August 31, 2022

Making Friends & Vanquishing Enemies: The Story of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society

by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

Show Notes

Gianna Whitver, our fearless co-host, finds herself on the opposite side of the microphone this week as she talks about community— specifically the community of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society. From the founder’s story to present-day, Maria interviews Gianna about the journey of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society, including how it was formed, who was in mind when it was created, and what’s next for our ever-expanding community. Have you joined the Society yet? You will after this episode! 

Timecoded Guide:

[00:00] Carving out our own community for in-house cybersecurity marketers

[07:29] Aligning our community with the aspects of identity, participation, and rewards

[12:36] Encouraging participation & knowing the limits of the high-stress cyber industry

[16:22] Introducing our upcoming events at RSA and Cyber Marketing Con 2022

[24:45] Connecting our community with marketing job boards, networking opportunities, and a place that they can call their own Can you walk through the founder’s journey of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society?

After connecting during a job interview, Gianna and Maria developed both a strong friendship and a mutually beneficial relationship as cybersecurity marketers at smaller companies. As many of our Society members know, there are very limited resources for cyber marketing specifically, and even less of those resources provide mentorship or intel. Right before the pandemic hit, an idea was born: What if there could be an entire group of cyber marketers helping each other online? 

“Being cybersecurity marketers at smaller companies, we didn't have a lot of internal resources or people to bounce ideas off of, or people to ask, ‘What are you seeing in the market? What's the best practice in this area? What do you think about this event?’”


Community needs to align with identity, encourage participation, and provide reward. In your opinion, how did the Cybersecurity Marketing Society achieve these three?

The Cybersecurity Marketing Society is run by cyber marketers for cyber marketers, and we aren’t afraid to admit that we vet all of our applications for potential new members. While this helps with the identity of our group, it also encourages participation from our members, who know that the CMS is a safe space to inquire and seek more information without just being advertised to or manipulated. Not only is this safe space a reward, we also offer exclusive events, virtual and in-person, and produce assets like the 2021 State of Cybersecurity Marketing report.

“There are some groups I know of that require that you post once a day or once a week, and we actually don't require that. One of the reasons we don't is because we know that cybersecurity marketing can be a really, really intense industry.” 


What does the Cyber Marketing Society have planned for Cyber Marketing Con 2022? What about at RSA?

Considering the Cybersecurity Marketing Society was born in 2020, we haven’t been able to execute in-person event opportunities for our members. However, Gianna has incredible news: in-person meetups and events are coming— twice! Join us at RSA on June 7th from 3:30 to 5:30 at the Press Club for a cyber marketing meet-up, and mark your calendars for Cyber Marketing Con 2022, happening virtually AND in-person in November.

“Beyond the internal core, the heart of this, which is the Cybersecurity Marketing Slack community, there's so many ways to get involved. There's so many ways to be rewarded and to feel the connection of the group beyond that, including our Cyber Marketing Con.”


What does the Cybersecurity Marketing Society mean to you personally, in your career and in your personal life? 

For Gianna, the community of the Cyber Marketing Society isn’t just about the posts, the events, or the data shared; it’s also about the lives changed and the people helped by everything the Society does. Hearing feedback from cybersecurity marketers who have gotten a job from our job board, improved their budget with the insight they’ve received, and learned something new from what we have to offer has been invaluable.

“My ethos is that I treat everybody who joins the Society as if they're my best friend, and I have made some amazing friendships with some wonderful people, just based off of us congregating in a digital room together every day for the past 600 days.”



Get tickets for our upcoming Cyber Marketing Con 2022, and check out what we did during Cyber Marketing Con 2021.

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

Read the 2021 State of Cybersecurity Marketing report.

Follow Gianna on LinkedIn.

Catch up with Maria on LinkedIn.

