Part 2 of Marketing for Cyber Security - 5 ways to deliver you more leads for cyber security companies. Why it’s so hard to actively market and generate leads in this competitive marketplace?
- Don’t underestimate the value of lead nurturing and knowing the right time to approach your prospective client with the right messaging
If you follow the buyer's journey, no one wants to be harassed with cold calls, but if you are aware of where they are in their decision making process, it makes it much easier to approach them when timing is right - seeing the indicators which demonstrate this from engagement actively via digital content or channels. We are finding it takes about 5 touchpoints to qualify a prospect.
- Increasing MQL quality isn’t just a numbers game for the reasons of a finite audience with your customer segment and depth of credibility and positioning
What constitutes an acceptable MQL lead is not just a B-A-N-T approach to qualification. It requires some higher level information around the specific qualification of the security environment and any business needs that is more targeted through building sufficient credibility and point of difference during the lead nurturing and generation process. This is typically applying a level of sales acumen which is where a Sales Development Representative or Inside Sales Representative delivers more effective result and is a better investment to deliver SQLs.
- No consistent pattern of lead generation (for example in Tier 2 financial services)
It can typically take 2 to 3 months of organic lead generation for trends to settle, hence lead nurturing is very important to build up a customer lifecycle and where they positioned within the buyer's journey and the awareness, consideration and decision stages.
A one to one approach for lead generation is not possible to shorten the process, but planting many seeds will help to increase the qualification of the lead by the sales team.
- Relevant content is critical based on the buyer's journey NOT your own agenda
This means that related business content around risk, audit compliance and preferable written authentically from subject matter experts and influencers to provide topics of interest that demonstrate a closer relationship to your prospective clients and showing how you can address their business, financial or operation challenges.
What are alternative methods to try?
- Lead nurturing through multichannel marketing with use of relevant content
- Lead generation not through just warm calling
- Content driven discussions are vital for engagement
- Knowledge of your target prospective client and needs
- The use of relevant industry based analogies and well crafted messaging and email to the prospect
- RESEARCH, RESEARCH and RESEARCH before you connect
- ...Organic leads can take time to generate so be patient!
- The effective use of inbound marketing and marketing automation
The use of inbound marketing and outbound approach to drive more qualified leads and sales opportunities can bring significant improvements to your pipeline - the key here is the process of qualification and lead scoring during a lead generation and lead nurturing stage.
Many US security vendors run a common combination of Salesforce SFDC and Marketo, Pardot or Eloqua marketing automation. Typically the gap between an MQL and SQL manifests between marketing and sales teams because of the complexity and level of marketing resource and knowledge required to utilise the functionality of the package.
Hence a sales 'lead' isn’t when one whitepaper or e-Book download is made by a prospective customer on your website which then gets passed on - it may be a MQL, but sales will clearly require many more sales-ready indicators before they can establish a successful engagement with the prospect.
Have a read of this independent US based blog/case study of how HubSpot and inbound marketing helped this security business grow their leads and business:
- Consider a way to differentiate your content marketing strategy through Social Influencing and Social Selling.
If you recently reviewed any of the cyber security vendor company websites, there is a lot of technical content around security solutions and more generic messaging.
Marketing a specific niche area in cyber security requires being more a more targeted representation, messaging and PR. Some effective alternative channels such using social selling and influencer marketing utilise a figure head who is seen as the influencer for cyber security busines to grain traction in the market.
An influencer is someone who has 10,000+ social media followers. A micro influencer is someone who has around 4,500 social media followers.
The impact of the social channels shouldn’t be underestimated in terms of PR and creating brand awareness for your cyber security marketing strategy and as way to drive better ROI than traditional channels.
Attracting your prospective clients generally requires more than technical data sheets, so consider how you run events or virtual awareness sessions or podcasts via the right social medium channels for to make a more effective impact.
A possible strategy to differentiate might be to consider accessing one of these influencers who has strong media following and from a younger, more digitally-inclined demographic to mix both targeted audience appeal and the necessary cyber security awareness and knowledge.