Tell us about your company, your role, and top priorities or initiative over the next six months.
I work for Check Point Software Technologies, a proud leader in cyber security, quickly approaching its 30th year of servicing customers with prevention-first strategies against modern-day attacks. The founders of Check Point, and specifically our CEO, Gil Shwed, invented the network firewall and have expanded its offering to secure IOT devices, endpoint devices, email, and now an entire suite of Cloud Native Application Protection solutions. At Check Point, I lead the cloud marketing organization, which includes product, partner, and program marketing, as well as marketing operations and an SDR team.
The Check Point team has recently launched several new features to our CloudGuard solution to deliver customers automated cloud-native security, unified across their applications, workloads, and network, to manage risk, maintain posture, and prevent threats, at cloud speed and scale. CloudGuard’s prevention-first approach protects these cloud applications and workloads, in context, throughout the software development lifecycle and includes an effective risk management engine, which provides remediation prioritization—allowing customers to focus on the security risks most critical.
Over the next six months, we will be sharing these innovations with the market and illustrating how this unified technology can help customers improve overall security operations and address issues such as misconfigurations, over-permissive users and roles, developer and code security, and ultimately how to create a zero trust approach throughout their cloud deployment.
Given the current and/or projected state of the economy, what has been the greatest challenge(s) you’ve faced so far or anticipate in 2023?
This is an interesting question because even during economic challenges, security is one of those areas that rarely shows a decrease in spending. Instead, customers will begin to look for opportunities to consolidate their security vendors and move towards a unified platform approach to reduce vendor management overhead, improve visibility, and ultimately better identify and prioritize excessive risks running in their environments. Frost & Sullivan, in its recent Frost Radar for Global Cloud Native Application Protection Platforms, projects “a compound annual growth rate of 25.7% from 2021 to 2026, with revenue reaching $5,406.8 million in 2026 because of the increasing demand for a unified cloud security platform.” Gartner echoed this in the recent Market Guide to Cloud Native Application Protection, stating that “by 2026, 80% of enterprises will have consolidated security tooling for the life cycle protection of cloud-native applications to three or fewer vendors, down from an average of 10 in 2022.” This move will result in greater challenges for point solution providers, but Check Point is well-positioned to help customers move towards consolidation with our security management framework.
Are current market conditions or concerns about the economy later this year impacting your marketing plans and if so, how?
It would be naive to say no to this question regardless of market conditions. As marketing leaders, we have a responsibility to manage each marketing initiative focused on the outcomes we want to drive and ensuring we meet our KPIs.
Check Point has invested significantly in its marketing organization over the past few years. With this investment, we have the fiduciary duty to act responsibly and focus our messages in the proper channels to reach our target audience. During 2023, we will continue to invest in full-stack marketing and optimize each channel to drive conversions and funnel—this goes from awareness through lead generation activities.
My approach for my team is to manage the budget conservatively, test, test, test, and fail fast. We must always be willing to innovate within our budget parameters to move the business forward. If a program is not showing success later in the sales cycle, we may need to change our approach but we should never be afraid to try something new.
An recent example regarding this was a campaign my team was running for a very technical CSA and developer audience. They started with just one technical asset that was low performing as a stand alone. They had the idea to expand this into a full use case program. This omni-channel approach began with a teaser video and then took the customer on a journey toward a full assessment and workshop. Thanks to this ingenuity, they increased engagements by 500% and have started to grow pipeline.
As a B2B marketer, what tends to be pressures you experience that B2C or B2G marketers may not understand or appreciate?
Across all business models, it is really about communications, and understanding your buyers, their needs/pain points, and how your solution helps them reach a positive outcome better than your competitor. The journey for B2B marketers and sales is where it is quite different in that you have several influencers, buyers, and decision-makers in place, and must craft each message to their specific needs. While they may be solving similar problems, the perspective in which they view the problem is often quite different, and the level of technical and business speak varies. This means that there is not a one size fits all story for your content or your overall program. You must develop your programs around key use cases with all of your ICPs in mind so they can have a customized journey in accordance with their profile.
While several of the G2M approaches may be more similar between B2B and B2C, the buying stages are quite different and often more lengthy than B2C. For B2B it can take on average 9 to 15 months to turn larger deals, so it is critical for both the marketing team and sales organization to partner together to engage the prospect throughout the sales cycle. Not consistently communicating with your prospect and having frequent touchpoints will kill the deal and your marketing program ROI. It is essential to have a buyer’s journey in place across the entire lifecycle.
Does PR play a role in your overall marketing strategy, and if so, where does it provide the most value, OR where does it fall short?
PR has always played an active role in my overall marketing strategy, but it has evolved and expanded over the past ten years. Now PR reaches beyond pitching reporters covering key beats trying to garner an interview to also having to understand an entire ecosystem of influencers covering your technology area. You have editorials, advertorials, social, podcasts, blogs, etc. These vehicles are essential, and getting your story heard over the noise is even more challenging. To address this, my marketing strategy includes both an in-house and outsourced model to cast our net wider to reach influencers. We have increased our investment in analyst relations from a licensing and sponsorship perspective, increased our spending on influencer podcasts, even invited some to do bakeoffs, and blended our editorial and advertorial approach. The goal is to take our story and disseminate it in several different media channels leveraging our PR engine.
Do you or your team currently leverage ChatGPT or another AI tool? How so?
Yes, this entire Q&A was written using ChatGPT…just kidding. AI is taking over our world, but it is not at a point where it is a replacement for original human thought and creativity; it is a machine. I use ChatGPT or Anyword to test my idea or writing. Maybe there is a subject line or email that my team wrote that doesn’t sit well or a social media post. Often I will leverage the AI tool to analyze the readability and look for opportunities to improve the original text. We have tested using the tool for blog writing, and it is okay if your goal is to publish a Wikipedia article that sounds like everyone else. To be effective and keep your brand voice, you need to start with your original thoughts and use the tool to optimize—again, test, test, test.
What is the last book you read?
This year I challenged myself to read 24 novels, and I refuse to fall into the Colleen Hoover fan club trap (although I did read Verity). I just finished Book 9, Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelphy Van Pelt. The book was brilliantly written and about a widowed woman who volunteers at an aquarium and her interactions with the animals. The story has several spins which bring everything full circle, back to three characters, the widow, a 25-year-old boy trying to find himself, and an octopus—excellent read and highly recommended for your next beach trip.
Learn more about and connect with Trisha here on LinkedIn.