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


Gianna 00:00
Hey, before the show starts, we want to let you know that the Cybersecurity Marketing Society's annual conference, Cyber Marketing Con 2022, will be held this year, November 16 through 18th in Arlington, Virginia, and yes, there will also be a virtual option.
Maria 00:16
You really don't want to miss it. We'll have two days jam-packed with cybersecurity marketing
strategies, ideas, metrics, and insights. It's going to be the place to be. Visit and click on "conference" to grab your ticket. We'll see you there.
Gianna 00:31
Welcome to the Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing podcast.
Maria 00:35
Where we explore the hottest topics in cyber marketing.
Gianna 00:38
Interview experts.
Maria 00:39
And help you become a better cybersecurity marketer.
Maria 00:51
Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing podcast. I'm one of your hosts, Maria, and joining me today is a special, special guest. It's actually Gianna, my co-host.
Gianna 01:06
Hey, everyone. Hi, Maria.
Maria 01:09
Today, Gianna is in the hot seat. Not really, we're just chatting.
Gianna 01:14
Thanks for having me on the show.
Maria 01:19
Today, we're actually going to talk about community; how to build one, why it's important to build one, and why it was especially important to build one in cybersecurity marketing. So, Gianna will take us through how she had the idea and the journey to two years later? Two years and a half now, Gianna?
Gianna 01:38
Yeah, two, plus two months, or something like that. We started in March 2020. So, two years, two months, and it's going incredibly strong.
Maria 01:47
So, yeah, let's go through the journey. I want to take us through kind of that a little bit of research in terms of: What cycle does the community go through, from inception all the way to success and managing a thriving one? So, we'll go through those steps, but take us through the story, the founder story.
Gianna 02:06
Oh, the founder story. So, we know the founder story, and you know the founder story because you're part of the founder story. So, for any of you who don't know, Maria had actually applied for a job at the company that I used to work at, and I was not the hiring manager, but I was someone who interviewed her. Maria was amazing, so brilliant on marketing operations, marketing automation, all this awesome stuff. I know, Maria, you're not smiling now, but internally, you're smiling because you are the marketing automation, marketing operations queen.
Gianna 02:41
Unfortunately, Maria wasn't chosen for the position, but we did stay in touch, because being both cybersecurity marketers at smaller companies, we didn't have a lot of internal resources orpeople to bounce ideas off of, people to say, "Hey, what are you seeing in the market? What's the best practice in this area? What do you think about this event?" All of these things that us as cybersecurity marketers desire intel on. When you're one of three people, or one of one people on a marketing team, it's tough to get that information. So, we basically created this sort of informal peer networking relationship, where I would ask Maria for help on marketing automation, and she would send me her templates and tell me her advice, and she would ask me things.
Gianna 03:27
We just kept in touch for probably over a year. So, in February or March 2020, right before, as we all know, the big COVID event happened, Maria and I were just catching up on the phone. I had just quit my job pretty recently, and she had also quit her job very recently. We were just chatting and kind of reminiscing almost about how we had worked together, even though we were at separate companies, and said, "This like relationship we have, why don't we try and formalize this informal thing? Why don't we start a group and spread this to more people?" And that is the story of the beginning of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society and the amazing community of over 1,000 people in it today. Maria looped in also Aileen Casmano and together we built the group from a beginning 10 people, I think? Literally in March 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic. And now, it's I think, if I looked at the numbers, 1,100, as of this morning, I'll look later. We'll put the real numbers in the show notes, or something.
Maria 04:29
Yeah, it was really amazing, because when you told me about the idea, it just clicked and I thought, "Gosh, we really do need a place like this. We could use a lot of help. We could use mentorship." That isn't easy to find, and that's exactly what we found in our founding 10 members. I think we have to identify them, by the way. We should identify them and they should all get some kind of plaque, or something. But there were some pretty amazing mentors and resources, people that came with a lot of experience, great advice, and supported us from day one. So, we'll have to identify those 10, and maybe we'll celebrate them at RSA, or something.
Gianna 05:06
