In this episode of the Dear BAMf podcast, we speak with Heather Smith, VP of Marketing at SpyCLoud. Heather is experienced in all facets of marketing at global organizations, both large and small. She is decisive, logical and analytical yet creative. In this episode, Heather answers tough marketing and PR questions from our listeners, including this one about CMO's presenting at board meetings.
Now that I've secured a CMO title, I'll be presenting formally to our startup's board every quarter. Although I have 20 years of experience in comms and marketing — I have never been in front of a board. Are there any tips and tricks for boards that I can glean from the Dear BAMf community? From what I know the board is high stakes. We have two aggressive investors, another is pretty hard on us from the numbers perspective and two others who don't do much, but get swayed by the dominant ones. I feel like I'm about to enter a mini game of Thrones and I want us to show how we're moving from our Series D funding to an IPO in the next few years.
Listen now to hear how Heather advises this writer to move forward.
HS: SpyCloudis a cybersecurity company based in Austin, Texas. We exist to help companies get ahead of cyber attacks that originate from the use of stolen credentials. We help companies thwart criminals' ability to profit off of stolen information, so we actually recapture data. We protect 2 billion employee and consumer accounts worldwide.
HS: Hiring and onboarding an amazing team during the pandemic. I was able to hire 12 people, eight of whom were during the pandemic, so I never met them. It really makes you change your processes in every way. Onboarding has to be a lot cleaner. You got to have documentation and you have to enable people to work study. You can't sit with them in the same way that you could when you pull up a chair, it's a whole different way of thinking.
HS: My favorite way is with data. You can be an amazing storyteller at a party and you don't need data. But day to day in my working life, data is truth. We live in a world of misinformation and I use data to center my way of thinking and conveying information. When you're in marketing/communications, everybody's a marketer so you deal with a lot of opinions. If you can get past opinions and look at the heart of an issue through data, that's powerful for storytelling internally and externally. Part of what makes stolen credentials so dangerous is people's prevalence to reuse the same password across multiple accounts. I wanted to know, how many people are reusing the same password across their accounts, in our database of 135 billion breached assets and 24 million billion passwords? The answer is 60% of people that were exposed to data breaches last year are reusing passwords and 97% of those are the exact same password.
What are some tips and tricks for CMO's presenting at board meetings?HS: My number one tip is to approach presenting with this in mind, they want you to succeed. You always hear that phrase from investors like people, products and potential. People are number one on that list and as a marketer, you are under the umbrella of people. You can use that as your armor to shield you from the stress of presenting. They want you to be successful. Tip two is to show off your storytelling capabilities, but use data to do it and be consistent. Show the same metrics, time over time, to track your progress. That builds a lot of credibility and it shows that you know your business and you can prove that. My third tip is, think of the questions they might ask you in advance.
We are all BAMfs (badass motherf*ckers), but sometimes even BAMfs need help. Dear BAMf is an advice column-style podcast that lets you anonymously hit us with your hardest marketing and PR questions hosted by Founder & CEO of BAM Communications, Beck Bamberger.
Have a difficult PR or marketing situation you can't figure out? Drop us a line at Dear BAMf. Your submission will be entirely anonymous.
Sanja Komljenovic of ONA Creative dives into maintaining great client relationships, defining target audiences, and identifying the right marketing strategy amidst COVID-19.
In this episode, Kerry Bennett, Head of Marketing at Upfront Ventures chats with us about the nitty-gritty challenges of PR and marketing when dealing with a CEO's bad reputation.
Danielle McNally of Marie Claire, Spencer Dukoff of Men’s Health, Arianna Davis of OprahMag.com, and Robin Hilmantel of Women’s Health joined us for our latest AMA.
On April 9, we hosted our first Ask Media Anything (AMA) with Salvador Rodriguez of CNBC, Natasha Mascarenhas of TechCrunch, and Laura Mandaro of Forbes.