It’s a challenging time for any business, but especially for startups.
And while it might not be the best environment for raising your next round, there’s a lot to be learned from companies bringing their ideas and products to life in a year like 2020.
From a lack of live events to a dampening of demand, there are more obstacles than ever. But startups are still driving a path forward.
Doron Gez, CMO of Hub Security, an Israel-based startup developing next-gen hardware security modules (HSMs), is doing exactly that. His approach is something every marketer, no matter how mature your company, can learn from.
Here’s how Doron is navigating 2020 and advancing the business despite the many headwinds.
Mike: What lessons have you learned during the pandemic that you’ll apply moving forward?
Doron: I learned that the unknown factor in our line of work just became a lot bigger than we ever imagined. At the same time, certain things did not change.
So the first lesson is to constantly learn and re-evaluate what is changing and what is not. The second lesson is the need to learn new things and learn them fast!
We have been working hard to adopt (quickly) new tools, methods, and platforms, from Zoom to LiinkedIn Sales Navigator to YouTube Live. The idea is to not slow down and to implement new tools and methods much faster than before.
Last is building a team you can trust and give more responsibility to each member regardless of whether they’re working from the office or remotely.
If a lot of in-person events continue to reschedule, cancel, or go virtual, how will you fill up your calendar for the rest of the year?
Continuing off the previous question, we are constantly re-evaluating current events and acting accordingly.
Because most people are working remotely, their attention to online events is still high. We have been hosting weekly webinars on a variety of cyber topics that have gained substantial engagement and we intend to keep running them for the time being.
We are also taking part in online events held by partners, as we did recently with OurCrowd’s cybersecurity webinar series. Overall, our calendar is filling up nicely, 100% online for now.
What are the most interesting cybersecurity stories you’re following in the news right now?
Well, I try to keep up with cyber attack reports and cyber innovation updates. In the past few weeks we’ve witnessed cyberattacks on the rise, hitting hotels, banks, hospitals, and recently an attempt on Israel’s water supply.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you would give other cybersecurity startups?
The pandemic is a global challenge and affects everyone’s life. That said, the opportunity for cyber security startups is substantial. Startups in the cybersecurity ecosystem that are quick to adjust their solutions to the pandemic cyber threats will be able to keep growing. Ask yourself how is your solution protecting current threats and risks? How are your competitors facing these challenges?
In terms of marketing and communications, what do you think is the most effective mix of content, PR, advertising, events, etc.?
I believe that although there is a lot of focus on current events, startup marketers should still pay attention to the long run, to make sure they get there.
With that in mind, we aim to build solid marketing assets for the long run and keep current lead gen and sales constantly growing. We try not to separate the tools, but rather create synergy and elevate them.
Our top priority is generating high-value content, and we invest heavily in it. Content for Hub Security includes PR, blog posts, weekly webinars, Hub’s newsletter, and video. We also invest in giving our audience more than just news about Hub Security and publish daily industry news on LinkedIn and Twitter in addition to a weekly news digest on Medium offering more value to our cyber security community.
Our advertising strategy is very focused and performance oriented. Physical events will be part of our marketing plan again in 2021, according to health guidelines.
What resource (book, podcast, talk, etc.) would you recommend to other cybersecurity marketers?
Especially in the past few months, I’ve been following a variety of sources covering digital marketing, B2B marketing, advertising blogs, and social groups.
A few worth mentioning, include the Hubspot blog, which is a great source for digital marketing, sales, and the process between them, based on Hubspot’s high volume of data.
Another source for cyber and marketing is Medium, where I follow the #cybersecurity and #fintech story feeds. Lastly, I follow a local marketing group that is packed with hands-on information and advice (mostly in Hebrew): “B2B share and grow Israel” on Facebook.