“We have really gone after the category of businesses privacy, and that allows us to position ourselves uniquely and cut through the clutter. It is a different narrative than — “there are threats, you are about to get hacked!” It is a positive story about achieving what the company wants to achieve — sharing information in ways where they retain control. We are selling privacy because that is the end goal the customer is looking to achieve. Virtru uses an entirely different, and more positive narrative.”
Insightive.tv: Can you simply begin by describing what being a CMO means to you?
Charles: The CMO role is both broad and rapidly changing. A good CMO is involved in almost every aspect of the business, but is primarily responsible for the marketing strategy — who are we going to target, what are our unique differentiators, how are we going to reach our target customers? From there, it is about building awareness of the company as a brand and building demand through lead generation. The next step is to help enable salespeople to win the market by giving them the tools, training, and support to take to market effectively.
As CMO, it is extremely important to ensure Marketing and Sales efforts are tightly coordinated. I meet on a daily basis with our sales leadership to ensure we’re working as one unified team. Beyond that, it’s all about measurement — creating metrics that allow you to understand what is working and to continuously evolve and improve your marketing efforts. Today’s CMO has to be highly quantitative — everything must be instrumented and data has to be readily available to ensure you’re making the best decisions.
Insightive.tv: What are the biggest challenges that your sales teams face?
Charles: I think the challenge from a sales perspective is deciding how to focus your efforts — what deals are going to drive the maximum value for the business? Since business privacy is important to everyone from a small medical facility to a global media company, it’s important to address each prospect in the right way.
Inbound leads are more likely to follow through to a sale, but there are other companies that might be more desirable clients. We have to decide how many resources should be spent reaching out to prospects who haven’t yet reached out to us. Then, even among inbound leads, we have to prioritise. Our challenge is less about finding new accounts to target, it’s about prioritising our time on the customers where we can add the most value.
Insightive.tv: How much noise, from your perspective, is there in the market and how do you cut through that noise?
Charles: It is a train wreck out there right now. There are so many different sources of information for senior executives at mid and large enterprises — it is both essential and extremely difficult to stand out. For me, it is about looking at the market and deciding where the gaps are in the story telling.
One might look at Virtru and say, Virtru is a data security company — that is what we do. But if we positioned ourselves this way, we’d be just one of a gazillion companies trying to stand out in a noisy marketplace. Instead, we have actively decided to focus on the benefits customers receive — a space called “business privacy.” We believe that the core reason that organisations are investing in cyber security technology is to achieve the benefit of keeping their data private. We have really gone after the category of businesses privacy, and that allows us to position ourselves uniquely and cut through the clutter. It is a different narrative than — “there are threats, you are about to get hacked!” It is a positive story about achieving what the company wants to achieve — sharing information in ways where they retain control. We are selling privacy because that is the end goal the customer is looking to achieve. Virtru uses an entirely different, and more positive narrative.
Insightive.tv: How many channels do you actively manage and which channel do you see as the most productive?
Charles: My group manages both marketing channels and partner relationships including our strategic relationship with Google. On the marketing side, we have organic and content-driven marketing programs. We then use channels like Linkedin and Facebook to target specific people and keep our brand and story in front of a specific audience. We use paid channels in a very targeted way — matching them up with our prospect list so that when our salespeople are calling, that particular stakeholder has already seen our brand multiple times.
From a marketing perspective, our most effective channel is inbound organic and content-driven programs. We invest a lot in great content, and the reason that is effective is that the people finding us through these channels are looking for solutions. On the other hand, enabling marketing with our partners has been very effective for us because they often have relationships with the accounts that we want to penetrate. Clearly, Google is our biggest go-to-market partner, but we also drive new business through our strategic reseller relationship. Partners help us gain immediate credibility with customers who have not yet heard of Virtru.
Insightive.tv: What is an example of a successful marketing campaign you have recently implemented?
Charles: I might abstract this from any single campaign to the more general strategy of content marketing. I think we’ve built a pretty powerful engine here. A lot of people are really grappling with how to keep their information private — and we’ve put together a lot of great educational blog posts and long-form data assets to help illuminate the topic. Combining this with an SEO and analytics, we’re able to drive traffic to our site and leads to our sales team. Even if the entire marketing team went on vacation for a month, we would still have high-quality leads coming into the system because we built a sustainable machine. That is probably what I am most proud of. It produces relatively low cost and high-value customer acquisition and provides our customers with valuable information.
Charles Gold is Chief Marketing Officer at Virtru. Charles is an analytics-driven marketer with more than twenty years experience leading marketing teams at both start-ups and established businesses. His expertise spans product management, product marketing, digital marketing, and business development. We spoke with Charles to get insight into Virtru’s success developing its market position and gain Charles’ perspective on the future of marketing in an age of digital saturation.
Launched in 2012, Virtru is a business privacy company that utilises the open source Trusted Data Format to encrypt and secure emails and files. Their software enables businesses, or individuals, to control who can access their information and for how long. The company has expanded rapidly since its founding, now serving more than 5,000 organizations around the world. Virtru is now the only encryption application recommended by Google for use with its G Suite product line.