August 3, 2022

Marketers are Ethical Hackers Prove Me Wrong with Clark Barron

by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing

Show Notes

Joining Maria and Gianna this week is Clark Barron, the Demand Generation Manager at Nisos. He has a background in cybersecurity marketing, photography, and independent film, and is an avid gamer. Clark shares his unconventional ways of lead generation through websites. Every marketing campaign might feel like it says the same thing, but Clark defies the user’s expectations to bring in user interest and stand out in the field.


Timecoded Guide: 

[05:48] Marketers are hackers of different colors

[09:14] Campaigns that changed the game

[15:08] How Clark tracks his unprecedented marketing campaigns

[22:31] Communicating with leadership to try your ideas

How can marketers apply this approach to messaging branding?

Marketers have more influence and power than they often realize. The similarity between hackers and marketers is that marketers are gathering data in an ethical manner. Both are building personas, exploiting pain points, researching, and reaching vulnerabilities. Clark believes that is the power of choice to be good ethical marketers. 

“Marketers, a lot of times, don't realize the kind of powers that they have, they have to make a choice to use them for good. That's the way I look at it.”


How have specific campaigns you’ve implemented changed the game?

Clark started his process by evaluating voice and brand identity. He sat back and watched what others were doing. Noticing that all the cybersecurity websites were saying the same thing over and over, Clark decided to take action in a wacky way. He developed a marketing strategy that changed the game.

“Subvert their expectations from the very beginning. They're expecting one thing, and they're getting something completely different. We know what they're expecting, but instead, what we're gonna do is, we're gonna say, ‘Enjoy a completely different cybersecurity landing page.’”


 How do you have conversations with leadership to go along with these ideas?

The first step is to have those conversations. If the CEO or higher-up doesn’t understand marketing processes, then you need to have those conversations with them. Long-term growth is what you should be working toward. Before you cast out the big campaigns, you have to have small wins so you’re better prepared for a marketing plan with bigger risks.

“A lot of bigger organizations are not going to be able to do this. I have that level of self-awareness that I know that, however, what you can do is change the way you look at conversations with leadership.”



Find Clark Barron on his website or LinkedIn and check out his blog here!

Follow Gianna on LinkedIn.

Catch up with Maria on LinkedIn.

Grab your ticket to the Cyber Marketing Con 2022.

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

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

Additional resources: Nisos, PhishFirewall, DEF CON, Cybersecurity Marketing Society, Celeste