Oh, definitely. The one thing that really makes our community special— By the way, I want to plug it. So, anyone who's listening who is an in-house marketer at a cybersecurity company and wants to join the Cybersecurity Marketing Society, come to us at and click the "Join Slack" button, real big at the top of the page, and apply to join our group and see what we're talking about firsthand. One thing that I think that also makes our group so special, and I heard this phrase from Suzanne Gurman, the VP of Revenue Marketing at Mimecast, she and I were discussing cybersecurity marketing vendors, people who sell us products and services, like the event vendors of the world, the data vendors of the world. She had said this brilliant thing, which was, "When people are
venting to cybersecurity companies, when they're selling us their services, their agency fees, their products, their events, it's like being in the wedding industry, there's a 30% markup on everything." Because they know that the cybersecurity industry is just flush with VC cash, and they know it's a very difficult industry to be in. It's very difficult to reach your prospects and customers, because they are, I believe, one of the most difficult people to actually market to and sell to, the most discerning and the most anti-bullshit people. So, these vendors know that they can mark everything up a huge amount.
Gianna 06:40
And so, in some ways, what makes our group really special is that we're also like, an ISAC, which is an Information Sharing and Analysis Center. So, those of us who are in the threat intelligence space, which I used to be in at my previous company, and ISAC is basically a group, a community, that is focused on sharing threat intelligence between other members in the community, within a specific industry. There's FSISAC, which is the Financial Services ISAC. The HL ISAC, which is the health ISAC. There's all these ISACs, and the Cybersecurity Marketing Society, I think, is a cybersecurity marketing ISAC, because we're in it sharing our actual real lived experiences with vendors, and sharing what are the good vendors to work with, which is so incredibly valuable in this industry
Maria 07:29
I agree. 100%, which is why I think we should start an agency, but that's going to be another episode. Gianna, I read in an article that when somebody is considering joining a community, there are a few things that need to happen. The community needs to align with their identity, the identity of this potential member, they need to know how and be encouraged to participate, and there needs to be some sort of reward. I think that we nailed all these three things within the Cybersecurity Marketing Society. In your opinion, why and how did we actually achieve these three?
Gianna 08:11
I think it was easy for us on the identity side of the house, because we are cybersecurity marketers. You are Director of Demand Generation at Feroot, and I'm the VP of Marketing at Votiro. Before that, you worked at Owl Cyber Defense and I worked at Bandura Cyber, and we've both worked at cybersecurity companies. So, we've been in the hot seat of having all these challenges and issues and being in this industry and being confused and being pissed off and being this, "whatever." We are in the day-to-day of it, every single day, even today. The Cybersecurity Marketing Society, this podcast, everything we do is the 5-to-9 job, on top of our 9-to-5 jobs in the industry. So, I think we nailed that really easily because we are the members of the community. We built the community in a very selfish way, kind of, almost to serve us, right? Like, I tell people all the time, when they're like, "Why did you create this community?" Well, I wanted more data, I wanted more connections, I wanted more and more and more, and I wanted to have better career opportunities. I wanted to get more insight
intelligence and learn more from others. So, I think we absolutely nailed the identity part.
Maria 09:14
You're right. So, identity was easy. We are so niche that it was so easy for our members to identify with the group and the mission of the group. What about trust? How do you think we earned their trust?
Gianna 09:26
I think we earn their trust by being awesome. You're laughing, good. So, I guess trust in a community is composed of a couple of different things. Do I trust that this group is not going to just be a funnel to selling products? Do I trust that when I join, it's going to be valuable? Do I trust that the people in it, or the people who run it, are knowledgeable and can help me? Do I trust the people in it, or who the group says they are? So, there's a couple of layers of trust both between the brand of Cybersecurity Marketing Society, and then also the process. I'll talk a little bit about a few things we do. Along with what I just said, which is we're both cybersecurity marketers, so there's implicit trust there. We are working in the field day-to-day. We also are highly curative of the group and who's allowed in the group.
Gianna 10:18
So, everybody who knows us, and who has been through the process of trying to join knows that we have— It's not too lengthy of an application, but it's definitely more than just a lead gen form that's asking for your email, your first name, last name. We vet every single person who comes into the group, which is why sometimes you'll have to wait a little bit, because it's actually me, who is physically going in and clicking on every single person who applies LinkedIn and saying, "Okay, are you an inhouse cybersecurity marketer?" Here's the proof, okay. It says that you work there, you're approved. So, along with the application, which is more than just again, two form fields, which, from our side, viewing an applicant, if you fill out the whole application, that means you actually care to join. And then, on the other side of it, we vet everybody who does apply, and that helps build trust in the group. Another thing we do is we require that everybody who joins the group, then put in their display name their company, right? There are so many categories of cybersecurity products, there's so many
