Reducing customer friction to come on is key. If somebody signs up, don't make them verify their email, skip that step. Let them play with the dashboard. Let them build something because guess what? They're going to verify their email at some point.”



Get tickets for our upcoming CyberMarketingCon 2022

Spend some time with our guest Peter Wheeler on LinkedIn and his personal website

Lend your ear to Peter’s podcast, Hey, Good Chat!

And of course, who could forget Peter’s theme song? It’s My Life by Bon Jovi

Check out Auth0 on LinkedIn and the Auth0 website

Learn more about Okta on LinkedIn and the Okta 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.

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