Gianna 0:00
Welcome to the breaking through and cybersecurity Marketing Podcast,
Maria 0:04
Where we explore the hottest topics in cyber marketing.
Gianna 0:07
Interview experts.
Maria 0:08
And help you become a better cybersecurity marketer. Hello, everyone and welcome to another episode of Breaking Through in cybersecurity marketing. I'm one of your hosts Maria Velazquez Joining me is my awesome kick ass co host.
Gianna 0:33
Gianna Whitver.
Maria 0:35
And today, we are so excited to welcome a pretty cool and different view on cybersecurity
Marketing. Today, we're joined by Clark Barron. He is the dimension manager at nisos. And
previously Product Marketing Manager at Fish firewall. Clark, welcome. And thank you for being with us today.
Clark Barron 0:56
Thank you so much for having me. I am beyond excited. I have been looking forward to this all
Maria 1:03
Awesome. So first, I'd like to start off by just telling us your story. And there is an interesting part where you came across the cybersecurity marketing society. And your story gets even more interesting there. So walk us through it.
Clark Barron 1:17
Yeah. So interestingly enough, I came into cybersecurity as an outsider. Couple years ago,
before that, I was working with digital agencies doing some consulting work and a little bit of
b2b, a little bit of B to C, I was working with everybody from Exxon to Jimmy Buffett, and small
businesses, everything in between. I have always romanticized cybersecurity, particularly social engineering, penetration testing, like that's just the coolest stuff ever, as just a huge Mr. Robot fan, things like that. I was watching DEF CON talks, years before I even knew about this. And so I started to realize that there are not a lot of differences in the soft skills required to be
something like a pen tester, and a really good marketer, the similarities, just keep going and
going. And admittedly, my hard skills are garbage. But having that hacker mindset and just
looking to exploit vulnerabilities, that's what we do as marketers. And so my approach coming
into cybersecurity was let's just think like hackers, were talking about the same messaging and same exploits that marketers have been running for so long without realizing that, honestly, the only difference between a cyber attack and a marketing campaign is that one of them's legal.
Maria 2:40
We're definitely gonna jump into this in a much deeper way. Later on in this episode.
Clark Barron 2:46
Oh, yeah.
Maria 2:47
But yeah, continue talking to us about your journey, how you joined the society?
Clark Barron 2:51
Yeah, it was really interesting, because I didn't know of any groups like this that existed. And it
was one of those just safe places that I was introduced to, where everybody was just kind of
commiserating over the same things, sharing ideas, helping each other out. The welcoming
party from everybody was just instant, I had reached out to a couple of my connections on
LinkedIn said, Hey, I'm a free agent. Now, what's going on? What do you suggest? And so I was instantly introduced to the society, the cool kids club and introduced there to a lot of amazing people, and posted on the job board. Well, actually, I was introduced via the job board. And so many people reached out I had so many different conversations, so many different products and companies and rolls and just a lot of people going, Wait, who are you? What are you doing? And so having those conversations where people were starting to understand, like, Hey, I'm an outsider, you tell me what you guys do. It was great. I would not be in the role that I have right now. We're it not for the society hands down.
Gianna 3:53
We'd love to hear that.
Maria 3:55
That's so wonderful. That's really, really nice to hear.
Gianna 3:58
Quick plug for everyone listening if you're a cybersecurity marketer or trying to get into a full
time role at a cybersecurity company. Reach out to us at cybersecurity marketing
and apply to join the group. We'd love to have you
Clark Barron 4:12
Cancel your LinkedIn premium and all that garbage. Join the society, it will be the best career
choice you ever make.
Maria 4:19
Love that.
Gianna 4:21
Oh my gosh, this is a commercial for us. Now, this is great. You didn't know this is what we
entered into commercial.
Clark Barron 4:29
We're marketers. I know how this works out there.
Maria 4:35
Good plug Clark, I know you're dying to get into the messaging and the branding. Take it over.
Gianna 4:40
Yeah. So Clark, your philosophy is that marketers are essentially hackers. It's just so cute. I love it. It's it's a different way of thinking. In some ways. It might seem a little like not degrading, but makes us seem a little more dangerous than we are. How can marketers apply this approach to messaging branding and approach from the 10,000 foot view.
Clark Barron 5:05
