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Episode 291: What’s Next in Post-COVID Communication with Chris Gaebler at Guardicore

Episode Summary

A great product is easy to sell, says Chris Gaebler, CMO of Marketing at Guardicore, a data center and cloud security company.

On this episode of Tech Qualified with Justin Brown, Gaebler discusses collaboration with channel partners, the ways he maintains those relationships and the exploding creativity coming out of changes in the industry following COVID-19 restrictions.

“We’re a leading cybersecurity company. It’s an easy product or a solution to be a marketer of because it’s really good, so I would say it’s really fun to be a marketer in a company whose product is so good,” he says.

Chris was quick to come up with creative solutions for marketing during a pandemic and maintaining relationships at a distance. Chris believes marketers will be forced to push their creativity even further as the state of the world continues to evolve amidst the pandemic.

“I think we’re actually moving quickly beyond that to the post-COVID era kind of communication, which is like, what is the new value you can offer your customers?” he says.

Guest Profiles

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  • Name: Chris Gaebler
  • What he does: A marketer in cybersecurity for 10 years, he currently works as the CMO of Marketing at Guardicore, where he’s focused on channel partner relations, content creation and customer success.
  • Company: Guardicore
  • Noteworthy: Chris finds that the marketing industry is going through a mini revolution with the restrictions COVID-19 has brought. And for him, in his job, the chance to be creative outweighs the extra work it has created.

Key Insights

  • People buy from people they trust. Becoming a part of conversations with thought leaders and industry practitioners is free and an essential way to increase the value of your brand, says Chris. Customers are their best advocates — they can be a tremendous source of organic demand generation if you focus on customer satisfaction and customer success.
  • At Guardicore — like at so many other companies — Chris says they have had to shift to virtual meetings and related methods, which has created a lot of extra work for his team. But he doesn’t see this as a negative. On the contrary, he finds that it really gets the creative juices flowing and that, in general, it’s causing a mini revolution in the marketing industry, pushing marketers to rediscover virtual options and get creative with them.
  • Every time he wakes up, Chris is thinking about how something will work with their channel. Guardicore is very channel-oriented because it is a strong way for them to communicate with people who go directly to their channel partners. However, he knows he can't rely upon the channel to grow the Guardicore brand. That’s his responsibility. He has to personally make the Guardicore brand strong in the marketplace.

Episode Highlights

  • Knowing why your brand excels
“We have very large customers, huge fortune-500-size companies. They have super important information to protect, financial records, customer records and things like that. Their IT environments are complicated, and there’s many people who are pushing those IT environments to evolve quickly, and security is often the second thing behind speed of innovation. But companies who go too fast without being secure find themselves in a tough problem. So, the more complex an environment, the better for Guardicore because our solution works across those very complicated or hybrid environments.”
  • Understanding the individuals behind the scenes
“Those who have some version of design and calibration are the people that we talk to. We spend a lot of time knowing them and thinking about them. Our company is born from them. Many of the people who have developed our products have been in that job, and we know what the pain points are. We know what good and bad looks like, and there’s a real feeling in our company to appreciate and empathize with their role in the world, which is often criticized when things go wrong and overlooked when things go right. So, a core understanding of the security mindset is that it’s almost only noticed when things go poorly, and we’re very keen to help them be successful at what they do.”
  • Engaging in productive conversations
“We engage with the analyst community. The more valuable your solution is among all of the others, the more you’ll get recommended, and that process is important to make them aware of what’s different about you, what’s better about you, why your current customers find you to be valuable and the innovation path that you’re headed down. You can get into some very interesting, roadmap conversations with the analyst community, and they give you productive feedback in terms of what matters to you. And you can also then share where you think the market is going. I find that process to be instructive.”
  • A win-win with channel partners
“There is a very valuable channel partner community. We sell through the channel, with the channel. We collaborate with the channel to find new demand and deliver services through them. We are very partner-oriented. We care about their success because their success usually is dependent upon the success of their customers and helping them be successful, and so we find that to be a win-win-win connecting point, and that process is elegant and thoughtful and creative, and we really enjoy working with channel partners.”
  • A smooth customer journey
“We often deploy resources for the sales journey, and I hope they align, but it’s great to be reminded that it’s a customer going through it. I think they’re in the process of seeking out information to solve a problem that they have, and the more information that they can get to solve the problem in the most efficient and effective way possible, the better. I think our job is to make sure that the best information is presented to them in as many places as we can so that they can quickly move through their journey to solve their problems.”
  • Seeing results is value
“The way to measure success for that customer journey is not defined by the sale. It’s defined by the result on their side. If they can see a quick drop in risk and their environment and resolution to challenges that they’ve faced, we’re all better off.”
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