Startups Read the room

Read the room


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welcome to the Exchange, a weekly newsletter for startups and markets. It is inspired by the daily column from which it takes its name. Do you want it in your inbox every Saturday? Register here.

This week, I’m looking at cybersecurity sales, developer content marketing, and fundraising pitches through a common lens: the importance of understanding your audience and putting it first. — Anna

Bridging the gap between cybersecurity suppliers and buyers

Budget cuts due to the economic downturn have led to a shift in the priorities and mindset of Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs). As security professionals begin reporting to boards of directors, they need to understand how to do so and be more business-focused than tech-focused, marketing expert says Daniel Woolf.

Woolf knows CISOs well; Having spent her career in B2B technology marketing, she spent months interviewing cybersecurity buyers for her podcast before starting her own audience research agency, Public 1stto help suppliers better understand their purpose.

A key challenge right now is for cybersecurity vendors to adapt to the new buyer mindset — which Woolf says will persist even after the market recovers. “There’s a huge gap right now as vendors add more complexity to the security buyer’s job, and they don’t understand that simplicity is the goal.”

However, simplicity does not mean that you have to use one tool to replace them all. One of the most important things buyers want to hear from a vendor, Woolf told me, is how well you integrate with their existing tech stack. “Because as a buyer I can’t rip out what I have now.”

Understanding CISOs

Read Anna Heim’s Room, originally published on

Shreya Christina
Shreya has been with for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider team, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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