Cybersecurity CMOs are under increasing pressure to generate leads and build brand awareness in a very crowded market. In fact, in a recent interview with CRN, Check Point Software Co-founder and CEO Gil Shwed lamented that there is “too much innovation” in the space. Customers “cannot review 300 technologies every year,” he added.
The RSA Conference represents an opportunity for cybersecurity vendors to showcase – and differentiate – how they are helping defenders combat today’s threats. With the show just a few weeks away, security marketers have done most of the hard work to prepare. But under such intense competition, a bit of polishing can never hurt. Here are just a few last-minute recommended to-dos:
- Finetune your message: The cybersecurity market and threat landscape are fluid. Do a final test-run of your company messaging with trusted third parties, from customers to industry analysts, to ensure your story is relevant and easy to understand on the show floor, in marketing materials, and on the website. And, adjust it as needed.
- Define business outcome: Why is your company exhibiting – to generate leads, meet with prospects, customers and partners, interview potential new hires, launch a new product, gain fresh intel on competitor products? Not surprisingly, different company stakeholders have different expectations. Define your expectations – and metrics – for the show, communicate them again and again to senior leadership, and work hard to exceed them.
- Plan team activities: RSAC may be the only opportunity for your team to come together in person this year. In addition to preparing them with key messages and other tools to be successful at the show, be sure to plan at least one or more networking events, i.e. a team dinner, so your team can get to know each other, ask questions and build trust.
- Invite technical booth staff: Have a few extra staff booth passes? Invite more technical staff to help perform demos, answer questions, etc. It’s worth the extra cost in airfare and hotel. During my interview last year, Black Hat General Manager and VP Steve Wylie said, “We consistently hear from our attendees that they want to speak to subject matter experts. The security vendors who understand that about Black Hat and staff their booths and sessions with technical experts generally align well with attendee expectations.” The same holds true for RSAC.
- Prepare for the unexpected: Stuff *happens* at shows: the box of cool t-shirts doesn’t get delivered to the booth, business cards ordered last-minute never get shipped, staff get sick, lead scanners are lost, product demos fail due to poor WiFi, etc. Prepare for the unexpected – create Plan B and C, and communicate them in advance to your staff.
Have more tips to add? Feel free to add them in the comments section of our LinkedIn post. Big Valley Marketing will be at the show this year; if you’d like to schedule a meeting to learn how we can help your organization, reach out to our Cybersecurity Media + Influencer Lead Joshua Swarz at firstname.lastname@example.org.