October 6, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio
October 6, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio
In this special episode, Hacker Valley community members and hosts of the Breaking Through in Cybersecurity Marketing podcast, Gianna Whitver and Maria Velasquez, tell all about the ups and downs of cyber marketing. As podcast hosts and founders of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society, Gianna and Maria eat, sleep, and breathe cybersecurity marketing. This week, Gianna and Maria share the history behind the Society and explain why they decided to host their CyberMarketingCon2022 conference in person.
[02:41] Creating the Cybersecurity Marketing Society
[06:29] Transitioning CyberMarketingCon2022 from virtual to in-person
[10:50] Combating the difficulty of growth marketing to cybersecurity practitioners
[18:34] Examining ROIs for attendees of conferences like Black Hat and RSA
[28:15] Finding the one thing they would instantly change about cyber marketing
Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and Uptycs for bringing this episode to life!
The Axonius solution correlates asset data from existing solutions to provide an always up-to-date inventory, uncover gaps, and automate action — giving IT and security teams the confidence to control complexity. Learn more at axonius.com/hackervalley
Uptycs, analytics for the modern attack surface, observability for the modern defender. Check out Uptycs by visiting them at uptycs.com
How did the Cybersecurity Marketing Society come to exist?
Gianna and Maria initially met and bonded over how the cybersecurity marketing world is constantly changing and evolving, for better or worse. They would get together to chat, as well as share strategies and insights. They quickly realized, through their friendship, that there was potential for a solid community in cybersecurity marketing. They started a Slack channel, just to put something out there. The channel grew from 10 participants into a bustling community of over 1500 people. Now, the Society is growing every day and hosting online events.
“It's always really nice to look back at the start, and it humbles you, right? As you continue this hustle of just growth and ongoing things happening, it's nice to take a step back and say, ‘Wow, look at where it all started.’ It seemed like just a crazy idea then.” –Maria Velasquez What inspired the leap to host an in-person conference for CyberMarketingCon?
Back in 2020, while everyone was experiencing the height of the pandemic, members of the Cybersecurity Marketing Society were still interested in making connections with other professionals in the industry. Gianna and Maria decided the best option available was hosting virtual conferences in 2020 and 2021. Later, they branched into in-person chapter meetups in cities around the world. An in-person CyberMarketingCon2022 seemed like the next natural step in the process to cement those community connections.
“We started planning on a spreadsheet, basically. What's the theme? What do we want to cover in terms of topics? We looked to our members within the Society to hear what they'd like to learn at the conference and the speakers they'd like to see.” –Maria Velasquez
What makes it so difficult to market to cybersecurity practitioners?
Cybersecurity practitioners are notoriously skeptical. Their purview is full of phishing links and threat actors, and their guards are always up. Practitioners also often have a revolving door of folks wanting them to try demos, which makes it harder for someone to stand out. Maria and Gianna explain that you have to create a different kind of connection to build a relationship with practitioners, and advise marketers to avoid the cringeworthy commercial buzzwords.
“We're here to make sure that together, as an industry, cybersecurity marketers default to the best practices in marketing to practitioners, and that we're not bothering our target audience. We're doing great marketing, so that we can help everyone be more safe.” –Gianna Whitver
What did the ROIs look like for attendees of Black Hat and RSA?
In general, according to Gianna and Maria, the return on investment seemed higher for attendees at Black Hat, rather than at RSA. For marketers, RSA is less about selling and more about brand awareness and meeting with investors. In contrast, those who attended Black Hat reported that, even though the quantity of traffic at their booths was lower, the quality of the connections was higher, and there is a lot of optimism about opportunities to connect next year becoming more frequent.
“We're going to keep doing this every year. We're going to keep expanding the survey, we're going to have better data. I'm really looking forward to next year's debrief on Black Hat and RSA, seeing how things changed and how companies perceive their ROI.” –Gianna Whitver
Grab your ticket to the CyberMarketingCon2022
Follow Gianna on LinkedIn
Catch up with Maria on LinkedIn
Connect with Ron Eddings on LinkedIn and Twitter
Connect with Chris Cochran on LinkedIn and Twitter
Purchase a HVS t-shirt at our shop
Continue the conversation by joining our Discord
Check out Hacker Valley Media and Hacker Valley Studio
Join hosts Ron and Chris as they dive into the world of Attack Surface Management (ASM) in this episode recorded live at RSAC 2023. Special guest Nabil Hannan, a seasoned industry expert and Field CISO at NetSPI, shares his wealth of knowledge and ex...
In this episode, hosts Ron and Chris are joined by Paul Valente, CEO and co-founder of VISO Trust, and Bryan Wong, Sr. Security Analyst at Headspace, as they dive into the world of third-party risk in cybersecurity. With conversations ranging from th...
In this episode, Ron Eddings and Chris Cochran discuss the concept of "paying the piper" and its impact on their careers and personal lives. Paying the piper means facing the consequences of one's actions, whether they are good or bad. Chris shares h...
In this podcast episode, Jack Roehrig, Technology Evangelist at Uptycs, discusses his experience with burnout and health issues due to his job as a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). Jack has always known health is wealth and retired to Mexic...
In this episode, we explore the often-overlooked importance of empathy in the cybersecurity field. Our guest, Tracy Maleeff, shares her personal journey from community involvement to the industry and discusses how embracing empathy can lead to more e...
Head into RSA 2023 with a purpose. This episode is all about how to reach a win-win when sealing deals, getting hired, and networking.If you want to catch up with the Hacker Valley Team during RSA be sure to jump into our discord. You can join by goi...
RSA is right around the corner and we’re so excited because it’s one of our big opportunities to meet with you, our dedicated listener. If you want to catch up with the Hacker Valley Team be sure to jump into our discord. You can join by going to hac...
Join our creative mastermind and stand out as a cybersecurity professional: https://www.patreon.com/hackervalleystudio Become a sponsor of the show to amplify your brand: https://hackervalley.com/work-with-us/ Love Hacker Valley Studio? Pick up some...
Special Thanks to our sponsor NetSPI NetSPI has a team of skilled pen-testers that can help you find those critical vulnerabilities and become your partner in creating the right remediation game plan for you. Check them out at http://netspi.com/HVM ...
In this episode of the podcast, Ron Eddings and Chris Cochran share insights and tips on how to navigate a career in cybersecurity. They discuss the importance of having the right mindset, finding the right career path, building a network, and ...