Crommunity Round-Up: Exploring the marketing activities ofKitchener-Waterloo's technology companies
  • 01
  • November

Crommunity Round-Up: October 2020

October’s in the books, and now all those “I loooove faaaaall!” people can fess up and admit that all they really love is the last week of September, the first few weeks of October, and the (very) occasional non-cold and non-rainy day in November.

But I digress, let’s see what’s been going on in the KW tech marketing scene, shall we?

Need to catch up? Check out past Round-Ups

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Data-Driven Studies Deliver Results

Back in the day (before being acquired), Sandvine ran an industry-renowned thought leadership program, the tentpole publications of which were the periodic Global Internet Phenomena reports.

It would be difficult for me to convey just how damned effective these reports were at helping Sandvine achieve global recognition and admiration, both of which helped the company punch well above its weight to take on much larger competitors including Cisco, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, and so on. And honestly, if I did try to convey it, most of you young’ns probably wouldn’t believe me.

Anyway, where was I going? Oh yes, the two reports profiled below can both trace their roots back to the Global Internet Phenomena program:

  • Aterlo/Preseem, which was founded by a team of Sandviners, adopted the tactic a few years ago
  • Arctic Wolf includes a significant number of former Sandviners—including Dan Deeth (their Head of Communications) and Matt Duench (the Product Marketing Manager who led the development and launch of the Arctic Wolf’s report)

These reports are real examples of how a marketing strategy or tactic can spread through a tech ecosystem—but only when people talk and share their experiences!

I’m not going to get up on a soapbox, but too many marketing teams in KW don’t look beyond their own company’s virtual walls. Or they’re obsessed with small-potatoes tactical crap.

Plenty of our marketers can list off a dozen components within their martech stack but are stumped when you ask them what their strategy is. Sure, the digital stuff has some utility, but it’s not a substitute for a marketing strategy! And sorry to be a bubble-burster, but “grow” or “generate leads” are not strategies!!

Think bigger, damnit, and reach out to your peers who’ve been doing this stuff for a decade or two—you’ll accelerate your own development, you’ll avoid repeating mistakes others have already made, and you’ll learn about strategies that you just won’t find in vacuous LinkedIn posts by those fame-chasing celebrity marketers (seriously, stop sharing crap from Gary V and that Drift guy—they’re never original, insightful, or meaningful!).

For those of you who do want to learn from people who’ve things before, check out: Building a Technical Marketing Library: Q&A with Richard McClurg, VP Marketing at Dejero

Wow, that got out of hand. Moving on…

Preseem Shines a Light on Fixed Wireless Networks

One of the things that made Sandvine’s reports so popular was that they gave ISPs a way to find out what was happening on other networks. Sometimes this knowledge provided an extremely valuable glimpse into the future (“Ooooh, so that’s what’s gonna happen to my network when Netflix launches here.”), sometimes the data allowed an operator to benchmark their own network’s performance, and sometimes it was just fun trivia.

Preseem’s Fixed Wireless Network Report (2020 Q3 Fall Edition) scratches these same itches for wireless ISPs (WISPs).

Where does the data come from? Preseem’s own customers: “Preseem ingests billions of metrics per-day from WISPs across the U.S., with a smaller number coming from Canadian and international markets. This report leverages this huge data pool to present a view of the fixed wireless industry across service providers and vendors.”

I’ve counselled a number of companies in town that they’re sitting on a goldmine of data, so please let this be a reminder that the value is real. Are you collecting data? Does the data reveal things that are not well known or are poorly understood, or would allow comparison within an industry, or that would help someone make a case to their boss to buy your solution? Then what are you waiting for, publish a damn report or build a cool dashboard*!

*For example. Here’s a fun fact: I pitched ***this exact idea*** at Sandvine in ~2012, but we never built it. The obvious lesson is: I suck at pitching.

Interspersed within the stats and charts are educational explanations about technical concepts—these snippets serve as effective tools to “level-up” Preseem’s audience of customers and prospects. Remember, when you’ve got a technical solution that solves complex problems, you should never assume your audience shares your depth of understanding.

Speaking of levelling-up your audience, you might want to check out Selling Technical Solutions in a World that Doesn’t Understand

Arctic Wolf Howls* about Security Operations

*LinkedIn has taught me that every Arctic Wolf-related post must include some reference to howling

In the crowded world of cybersecurity, Arctic Wolf (AW, not to be confused with A&W…mmmm) is trying to stand out by dropping the anachronistic “Networks” from their name and the “Center” from “Security Operations Center.”

In their pursuit of security operations leadership, in early October they released their inaugural Security Operations Annual Report.

The report follows the always welcome (and very effective!) educate first, sell second approach, to highlight the nasty things that are lurking on the Internet. Like the Preseem report, this one uses data gathered from Arctic Wolf’s expansive client base.

This report will contribute towards a number of objectives by:

  • strengthening AW’s ownership of the “security operations” term
  • increasing awareness of the company (the report was picked up by a number of outlets)
  • creating demand and urgency for the company’s solutions by quantifying cybersecurity risks

Are you a “wolfie” (that’s my new term for a fan of Arctic Wolf; I haven’t cross-checked Urban Dictionary, so hopefully it doesn’t have some other, unseemly meaning)? Well if so, you might be interested in this fun Q&A we had with Ian Hassard back when he was AW’s Director of Product Management.

Bits and Bytes

Here are a few other October notables:

  • eSentire completely overhauled their homepage; while the previous iteration focused heavily on their technology, this new version better emphasizes the value proposition, relating it to the cybersecurity challenges facing today’s businesses and then using the technology messages to establish credibility and contribute to differentiation
  • In other eSentire news, Mark Sangster, VP & Industry Security Strategist, just published a book, No Safe Harbor: The Inside Truth About Cybercrime, and How to Protect Your Business (go to the link for a free copy of the e-version)—spoiler: cybercrime is a scary, but very interesting
  • While we usually avoid wading into the worlds of digital marketing and martech stacks (outside of the occasional rant), we’ll make an exception here and note that Jonathan Taylor (who we know) and Phil Gamache (who we do not know) have launched the Humans of Martech podcast—check it out if you’re into humans and/or martech
  • Waterloo EDC has shared the fifth and sixth entries in their “5 charts” series, comparing Waterloo with Detroit and with Phoenix
  • Communitech has another Craig Daniels special (you might remember Trolled), this time exploring the region’s cybersecurity companies and tracing them back to the amazing story and legacy of William Tutte—fun fact: depending on whether or not you want to count RootSecure as Arctic Wolf, 4 or 5 Cromulent clients are included in the article!

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Aaaand that’s a wrap.

If you want to nominate something for inclusion in the November round-up, then hit me up.

Purple monkey dishwasher.