This article is the third in a series on go-to-market strategy for cybersecurity & infosecurity SaaS companies. You can find our first and second articles in the series here.
How to Design Your Target Audience Strategy in 3 Steps
If you’re at the go-to-market stage of your business, you’ve already identified your target audience. So, your next consideration should be how you’ll fill your pipeline with warm leads from this audience.
When it comes to target audience strategy for cybersecurity and infosecurity SaaS companies in particular, you should focus on three things: role-based messaging, industry-based insight, and strategic prospecting tailored to your specific product.
1. Craft Role-Based Messaging and Target Multiple Roles Simultaneously
In our last article, we suggested pairing your value proposition messaging with each part of the funnel. Here, we’ll address how your messaging should change based on who you’re talking to, regardless of where they are in the funnel. When designing your prospecting strategy, be sure to target people with different roles, backgrounds, and seniority levels within the company and then speak to their different motivations and concerns when crafting your outreach.
It is often assumed that a good sales outreach strategy should focus specifically on the single most likely person in the company to be in charge of vendor sourcing for cybersecurity (e.g. CTO, VP Operations, Head of Engineering, etc.). Our experience has taught us that it is more effective to target at least two to three different people in the organization simultaneously. This serves two purposes: it controls for the possibility that the apparent decision-maker will be too busy to read your email or take your call (a very likely scenario), while also generating conversation between the two or three people who may have at least opened your email or listened to your voicemail at some point.
If you’re pitching your product to a CEO or other high-level decision-maker, your messaging should be put in terms of our risk versus reward and ROI framework. (Check out our value proposition article for a detailed discussion of this.) You’ll want to drive home the risks of reputational harm, business stoppages, and legal exposure, among others. Then, you’ll want to highlight how your product mitigates each of these while offering other benefits, like increased trust among your clients and your client’s clients, potential labor and personnel savings, and rapid reaction time to threats (via endpoint monitoring, for example). Business leaders often think in terms of cost versus benefit, so you’ll make more headway if you learn to speak their language. One way to make this strategy more concrete is to provide examples of your client’s competitors who have either suffered financially after a cyberattack or benefited from using your product.
Conversely, if you’re pitching to the CTO or the IT and engineering team, it’s critical that you demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of their pain points. Technical leaders will want to know how your product compares to others, how it fits within their existing security infrastructure, and which features address their foremost concerns. You’ll want to do your homework and identify exactly which features appeal to which type of technical end user, modifying your pitch accordingly. In our experience, strong pitches to IT professionals address the following problems:
- Bandwidth: The team doesn’t have the time or expertise to adequately implement or monitor necessary protections. Supplementing the existing team with automation can address this skills gap.
- Integrations: How will your solution fit seamlessly into their existing technical infrastructure? How does your software integrate the most commonly used third-party apps?
- Implementation & Adoption: How will your solution address different user environments, remote teams, communication about risks and vulnerabilities in real time, and enforce security policies, etc.?
2. Leverage Industry-Based Insight
In our first article in the series, we recommended identifying the verticals represented in your target audience and then “swimming in their lane” to get insight into their particular pain points. It goes without saying that any intel you gather should inform your messaging to that vertical. If you don’t tailor your message to the industry you’re pitching, you sound like everyone else, making it near impossible to stand out from the crowd.
Your outreach to different verticals should reference industry lingo, applicable regulations, and their specific cyber vulnerabilities, like ransomware in the manufacturing sector or data theft in the energy sector. You’ll also want to think through which outreach strategies are the most appropriate for which vertical.
You’ll also want to pay attention to headlines so that you’re quick to respond, especially when a previously unhacked vertical gets attacked, like with local governments and school districts most recently. You can stay in the know by setting up social listening alerts on Google and ZoomInfo, which will scan for topical opportunities for each vertical. You can then share this information on your social accounts, on your blog, or in an email newsletter. This helps position you as an expert in your industry, which will ultimately build trust between you and your prospective and existing clients.
3. Curate a Prospect List Tailored to Your Specific Product
Our last piece of target audience advice is to curate a list of ideal prospects that is finely tuned to your specific offering. This means taking the revenue, headcount, growth rate, and technology disposition of all ideal prospects into account. This way, you’re pulling in prospects that are primed for your sales funnel and setting yourself up for success.
Using sales intelligence and prospecting tools like ZoomInfo, Crunchbase and LeedFeeder to build your prospect list ensures that your efforts are focused and your content can be very specific. For more information, read our article on how to use ZoomInfo to create tailored lists for account-based marketing, as well as reveal important insights about the prospects who visit your site.
Creating a Target Audience Strategy with RFDM Solutions
When you take all of the above and combine it with a strong product marketing plan and a highly refined value proposition, you’re ready to execute an actual campaign. For more information on how to launch your own go-to-market campaign using the steps outlined in our three articles, don’t hesitate to contact us.