companies, and we want everybody in our group to be forthright and truthful, because it's a
professional community, about who they're working for. And that also, I think, builds a lot of trust within the community. You know that you're talking to someone from Mimecast, or ZeroFOX, or Axonius, or Jupiter One, because everyone has it displayed publicly.
Maria 11:41
I think, yeah, that helps so much, because it just makes navigating the community and making
connections and networking so much easier, instead of having to actually go through and research who you're talking to.
Gianna 11:54
And now, we'd like to take a moment to thank our sponsors and producers, Hacker Valley Media. Chris Cochran and Ron Eddings run an amazing studio here, which produces not only the Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing podcast, but a bunch of other shows that you're gonna want to listen to as well. So, all these shows, plus more, and then, on top of that, probably even more coming soon, are available to look at listen to and sponsor at Make sure you go over there and say, "Hey, Gianna, and Maria said, I should come check out your website, listen to your shows, and sponsor a podcast or two."
Maria 12:36
So, Gianna, what about encouraging participation? We've seen this in many different communities that were also a part of, where things just become dead silent, or there are too many lurkers. I think that we nailed creating a community where people actually want to participate. They look forward to going into Slack and seeing what's going on. They help each other, they comment, they create ideas, they create ideas for us to consider. We are now seeing the creation of certain regional chapters, which is awesome. What do you think we did to fuel this kind of encouragement of participation?
Gianna 13:19
So, I think we did some things, and I think our members are the people who took those things and really, for some of the items you mentioned, took them and truly created them. So, in groups, there's different types of people, just like you and I are digitally native folks who are very comfortable on the internet. There are people who are, in various degrees of comfortability, in our group, being someone who posts every day, versus someone who just browses once a day or once a week. We are a group that's very open and accepting of that. You don't have to post every day. There are some groups I know of that require that you post once a day or once a week, and we actually don't require that. One of the reasons we don't is because we know that cybersecurity marketing is a really, really can be intense industry. So right now we're recording this the week before RSA, and absolutely everybody I know is
completely heads down, has no time for anything, besides getting things ready for RSA.
Gianna 14:21
So, there are different types of people in a community, and that's going to help create, not to be a woowoo person, but the vibe of the group. You have people who are super into posting every day, we have some of our super amazing members who posts all the time. And then, there's people who only post when they have a question, or when they see a piece of news, or when they hear something that they think the group should talk about. And then, there are people who never post and us, as managers of the group, of the community, might be like, "These people don't like this group. Oh, they like came in and they said hi once and they left." But that's not necessarily true. Like how some people only browse Reddit and never post. 80% of LinkedIn users only read stuff on LinkedIn and never ever post. They're still members of our community, and I'm not surprised anymore when people reach out and they say, "I never ever, ever, ever post in the group, but I love it so much, thank you. I can't wait to attend the conference, and I can't wait to attend an in-person event." Because how people interact online is different for everybody. I happen to be someone who is a super online person, I can make friends on the internet, and I try to bring that vibe into my posting, but it's just not how everybody's going to be. Some people don't do that.
Maria 15:38
So, Gianna, you mentioned something about how you're getting great feedback from some of those members that maybe don't post regularly, but really can't wait to meet some of our members and some of us in person. I think that is part of the reward, which is part of that cycle, right? Validate the identity, build that trust, and then, reward in order to create a thriving community. That reward has come in many different ways since we started this. For those listeners that just got to know us today, walk them through what we've done at Cyber Marketing Con the last few years, and also, let's plug in what we're doing at RSA this year, and then, possibly an in-person Cyber Marketing Con 2020.
