Welcome to our blog series, CMO Secrets. The first and third Wednesday of every month, we feature an exceptional Marketing leader from around the industry. Some names will be easily recognized, and others may be new to you, but every single one will have been hand picked for their experience and knowledge in the world of Startups, Technology, and Marketing. The questions are ours, but the answers are theirs – every word, shared without edit, from their fingers to your eyes.
Today we welcome Nimmy Reichenberg of Siemplify. Nimmy oversees all marketing activities including strategy, demand generation, communications and branding. An industry security veteran, Nimmy brings over 15 years of marketing leadership experience. He previously served as Chief Marketing Officer at eSentire and Vice President of Marketing at AlgoSec and NextNine.
Tell us about Siemplify and why you were excited to join them as CMO.
Siemplify provides a Security Orchestration Platform that is essentially a “workbench” for security analysts. It’s very similar to what marketing automation platforms do for marketers in that it allows them to automate processes and gain valuable insight by bringing together several capabilities that traditionally were not integrated. What drew me to Siemplify was the space and the ability to truly build something big, coupled with an amazing team and fantastic product.
Cybersecurity continues to be such a hot space. With so many categories of security, how do you guide your marketing efforts to differentiate Siemplify from the crowd?
Much like their marketing counterparts, cybersecurity professionals are facing an absolute explosion of tools. And much like CMOs, CISOs (Chief Information Security Officers) realize that value often lies in making the technologies you have already invested in work better together, rather than adding yet another shiny toy. This alone acts as a strong differentiator vs most security tools out there. Specifically in the orchestration space, we rely on patented visualization that makes it very easy for security analysts to understand a threat and a make good decisions quickly.
What advice do you have for B2B marketing execs re: the best way to “keep score” of their marketing efforts? And what are the top KPIs that you prioritize with your team?
My number one metric is always tied to revenue (company wide revenue or marketing sourced revenue). This is imperative to creating alignment with sales. You never want to be the CMO that hit his number (for example – number of leads generated) whereas the CRO fell short. The second most important number is usually SQLs – as those are ultimately defined by sales so they are not easily manipulated by the marketing team. After those two, I have found that numbers become dependent on company specific objectives, these can be sales of a specific product, to a specific geography, through a specific channel, brand metrics, and several others.
If you could wave a wand and fix one area of 2018 marketing – for all marketers – what would it be?
Having worked predominantly for smaller companies, I would love to fix the “single view of the customer.” I feel that with marketing, many things that were only feasible for large enterprises are now within reach of smaller companies, but I still find that small companies are not able to piece together this puzzle, which makes marketing a lot more fragmented than it should be.
In your experience, what traits or behaviors separate good marketers from great marketers? And how do you vet those when hiring?
Three things come to mind – (1) curiosity, which I usually test by asking them what cool new thing they have learned (for example, from a blog or a webinar) – I am hoping they can teach me something new, which is often the case. (2) Love of data and testing – which you can easily understand by asking them how they keep score, what recent data surprised etc. and (3) Boldness – which I usually test by looking at their work samples, have they tried something different or is it mostly the same stuff you see everywhere else.
Tag a few marketers you admire and learn from.
Which marketing metric do you think is most under-appreciated/underrated? And which is overrated?
I think the most overrated metric is the MQL. Unlike SQLs which are usually defined in very similar ways across organizations, I have found that MQL definitions vary greatly and are ultimately under the control of marketing. Anytime you can manipulate your own metrics, that’s a problem. It also makes conversion metrics (from MQL to SQL for example) hard to really gauge and benchmark. One simple marketing metric around brand that I love is Google Trends data – at the end of the day, the more people search for you, the better your brand is. Google trends is also great for competitive comparisons. (On that note – Kanye West is currently trending above Siemplify, but we’re working to change that!)
What’s your proudest professional accomplishment?
I am very proud of my time at AlgoSec, where I built the entire marketing team and infrastructure that helped drive 1000% growth to tens of million of dollars in sales. But to be honest, I am even prouder of the fact that many people who have worked with me on my teams have moved on to become VPs of Marketing/CMOs (you know who you are!)
We’ve heard that you can play Chopin’s Minute Waltz in 2 Minutes. Are there any other [true] things about you that people might be surprised to learn?
LOL – I definitely need to practice a fair bit to get the piece done in under 2 minutes again, but it is a true fact. The band that I played in recently broke up, so no gigs on the calendar currently. I guess people are also somewhat surprised to learn that I kitesurf, and that I used to have long hair!
What’s a recent advertising or marketing campaign that you thought was outstanding, and what did you love about it?
Perhaps not the most original choice – but I too loved KFC’s FCK campaign. I wish authenticity and fessing up to your mistakes (or FCK-ups in this case) did not stand out the way they do, but the somewhat unfortunate fact is that marketing mostly remains this relentless cheerleader, so marketers can stand out by not being like everyone else. On that note, I also loved this little bit by siftrock.