As the saying goes, "if you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." Conventional marketing yields conventional results, yet certain industries can be slow to adopt new marketing approaches. The reluctance to change can be especially pronounced in B2B industries.
That might seem like bad news for B2B marketers, but, in actuality, B2B marketing in these verticals is ripe for disruption. Case in point, cybersecurity firm Cybereason. The company's taking a very different tack from the traditional mix of whitepapers, tradeshows, and ad buys. It underwrote and produced a documentary celebrating "The Defenders," the cybersecurity professionals who protect companies from hacks and breaches. The film doesn't spotlight the company's products, but instead seeks to elevate the conversation around cybersecurity and the mindset necessary for businesses to protect their data. Cybereason also created an invite-only forum called DEEP that employs a TED-talk-style format—the first event of its kind for the cybersecurity industry.
I invited Cybereason's chief marketing officer, Cindy Klein Roche, to Marketing Smarts to discuss the company's innovative approach to cybersecurity marketing.
Here are just a few highlights from our conversation:
Consider promoting your content using multiple channels (including live events) for maximum impact (08:27): "Since we had a documentary, we needed a way to showcase it. At [the RSA Conference], in our quest to stand out and be different even at tradeshows which could not be more of a sea of sameness, we built a movie theater, complete with popcorn and candy and a live human being emcee to herald the arrival of our documentary, and another short movie that we made to run in our theater. We showed a trailer for our documentary to thousands of attendees at RSA.
"It was sort of a three-part launch. We had our launch at RSA in our tradeshow-booth movie theater; we had a series of red-carpet premieres in seven cities around the world in May and June, where we invited our community of customers, potential customers, partners, advisers, and got together for cocktails and a documentary in some really great movie theaters around the country and in London and Tel Aviv (we had an amazing response to those and excitement from them); and, last, but not at all least, because it's gotten us the most scale, we released the documentary online and made it available to anyone who is willing to give us their information (so that we know who's watching our documentary) and who wants to stream it for their teams.
"It is a documentary made to be shared with security teams. We've gotten a lot of requests from universities to stream it online to their classes, so we've been really pleased with the three-part launch strategy."
To make an impression at tradeshows, dare to be different (11:12): "If you're holding popcorn and you're watching a great movie, you don't want to (and physically cannot) get on your phone. That was a great finding. Our other tradeshow hack is that, it turns out that everybody goes for getting your visual attention. We stole the show with the smell of the popcorn which would go wafting through the hall It would bring people to our booth because they came for the smell and stayed for the movie.... We had some angry competitors."
An innovative marketing approach can bolster your recruiting efforts, as well (16:45): "A nontraditional advertiser kept approaching us about being in the subway stations in Boston and how she wanted us to experiment with reaching our target while they were on subway platforms. It seemed not at all interesting to us...to put an ad for Cybereason in front of people. We don't pay conventional prices for conventional advertising. So first we negotiated a sweetheart deal.
"Then in collaboration with our creative team, we made these cryptography puzzles that only the insider would know how to solve. There were messages embedded in this coded language that as you stood on the subway platform you could figure out. And you could submit your answer to get a free, cool Cybereason T-shirt. We had an unbelievable response.... As a side benefit, we got a lot of employment brand awareness in the city of Boston. We got some viable job candidates through the campaign, as well."
To learn more, visit Cybereason.com or follow the company on Twitter: @cybereason. You can also check out the cybersecurity history podcast "Malicious Life." And be sure to watch "The Defenders" documentary (bring your own popcorn, though).
Cindy and I talked about much more, so be sure to listen to the entire show, which you can do above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode!
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Music credit: Noam Weinstein.