Gianna 16:22
Yeah, I'm going to start with the rewards in the group because I think I forgot to mention that. But the group itself, the community itself, and the Cybersecurity Marketing Society itself, just online, has rewards. It's a place where marketers can connect without knowing each other. It's super friendly. You can get mentorship, we have a field on our form to apply that says, "Do you want to mentor or be a mentor?" And we're starting to connect people specifically for mentorship. There's also an incredibly thriving jobs board, for both candidates and for people who are looking to hire. Our jobs board, we've heard such great feedback. I know that at least 20 people have been hired directly from our group, just by other members of the group, and then, meeting on this digital space. So, there's rewards. Along with that, we have a poppin' memes channel, where people post the most hilarious memes, and that's rewarding itself, too.
Maria 17:20
The meme channel is so awesome.
Gianna 17:23
It is. If I was younger, I would say fire or bet, I don't know. I'm very online, but in the 2010 state. So, to your point on the in-person rewards, transitioning to that, community is— I view it as a distributed thing, right? And we always say to our group members, and to our members, that you can engage a la carte, right? You can be in the Slack and not post, you can post, now we have four different email newsletters that people can subscribe to. We host events. Every other Friday, we have lunch networking, which is open for people to come in network. We have beers and tears also, every other Tuesday, which is where people come and they bring a beer and we complain about our jobs and we help each other solve our problems at our work, or we just drink and feel sad. So, beyond the internal core, the heart of this, which is the Cybersecurity Marketing Slack community, there's so many ways to get involved, there's so many ways to be rewarded and to feel the connection of the group beyond that, including,
like you just said, our Cyber Marketing Con.
Gianna 18:24
Events-led marketing is what, I think, we were doing at the time, and we didn't really have a name for it. It was six months after we started the community, we probably had 50, I'll have to look, we probably had 50 people in the group or something, maybe 100, definitely not a lot. We were just slowly growing, and we said, "Hey, we should do an event, we should do a conference" because guess what? COVID had just hit, everything's digital, people are bored at home, snd people want to get connected. And also, the continuing issue of there's not enough education and content and learning in cybersecurity marketing as an industry is still here. I mean, we started the group, and that's the reason we started the group. Here's another thing we could do to help solve that problem, which is bring a lot of amazing people to our virtual stage and have them talk on the most interesting topics in cyber. And two years ago, we were still grappling with the fact that cybersecurity marketing has been stuck in 2010 for the last 30 years. I know it's not 2040, but you know what I mean. It's largely field based, a lot of companies are just solely doing field-based things and the digital stuff was lagging and all of that. So, we're like, "Let's bring someone with the most forward thinking, brilliant cybersecurity marketers on stage to talk about what they have done that's really innovative and interesting and different, and what tactics and strategies they have to create amazing cybersecurity marketing campaigns that drive actual ROI and pipeline." And we did that. I think we did, what did we do? Do we do one day or two days?
Maria 19:24
Oh, gosh, what a blur it is already and it's only been two years. I should have prepared more for this. Going to blame my Mom Brain, but I think we did just one day for our first Cyber Marketing Con.
Gianna 20:14
Yeah, I think we did a full day. We can put links in the show notes to people who want to see some of the content and see what sort of stuff we posted. I think you're right, I think it was one day, one full day, and we had 200 people buy tickets to this thing. This thing that we started six months before, and what Maria and I and Aileen did was we just like, messaging people on LinkedIn, sharing it on LinkedIn, sharing it to our very few email newsletter subscribers at the time, and people were interested in attending this. People bought tickets, 200 people bought tickets, which is is amazing. That was a validation point for me, and for everyone involved. We're actually helping solve a problem. We're
actually helping people in their careers, and people want to be a part of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society. This year, we're gonna go bigger, right?
Maria 21:08
Yes, this year, we're trying to bring everyone together in-person, actually, which is going to be super exciting. Hopefully, we'll be able to hug a lot of people and touch and know they actually do exist, and network and learn some new things. Yeah, we've got some awesome things in plan and at RSA, Gianna, you want to tell everyone what we're doing?
Gianna 21:30