Sure, so I totally get what you mean, there might be kind of a negative connotation there. I
totally get that. But also, we have to consider that Certified Ethical Hacker is the thing.
Marketers a lot of times don't realize the kind of powers that they have them, they have to make a choice to use them for good. That's kind of the way I look at it.
Gianna 5:22
Are we Certified Ethical marketers? You don't have to answer that.
Maria 5:28
I have a better title Certified Ethical marketing hackers.
Gianna 5:34
Oh, that's much better. That's so much better
Maria 5:37
I mean, that doesn't get better in terms of getting close and personal with our persona, right?
Clark Barron 5:37
Gianna 5:44
I think I'll change my title on LinkedIn to that now.
Clark Barron 5:48
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna go with Certified Ethical marketer backend, something. That's
pretty good. But it's one of those things that once you really take a look at it, I mentioned earlier that the skills are the same. If we tear apart and kind of reverse engineer, here comes the hacker philosophy and mentality, the way we approach things like our messaging, then we will really realize that there is no difference in what we're doing and what cyber attackers are doing. And if you take a look at things like the actual anatomy of a cyber attack, hackers do recon, we build personas, and it just keeps going on and on with automation and controlling and deploying exploits and researching vulnerabilities or pain points, it's all the same. And once you take a step back and realize that our audience, the one group of people that we're trying to sell, you'll realize that our audience is made up of world class experts defending against exactly what we're trying to do. And whether they realize it or not, they're not even thinking about it. They're just doing their mindset takes over, even maybe on a subconscious level and know where the threat I as a marketer and the threat actor, I'm trying to exploit a vulnerability within this organization to try to get you to click on something. Imagine that people will spear phishing campaigns, they design landing pages, it's all the same. I'm trying to get you to click a link in an email, go to a landing page fill out a form just so I can deliver my value.
Maria 7:28
My malware
Gianna 7:35
I would be so good at doing spearfishing. I think maybe that's my next career. After this. Maybe
we find my hacking like a true nevermind. I didn't say this. It's not recorded.
Clark Barron 7:46
Ethical Marketers. Ethical Marketers.
Maria 7:51
So yeah, Clark, give us another three or four examples of the side by side that you just did like
the hackers. And then what is the equivalent on the marketing side? Because that was brilliant.
Clark Barron 8:00
Yeah, sure. So I've actually completely deconstructed this entire process. If you look at the
actual anatomy of a cyber attack, you get recon, which is we create personas, we weaponize,
we create our content, then you deliver, you're actually trying to deliver your exploits. Well, that's go to market. What are your actual exploits? They're your pain points. And then you install whatever you want to within that system, or we automate it. And then what do we want to do from there, we want to completely control everything. So we retarget no matter where you go, I'm gonna find you. And then we just maintain that's the name of the game is just maintain control. So we're going to nurture that account until it closes.
Maria 8:42
That is good stuff.
Gianna 8:45
Closes and we got Bitcoin.
Maria 8:47
Wait, did he just mic drop?
Gianna 8:49
He did just mic drop.
Maria 8:50
Oh my god, Clark just mic dropped.
Gianna 8:52
That's not good for your mic.
Clark Barron 8:54
Really? I forgot my prop mic.
Maria 8:58
I love that.
Clark Barron 8:59
Yeah. But once we really, really take a look at this, it is there in black and white. Here's the thing I like to say, marketers are running the same exploits against vulnerabilities that were patched. 20 years ago. It's time to change the game.
Maria 8:59
Oh, snap.
Gianna 9:14
So can you walk us through Clark? So I know you have a specific campaign. You did that
change the game in that you did this sort of backwards thinking like think like a hacker
deconstruct analysis at Fish firewall? Can you walk us through that?
Clark Barron 9:30
Yeah. So it involved a lot of our paid campaigns in our paid search and our paid social. It
actually started with copy. And it started from a messaging point of view. And we ended up
deploying this to a couple different campaigns. But the one that started it all, was after we
evaluated messaging and voice and branding and actually trying to inject a little bit of
personality into what we were presenting because I shared with our founder, one of the things
that I noticed before Coming into the industry, one of the things I did is before I send out a
