Watch Now

Show Notes

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.

 

Timecoded Guide:

[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

 

Sponsor Links:

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

---------- 

Links: 

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

Recent Episodes

Jul 9, 2024

What We All Should Be Talking About When It Comes to AI and ...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings is joined by guests Anirban Banerjee, CEO and Co-Founder at Riscosity, and James Berthoty, Founder and Analyst at Latio Tech. Together they focus on data ...

Jul 2, 2024

Navigating AI as a CISO with Whitney Palacios

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings catches up with one of his colleagues, Whitney Palacios, Vice President and CISO at BigBear.ai. They explore the challenges and responsibilities of being a CISO ...

Jun 26, 2024

The Power of AppSec, Cyber Education, and Friendship with Tanya ...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings catches up with longtime friend, Tanya Janca, Head of Education and Community at SemGrep and author of 'Alice and Bob Learn Application Security.' Tanya shares ...

Jun 18, 2024

Networking 2.0: The Future of Decentralized Networking & Access ...

In this episode, Hosts Ron Eddings, and Jen Langdon share takeaways from Ron's RSA conversation with Colin Constable, Co-Founder and CTO at Atsign On this show, they’ll break down Networking 2.0 ...

Jun 11, 2024

How AI and TPRM Makes Security the ‘Dept. of Innovation’ with Paul ...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings enjoys a reprieve from the hectic RSA conference with guest Paul Valente, CEO of VISO Trust. Paul discusses how he used his extensive experience as a CISO to ...

Jun 4, 2024

A Deep Dive into MSSPs: Understanding the Evolution and Secrets ...

In this episode, Ron Eddings and Jen Langdon explore the origins of MSSPs and the solutions they offer to the cybersecurity industry with insights from Ricardo Nicolini, CTO at Bulletproof. ...

May 28, 2024

Zero Trust Tactics: Preventing Breaches with Ivan Fonseca & Nick ...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings teams up with Ivan Fonseca and Nick Cottrell, Cybersecurity Engineers at ThreatLocker, as they break down the anatomy of previous breaches and the attacker’s ...

May 21, 2024

Enterprise Browsers: Work’s Natural Next Step

In this episode, Ron Eddings and Jen Langdon talk about the evolution of browsers and how enterprise browsers have entered to change the game for corporations. Special guest Brayden Rogers, ...

May 14, 2024

Building Tech and Adding Value in the Era of AI with Josh Danielson

In this episode, Ron Eddings talks with guest Josh Danielson, CEO at Kustos, about how his journey at a previous organization has led him to build and create new products in the industry. ...

May 7, 2024

Building Fast and Not Breaking Things with Shlomi Matichin

In this episode, Ron Eddings and guest Shlomi Matichin, Co-Founder & CTO at Valence Security, discuss how the hurdles and triumphs in the journey of establishing Valence Security resulted in ...

WORK WITH US

PODCASTS + SPEAKING + EVENTS

Are you the best kept secret in cybersecurity? Let's change that by partnering together for podcast ads, social campaigns, and your next event or keynote. Send us your details to get started.