Yeah, it might be past RSA by the time this comes out, but with the evolution in the Society now that things are a little safer and safe to go and meet in-person, we're doing a party at RSA. So, we rented the Press Club on June 7, from 3:30 to 5:30, right before everybody has to go and man their own parties that they're hosting. We've already sold out all the tickets, so we're gonna have 65 cyber marketers meeting up at RSA for the very first time. This is the very first in-person, official Cybersecurity Marketing Society event.
Maria 22:04
Super exciting. So, other than rewarding members by creating and putting together events and programming and in-person gatherings, we do work on some research as well. Gianna, do you want to tell us a little bit about the report from last year, and what we're working on this year as well?
Gianna 22:21
Yeah, we have partnered with 1011 Ventures, which is a premier cybersecurity venture capital firm, to do a— it's now in its second year— an in-depth research report on the world of cybersecurity marketing. Because there's not a lot of good data out there on ROI, or tactics, or results. There's very few actual hard data on these things that we need in order to benchmark what we do, especially if we're starting out at a new company. Everything that exists is all about SATs or tech or B2B tech, which is just bullshit to me, because B2B tech includes Asana, like is that who we're benchmarking against. Asana and ERP players, and all this other stuff, they're not benchmarking against expensify my metrics, this is bullshit. So, what we did last year was we did an awesome report, we surveyed over 200 cybersecurity marketers, many of them from our group, and we produced a report that was the 2021 State of Cybersecurity Marketing. I'll put a link to it in the show notes, but you can also visit our website and catch it in the drop down under resources on the menu bar. This year, everybody, sign up for our
newsletter, because we're doing another report this year, and it's going to focus on metrics, on those hard numbers. What is your conversion rates from MQL to SQL? How do you even define your pipeline? How do you define your final stages? Are you doing MQl to SQL, or are you doing some weird, like AZQL to like, MFL? And we're going to also talk about budget: How are you categorizing your budget? What is your spend looking like, in terms of percentages? This is really good data that will help everybody in the industry, and it's also going to be broken down by stages. So, say, you are a seed stage or series A company, you can look at the data that is for only those sized companies, instead of comparing yourself against all these fortune, whatever is against the crowd strikes of the world, which are way more mature in their company lifecycle.
Maria 24:31
I'm really excited about that. I know if we were to sell it, which we're not, it would sell like hot croissants
in the middle of Paris.
Gianna 24:41
Oh, I love that. I love croissants.
Maria 24:45
What else did you want to say and tell us, Gianna, today about the community? I think one thing that would be really cool is to just understand what it means to you personally, in your growth, in your career, and for Gianna as a person. I think that will be a really cool way to close out the episode.
Gianna 25:03
Awesome. So, a few things. I know I've said now six times like, "Well, before I go into that," and it makes me sound like a politician. I'm sorry, but before we go into that, I forgot to plug our conference this year will be the week before Thanksgiving. We're still working on the date, and we did ask our members and we got about 400 responses of where they want to hold it. Right now, we're working on where that is. By the time this episode comes out, we might even have the conference page all up, so I'll make sure to include that in the show notes, but block off your calendars for the week before Thanksgiving, don't go to any other conferences then, you've got to come to ours. It's going to be amazing. And then, also, if anyone listening has any questions about community, feel free to send us some feedback because we can create another episode that's more about the metrics of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society and the ROI. Community is such a big field and such a big topic, it's hard to fit it all into one episode. And then, from a personal note in what the community means to me. Well, I have cried many times with how happy I've been. You're laughing? That's okay. I know you've cried, too, Maria.
Maria 26:17
Yeah, true story. No, definitely, and I think I remember the first time I got really emotional is right when we finished the first Cyber Marketing Con. I think after the last session, and we said, "Okay, done," we did the award ceremony, and then, we were like, "Oh my God, this actually happened."
Gianna 26:37
Yeah, I have cried many a time at the success of this group. You go into a project and you think, "Oh, who knows, right?" And maybe other people go in with more stoic or whatever opinions, but we go into thinking like, "It'll be nice. If this group has 50 people or 100 people, it'd be helpful to us." And when it takes off like hot croissants in the middle of Paris, it's just something— I'm getting chills right now. It just blows your mind. One thing I didn't mention is just the feedback that we get often on how we have helped people. Not even just, "I love this group, or I love the group. I read it every day, even though I don't post," but, "I got a job in your group, I made a connection. Gianna, thank you for connecting me to this person. They helped me negotiate my contract with Gartner and saved me $25,000 off of my budget." Things like that. "Thanks for the intel," like things that are helping people in their jobs and their day-to-day, but also in their careers, in their career growth, so that they can rise up and grow their
