July 20, 2022
by Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing
Ashish Rajan does SO many things. He is the producer and host of Cloud Security Podcast, the Head of Security & Compliance at PageUp, a Course Instructor at SANS Institute, a Faculty at IANS, a trainer, an AWS builder, and the founder of the DevSECOps Melbourne meetup and Cybersecurity for Startups— and he even has time to have beef with Ryan Reynolds. We asked Ashish on the podcast to find out how he does it all in cybersecurity, as well as his thoughts on cyber marketing and the latest focus on PLG.
[00:00] Introducing the many roles of Ashish, including his meetups with Cloud Security and DevSecOps in London
[05:21] Missed cyber education opportunities with Ryan Reynolds’ 1Password commercial
[15:02] Vendor process for product purchasing, right from the mouth of a CISO
[25:07] Product lead growth (PLG) and how security product become eligible for PLG
[34:44] Ashish’s strategy for consistent multi platform social media marketing
Recently, you were in London for an event. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Ashish takes his many roles in cyber and tech super seriously, managing to schedule a variety of professional meetups and live streams on his trip to London. Originally planning to travel for personal reasons, Ashish found himself working with DevSecOps, planning a meetup for Cloud Security, and working through a very different, yet very tech savvy live stream setup. Consistency is key from Ashish’s perspective— rain or shine, he’s been running this live stream for three years, which is a huge commitment but a worthwhile investment in his audience.
“The whole thing took exactly a week to plan, and I think it was really fascinating that we just announced a meetup with the DevSecOps London group over there. We had about 120 people turn up for that event. That was great.”
What was your opinion on Ryan Reynolds’ ad for 1Password?
Ashish had some choice words on a recent Ryan Reynolds’ commercial online, but we wanted to pick his brain even further. Does Ashish have beef with Ryan? It turns out, not really (although he is definitely open to working with him), but he does think Ryan and 1Password missed an opportunity to further cyber education. With that wide of a platform and that prominent of a figure, Ashish would have liked to see Ryan and his team break down the necessity of strong, secure passwords, as well as advocate for everyday people to consider the security threats they might encounter.
“I thought: Why not use that video as a way to educate and piggyback on the thing that Ryan Reynolds was trying to talk about? But give it a more cybersecurity value spin. So, the video that I made was more around what he was really trying to talk about.”
What are your opinions about marketing in the cyber vendor space?
As a CISO friend of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society, we know we can count on Ashish to notice and pay attention to solid marketing strategy in the cyber industry. A major pain point, not only for us, but for Ashish, has been a lack of creative freedom amongst marketing teams in the industry. Ashish has felt honestly disappointed by the tough constraints that certain cyber companies have placed on their marketing departments, including forcing them to color inside the lines of board and investor opinions on marketing strategies.
“I feel the true marketing is where you're just giving value. Someone buying the product is literally just a byproduct of this. You've given so much value, it doesn't make sense to the person to not buy the product.”
Can you expand on your thoughts around PLG?
PLG, or Product Lead Growth, just might be the future for developers in the cyber community. Developers have a voice, and Ashish has encountered a few companies ready to listen to those voices— even though their competitors still might not be. Using ease of adoption, or how fast someone can get used to your product, and time of value, or how fast a developer can see the results of your product, PLG is not only achievable, but profitable. PLG is already happening, according to Ashish, and it's only a matter of time before companies will have to start asking themselves: How do we convince the developers?
“Once you've got there, is it going to take 1 week for them to get the result? Or, is it going to be a few seconds? No developer is going to spend more than an hour waiting for this result.”
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