resume or a connection request or anything, for three months, I just shut my mouth. And I just
watched, I just watched what everybody was doing, I watched what they were saying. And I
jumped in everyone's funnel. And I just kind of audited everything. And I noticed that every
single landing page I went to every single homepage I went to was the same seven acronyms,
and the same seven words jumbled up together. And just, here's what we do. And as a non
technical person, which some of our buyers are going to be, we have to pay attention to things like that. And we also have to pay attention to our more technical buyers that are going to call BS on a lot of what we're trying to say, zero trust is not a product, it's a philosophy AI, unless you actually have data from Star Trek walking in the door, then no, it's not artificial intelligence. And so injecting these kinds of buzzwords into messaging, and hoping to shock and surprise and impress anybody is just not an approach that we felt was going to work. For a couple of these different campaigns, what we did is we just changed the messaging, we'll talk a little bit about getting stakeholder buy in, which is super important. Unfortunately, I was working with a founder that got it. And so I said, Let's deconstruct what a cybersecurity landing page looks like. And b2b, b2c doesn't matter, the vast majority of product landing pages are going to have that big hero banner, they're going to have two or three different bullet points, a call to action, maybe a video or something. And it's gonna go from there. And I said, what if we just change it? What if we just change, not necessarily the layout, but we changed what you're actually reading, let's do something like, Okay, well keep these three bullet points. But instead of AI, this and zero, trust this, and Bob ba ba bob we're gonna take that all down, and we're gonna say, enjoy a completely different cybersecurity landing page. And we're just gonna completely subvert their expectations from the very beginning, they're expecting one thing, and they're getting something completely different, we know what they're expecting. But instead, what we're gonna do is we're gonna say, enjoy a completely different cybersecurity landing page. And then our three bullet points are going to be something to the effect of, there's no gate on the demo, marketing has blocked all the IPs of sales. So you can browse and piece things like that. And we started testing these messages. And we were getting emails, I was getting emails, I got a job offer off of it. It was insane, the kind of response. And we did that knowing this could explode in our faces from the very beginning. But I was working with a founder that was just like, yeah, we've got to break through the noise, we've got to say something different than what everybody else is saying. And it paid off. It was one of those things that if you're having those conversations, like, hey, I want to have a button with no text on it. I just wanted to have a big green button with zero
text on it.
Maria 13:07
Wouldn't security practitioners be very averse to pushing a button that they don't know where it's gonna take them?
Clark Barron 13:14
Well, first thing they're gonna do is they're gonna hover that link and make sure that it's secure.
Maria 13:18
Oh, good point.
Clark Barron 13:18
So controlling second, their hacker mindset is going to take over and go, I need to press this
Gianna 13:27
Are you sure this the hacker mindset not like the kitty cat mindset that all of us have where we
want to press the big green button?
Clark Barron 13:33
I'm waiting to hear the difference. It's interesting, because I think that that approach lets your
audience know that we get it where other people don't get it, we actually do we understand the game, just jump in the funnel, just whatever. It doesn't have to be a certain call to action. There's so many different things online, different blog posts and posts on LinkedIn saying, Should I say get a demo, request a demo free demo live demo now. Just put your demo on your page. Just put it on there. It's a sales tool, not something you should be guarding self awareness. Just make the information available, they'll let you know if it's good enough, trust me, they'll come back if it's good enough. It's things like that to just say, can we just cut the crap? I experimented with one landing page where I had three buttons, one said save me time once it saved me money. And one said nothing and to proceed that there was a question. It said, What can we do for you saved me time, save me money, or nothing. And we actually had people click the button that said nothing. And so what happened is it was linked to a section ID all the way at the very bottom of the page below the footer, like well, like outside of the map where you're not supposed to be in a video game, just an Easter egg. It says yeah, we get it. This industry is really hard. And so I put a form there that said, what's on your mind and a green button. That was it? Just nothing.
Maria 14:58
Boom. That's crazy. Find when you get the crap in this campaign. Yeah, I imagine the KPIs werevnot crappy at all. Talk us through what you were tracking.
Clark Barron 15:08
We talked about vanity metrics all the time. vanity metrics are something that you ask one
marketer what a vanity metric is, they're gonna say something completely different than maybevanother marketer, maybe a demand gen marketer versus a product marketer. And so we were looking at things like time on page, which was interesting was, how long are you actually reading all of this garbage that we've put up here just to see if you'll read it, all your normal metrics, and some of the vanity metrics, we were looking at entries and exits, and really peculiar stats on things like time on page, even weird things that nobody really looks at anymore? Like bounce rate, like, where are you going? Why can I hook you with this? What some people might call just garbage copy that no one's trying. It's not tested, no one's doing anything. And here's one of the main takeaways is, if that first page, in particular, if a CMO had been monitoring it, and had been looking at your more traditional metrics, like MQL, everybody shutters things like, if you were looking at it from that perspective, it would have failed completely, absolutely would have felt we knew that going in. But why are we looking at those type of metrics? I want engagement, I want to set meetings, I want to take ownership a little bit further down the pipeline? Did somebody reach out? Did someone set a meeting? Did someone screenshot my copy and share it in their Slack channel? Can I get in there and figure that out? And so once we started to dive in to stuff like that, it was pretty apparent. Whenever we just got LinkedIn messages and emails directly from people going, who is your marketing person? What are they doing? This is insane. We won.
Gianna 16:54
Surprise and delight.
Clark Barron 16:56
Gianna 16:57
That's awesome. And now we'd like to take a moment to thank our sponsors and producers
hack your Valley media. Chris Cochran and Ron Eddings. Run an amazing studio here, which
produces not only the breaking through and 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 hacker Make sure you go over there and say, Hey, Gianna, and Maria said, I should come check out your website to listen to your shows and sponsor a podcast or two.
So when you're talking about bringing people down to like, a form in the bottom of the page in
the nowhere zone of the form, is that inspired by video games?
Clark Barron 17:51
Gianna 17:52
Was inspired by Celeste. Oh, am I right?
Clark Barron 17:58
Nailed it.
Gianna 18:00
Oh, I got chills.
Clark Barron 18:04
I did not see that coming nailed it.
Gianna 18:06
Where it makes the last players here. Okay, so
Maria 18:10
see Gianna, you do have an ethical hacker? And yeah,
Gianna 18:13
oh, yeah. And apparently, I'm also a mind reader.
Maria 18:15
I'm so proud.
Clark Barron 18:19
You bring up a really good point, I try to play to curiosity, I try to reward. They're not even really consumers at that point. They're just users. And it could be a buyer. It could be somebody that's in the trenches on somebody's team. It's just something that makes them remember you. Because when you're all saying the same thing, no one's saying anything. A lot of times marketers are not afforded the luxury to take a shot. And that's a damn shame. And if you can have that conversation, to say, okay, look, I've got this insane idea. We want to have to lean on sales for a little bit, if you actually want to do this. But if you're looking at long term growth and creating a brand, and creating a personality, for a company that could really see long term growth, just explode and establish themselves as being someone that's willing to take a shot and willing to just say whatever they want than let me do this. If you're willing to try things like that, you're gonna win.
Maria 19:17
I freaking love that. You hear that? CMOS, you hear that? Founders? You gotta let it go. You
gotta let us do the thing that you're not gonna like.
Clark Barron 19:28
That's the thing because I'm super, super protective over marketing. I don't mean to say that. I
don't like working on teams or with other that's not it. I'm very protective of you. And you and me and marketers as a whole. Because for the longest time, marketing has been the only single role in the org chart that everyone thinks they can do. Every single person in the org chart thinks they can do. They think they can do it better than you and they feel entitled To give you their opinion, and expect you to implement what they say.
Maria 20:06
Org Chart and beyond org chart because you've got investors that also have ideas.
Clark Barron 20:13
This goes to board members to the person that randomly saw your ad on Facebook somehow,
just everybody, everybody wants to tell marketers how to do their job. I don't understand it.
Could you imagine walking in to the bullpen with a bunch of analysts and a bunch of engineers
and going, hey, what if we do the firewall like this? That doesn't? I read on LinkedIn. So on
Reddit, you've been on Reddit, right? So I saw this thing. Could you imagine? People would
start throwing keyboards at you. But for some reason in marketing, that's allowed. Makes no
Gianna 20:54
Why can't we put the firewall in front of the mouse?
Clark Barron 20:57
Gianna 20:59
Like where I click like underneath the like, clicky? Button? I think that would be safer.
Clark Barron 21:03
What's the firewall made out of? Is it made of fire? Or is it meant to stop fire?
Maria 21:12
It's made of brick. It's what all the marketing graphics suggests that are made of brick.
Clark Barron 21:18
Yeah, speaking of cliches.
Gianna 21:21
And then you put a fire icon in front of it, though.
Maria 21:23
Oh my god. For our listeners, Clark is currently putting on his hoodie.
Clark Barron 21:27
My black hoodie, because you know, if you've ever seen an actual hacker, put on your black
Gianna 21:34
Oh, that's how they know that you're also a hacker. Right?
Clark Barron 21:37
Gianna 21:39
So Clark, on the topic of everyone wants to tell marketers how to market now My opinion is that you just kind of have to go with it. Because he's not going to stop. So just be pleasant and smile and not implement anything, but keeps eliciting ideas and then just not implementing any of them. Unless they're good. I get good ideas for the team anyway. Sure. All right. So the point is to segue into our next part, which is a Maria's hysterically laughing, by the way. Sorry, Maria. Point is, marketing is the job where a lot of people will have opinions. But in this case, for your I'm gonna call it wacky campaign, wacky landing page idea. You had to convince your team, your founders, your company and your board members to do this. How did you do this? When we know that so many people want to impress their ideas upon marketers, and you come with this completely out of the box wacky idea? How did you do that.
Clark Barron 22:31
So I think a lot of it has to do with the type of organization that you're in. I mean, let's face it, a
lot of bigger organizations, you're not gonna able to do this, I have that level of self awareness
that I know that however, what you can do is change the way you look at conversations with
leadership. And enough of that will start to chip away at that firewall you're trying to break
through, right. And when you have CMOS, or CEO, or a founder or a board, that's just a staunch advocate of everything that you don't want to do, then you have to look at it from a different perspective, you have to find a different exploit. And one of the things that I found was most effective is saying, Look, we're invested in the long term future of this company, you want leads, I'll go get you leads, I can have the cell phone number, and dog's middle name of every cell in the entire country in seven seconds, give me 30 grand, it's done, we'll just eliminate a marketing position done right there. They're your leads. Now, your STRS aren't going to be happy, AE's aren't gonna be happy, no one's going to be happy. Your director of sales, everybody's gonna hate me. But you're gonna get what you want. It's a really, really hard conversation to have. But if you take supreme ownership over the product and the company and have that pride in your own work, to where you know that this conversation has to happen, it does. And a lot of people say, life's too short to work with a CEO that doesn't get marketing. I think that's kind of a cop out. Because you should have those conversations and see if they're open. Because if they don't get marketing, whose fault is that? I think it's ours. If they're just unwilling to listen, then sure, maybe join the society, right. But on the other hand, if they're willing to have a conversation, then that door is open. There's still a vulnerability there to exploit. And you can start by having conversations, like what I mentioned earlier about, we're invested in the long term growth, like, do you really want MQLs I can get you MQLs. And guess what? Guess who's gonna define what that MQL is me. So everything that you're gonna get, is going to be an MQL because they're within our audience. They are our buyers. We know they're qualified to be marketed to like, that just lends itself to a pipeline that's kind of disjointed, not having really good conversations, and alignment but between sales and marketing. And you see this a lot of times in early stage startups that are looking for that growth hack, they're looking to explode. supernovas are super bright, but they don't last very long. I'm not looking for the top fuel dragster, I'm looking for the diesel, that just will not quit. And that's what you want to buy. That's the message that you have to get across. So before you can take the big shots, you got to get some small wins. And the only way you're gonna get there is to have that conversation. As hard as it may be, you've got to have it. Because if you're doing it for the company, if you're doing it for your team, even if you're selfishly doing it for yourself, because it will determine the course of your tenure at your company. Because if you don't have that conversation, then you're gonna know, every single time you hit sent, nobody's gonna respond to this. I don't know why I'm doing this. This is not what we should be doing. We've all been in situations like that, where we know that what we're about to send out into the world is like, this is garbage. No one's listening to me. Do you really want to work in that kind of environment? Take a shot.
Gianna 26:04
Catapult some garbage.
Clark Barron 26:06
Yeah. Not gonna work.
Maria 26:08
Clark, you just gave me an idea to start creating a series where cyber marketers and cyber
founders can come together and debate and ask each other questions and put each other in
each other's shoes, and maybe that'll change something or maybe Gianna, we should start
inviting some cyber founders to be on the podcast and tell their side of the story.
Gianna 26:28
Listeners, do you want to hear cybersecurity founders on the podcast, send us an email at, hey, there at cyber screen marketing We want to know what you think we want to bring on the guests that you want to hear founders or not. And let us know.
Clark Barron 26:43
I will be more than happy to come on and play family therapist.
Maria 26:46
Love that we're gonna take you up on
Clark Barron 26:48
that. It's kind of one of those things that you have to do. And that's really how you have to look
at it. Because we spend a lot of time developing personas, and our ideal customer profiles and
things like that. Why don't we do that internally?
Gianna 27:01
Know what? Yeah, why did you just say, that's crazy. I love it. Like, this is the persona of my
CEO, my CEO cares about this. And my CEO is this age and my CEO reads this magazine.
Maria 27:18
And he's a first time founder or a second time founder, because that's a big difference.
Clark Barron 27:23
Yeah, you want to Spearfish, a CEO, play to their ego, give them that keynote speaking
engagement, it's all the same tactics. It's all the same mindset, whether you're trying, you know.
Gianna 27:33
For any CEOs of us listening, this doesn't apply to you.
Clark Barron 27:36
Of course, finds other CEOs.
Gianna 27:38
Of course.
Maria 27:39
It applies to mine. Mine be, so down to joining something like this and just talking,
Clark Barron 27:47
I will say this to anybody listening, the number one skill that I believe you can learn as a
marketer in cybersecurity is cybersecurity. It's not marketing, and more specifically, it's social
Gianna 27:58
Clark Barron 27:59
Set yourself up for success. Set your team up for success. know the answer to the question
you're about to ask before you even ask it.
Gianna 28:05
I think this is a great segue into a game where we're going to use our social engineering skills to guess Are you ready for the game? Don't worry, you don't have to play Clark, you just have to be the subject and you get to decide who's the winner.
Clark Barron 28:21
Gianna 28:22
So, in this game, which we play at the end of every episode, we're gonna guess if you are not in your current role, what would you be doing and it can't be a pastoral you've had either that we know of.
Clark Barron 28:34
Gianna 28:36
Who wants to go first? I can go first. Maria, you want to go?
Clark Barron 28:38
So I should come up with answer to that.
Gianna 28:40
You should already know.
Maria 28:42
Don't you know what you'd be doing.
Clark Barron 28:51
Oh, yes okay.
Gianna 28:51
I like thinking that this is the only thing you want to do in your life.
Maria 28:55
Also, dancing is definitely exempt from this. And we forgot to grill Clark Barron on his stage life
in his previous life, which I feel like
Clark Barron 29:08
That's a big previous.
Maria 29:09
Yeah, makes him who he is today. So let's play the game. And then we're gonna give him 60
seconds to tell us about his previous stage life.
Gianna 29:16
Okay. All right. So, Clark, now I know that you're a gamer. I feel like you would be in the video
gaming industry. Maybe writing the stories to video games. Maria, your turn?
Maria 29:29
Yeah, you're so freaking good at this Gosh, Gianna I don't know. I'm gonna start playing this
game by myself. Because it's always an unfair advantage because you freaking wins every
Gianna 29:41
I will be listening to summer episodes and you've won once.
Maria 29:46
I know. Okay, I know you're trying to do this because you love me. Okay, so I think Clark if you
weren't today in cybersecurity marketing, you would be a radio show host boom. At least tell me that's right.
Clark Barron 30:01
So I have to give it to Gianna.
Maria 30:04
Oh my god, I freaking hate her.
Clark Barron 30:07
Gianna 30:07
And you shouldn't let me go first.
You really should. I said, Maria, do you want to go and then you were silent. And I was like,
Okay, I go first.
Maria 30:15
Okay, tell us more, Clark, tell us more.
Clark Barron 30:17
I have to give Gianna the win on that. Because actually, this will lead into a little bit about my
past. I started out in commercial photography. And then I moved into video work. In my personal time I shoot short films, I write andvdirect, short films, and I take them to film festivals. I am also a huge gamer. And so you might have sparked something in me that I wasn't even really aware that was there. Yeah. So if I end up on the team running the next Far Cry, or something like God of War, Assassin's Creed, then yeah, shout you out. But yeah, I think that the skill there that popped up throughout my entire career is storytelling. And it doesn't matter if I'm visually telling that story. Or if I'm telling that story, through something like a podcast or on a landing page, it doesn't matter. I'm gonna be telling a story wherever I go. And so yeah, you just nailed it. And
that's why.
Gianna 31:10
Nice. All right. Tell us about how you used to tell stories on stage with your body.
Clark Barron 31:17
Okay, so let's pause.
Maria 31:19
That's very naughty? I don't know.
Gianna 31:22
So classical ballet does definitely not do that.
Clark Barron 31:28
My mics not that magic. So anyway, yeah. So I actually grew up in a performing art studio at my mom, Dance Company for 35 years, I grew up on stage, if sometime between the years of 2002 and 2007, you were in six legs in Atlanta, Georgia, you probably hugged me wearing a bunny costume. And everything in between, been on stage singing, dancing my entire life as
marketers, we just want attention. That's it. It doesn't matter where it comes from. I think it was just kind of naturally bred for this type of work.
Maria 32:01
I love that Clark, I was on stage very early in my life to doing theater and dance and all that
good stuff. And I do believe it sets you up for your adult life.
Clark Barron 32:10
Maria 32:11
Career In many ways that people don't really know.
Clark Barron 32:14
Yeah, doing theater and performing for me was just a huge foundation to build off of. It's really
something I feel passionate about getting kids into because it's gonna help them for success.
Even in like technical cybersecurity, just having confidence, having the ability to walk up to
people and just have a conversation, being able to read people storytel And get across a
message, whatever that message may be. It's something that we all can take a break from this
world. We live in super technical, high pressure at times and just chill. Just relax and let
somebody tell you a story. I
Maria 32:46
Love that so much respect for your mom right now. Shout out. Clark's Ma.
Gianna 32:52
Alright, Clark, how can people connect with you or find you if you're open to being connected
Clark Barron 32:58
Yeah, so you can check me out on That's my personal website, kind of in the
works. Just a personal project, my CV, maybe some film stuff, maybe some cybersecurity stuff, some marketing stuff, drop me a note there. Let's have a conversation. And feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. Always.
Gianna 33:14
Awesome. Well include both of those in the show notes.
Clark Barron 33:18
Maria 33:19
And that's Clark, Barron, Barron spelled B A R R O N?
Clark Barron 33:23
Maria 33:23
So our listeners know. So Clark, thank you so much for joining us today. This conversation was
amazing. I think we're gonna have a lot of insights and amazing ideas and advice for our
listeners. For the cybersecurity marketing society members, things that they can literally apply
today in their marketing strategy, and they will be on this. Let's sound different. Let's do things
different wagon. We are so happy you made time for us today. So thank you so much.
Clark Barron 33:54
Thank you both so so much for having me. This was absolutely awesome.
Maria 33:57
Okay, everyone, if you're interested in being on the podcast, reach out to us at podcasts with an s at hacker Valley If you have interesting stories, amazing cyber marketing ideas, or you're just an awesome, interesting person. Reach out and we'd love to hear about you. A tune in next Wednesday for the next episode.
Gianna 34:20
Like and subscribe.
Clark Barron 34:21
And don't forget, join the society.

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