careers and get better jobs and be happier. We've also made friends. I said before, I can make friends on the internet. My ethos is that I treat everybody who joins the Society as if they're my best friend, and I have made some amazing friendships with some wonderful people, just based off of us congregating in a digital room together every day for the past 600 days. We're going to drop some names: Richard, Mary, Matthew, Karen, you're all awesome.
Maria 28:14
Yeah, there's just some awesome people in there. I can't wait to meet everyone in person, either at RSA or at Cyber Marketing Con 2022, and of course, start creating some regional meetups. There are so many ideas that we have for this group, so many dreams, and I am really lucky to be on this journey with you, Gianna, doing this together. So, I know this is going to be so great, and I know 20 years from now, we're going to look back and either laugh or cry, or do both, but at least what we're gonna do is not have regrets for not having taken this all the way and for not trying. So, yeah, it's awesome to be doing this.
Gianna 28:56
You're gonna end this with me crying now, Maria? How rude. I am tearing up and I want to thank you for being on this journey with me because I wouldn't have been able to do it without you. And what's that saying? Alone, you go fast, together, you go far. I think that's what this is, and I think that's also shows the power of the community, and our community in general.
Maria 29:18
Hells yeah. Hells yeah.
Gianna 29:21
Are you gonna play the game? In this case, since you're the only one playing, you'll win.
Maria 29:25
Okay. Make sure to say that I'm right. But I feel like I already know.
Gianna 29:33
Do you? Maybe I changed it.
Maria 29:35
Yeah. Gianna, today, if you were not in cybersecurity marketing, I think you would be a gamer, a professional gamer.
Gianna 29:44
What? No.
Maria 29:46
Really? I got it wrong. I don't even know my own friend, my own co-founder and co-host? Shit.
Gianna 29:57
Do I look like a gamer? Do I give off a gamer vibe?
Maria 30:01
I know you play a few games, so that I know. I mean, I know you're into a sort of niche part of
agriculture when it comes to honey-making and bee farming, right? And then, what else do I know about you? Gosh, I don't know, maybe would you be actually in cybersecurity, but kind of like on the other side?
Gianna 30:24
I love that you think like this, I'll just tell you what I would be. So, if it was in the past, I would say a nurse. Since COVID, I would not say a nurse anymore. No way. What I would do is I would work somewhere where I could make massive amounts of food at one time. So, I don't want to work in a regular restaurant, I would want to be working at a catering joint, where I have to make like, 7,000 servings of soup at once.
Maria 30:49
Gianna, I love that. I tell you about how I want to open a food truck, retire and just have a food truck. I love cooking, and I secretly want to be a chef, and you never tell me this? I mean, this can be our next business venture.
Gianna 31:05
When I tell you I want to make like, 7,000 servings of soup, I'm very serious about that. Like, I don't want to work somewhere where I'm making like, four plates at a time. I want to have a huge pot. I want to work in a food kitchen. That's what I want.
Maria 31:21
Well, that's what we should do. You know what? I think, maybe as we continue to grow the
Cybersecurity Marketing Society, we can partner up with an organization and we can go in and volunteer. We can take a week and work somewhere. You can help feed people, we can help cook. That would be amazing.
Gianna 31:40
If you're up for it, I'm up for that. That sounds awesome.
Maria 31:43
Alright. Well, that's the plan. Gianna, thank you for joining me today. Thanks for being in the hot seat, and thanks for telling us all the secrets of creating and building a thriving community. Also, thanks for
telling us why personally why you wanted this and what makes it such an awesome journey.
Gianna 32:04
Thank you, Maria. Thanks for having me on.
Maria 32:06
Okay, tune in everyone next week for another episode. Don't forget to subscribe and like and review and tell your friends and family and neighbors. Please support this podcast as much as possible. If you want to be on the podcast, or if you have feedback for us, send us an email at
Gianna 32:28
Tell your enemies that you hate this show, so that they listen to it.
Maria 32:33
No, our friends and members don't have enemies. We are good people.
Gianna 32:38
Many enemies, it's your sole job is to vanquish them with this podcast.
Maria 32:46
I'm taking away the mic from Gianna now, I'm muting her.
Gianna 32:51
Alright, see you guys next time. Bye.

Build Brand Awareness via Demand Gen with Elliot Volkman

September 28, 2022 Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing