On quite a few occasions I’ve been asked what it is like to be a Product Marketing Manager in Cybersecurity, particularly at Bitdefender. As with Product Management, Product Marketing has variations from industry to industry and even from company to company. To bring everyone on the same page, I want to mention that in Bitdefender (and in many of the cybersecurity companies that I know), the Pragmatic Framework is used to help define the responsibilities around Product Management, Product Marketing, and Technical Marketing.
The Product Manager (PM) is generally responsible for building the product (go-to-product) while the Product Marketing Manager (PMM) is responsible for taking the product to the intended customers/market (go-to-market). The go-to-market plan typically involves defining products (or services), segmenting the market and identifying target personas, positioning and messaging, leading product launches and awareness/lead generation campaigns, and of course, building all collateral mapped to each step in the buying journey for the products/services. Enabling sales is also an important part of the PMM role. Technical Marketing is instrumental in crafting messaging and assets that are addressing more technical audiences (such as technical briefs, or demos for example)
Everyone’s experience with the roles is different and it depends not only on the industry and company but also quite a bit on the personality of the individual and on the structure of the team. While the bits and bolts of the role might not be so interesting for most readers, I will share a couple of highlights from my own experience as a Product Marketing Manager in Cyber and in Bitdefender. This is a particularly good moment as we are celebrating 20 years of innovation at Bitdefender, and people are the very center of this 2-decade-long journey!
So, after the long introduction, here are the top five reasons that make me love my job:
Cybersecurity is a fast-paced and rewarding industry – I’m a security geek for 20 years now and I experienced the industry from multiple angles, including as a security professional. Few industries can compare to Cybersecurity in terms of the speed and agility required to stay on top. Being highly competitive, it is an amazing place to fine-tune abilities, both technical and marketing. It is also highly rewarding as I have the feeling that I help protect people and businesses against cyber-attackers.
I’m working with a cutting-edge technology product and I’m contributing to its development – Cybersecurity solutions are constantly pushed to their limits by a creative and never-tired mass of cyber attackers. Rapid technical innovation and development are a must both for fulfilling the mission of protecting customers and for staying on top of the competition. For someone with a passion for technology being so close to the development of such solutions is a true gift.
I’m leading a genuine global Go-to-market effort – For me, joining Bitdefender coincided with the move from a local to a global role. Although cybersecurity was not new for me, this step was a stretch, and I had a couple of months of a steep learning curve. But with the right support from people around me, time passed quickly, and the effort paid off. It’s highly rewarding to see that my skills, experience, and effort have a positive impact on the global Go-to-market strategy and execution.
I have plenty of opportunities to grow – The companies operating in Cybersecurity are usually young and flexible. I like to call Bitdefender a startup on steroids. The adaptability of the organization offers employees chances to experiment in their own careers. I had the chance to contribute, one way or another, to the most products in the current portfolio. I experimented and found the best place for me to perform. For example, I enjoyed the opportunity to deliver more than 50 live webinars to a global audience!
The company is great – Finally, not only is the Company is great, but the company (people) is great too. Some of the smartest people I know are working in Cyber and so are some of the people I admire for their business strategy and global marketing know-how. I also made great new friends and acquaintances in the industry.
Now, I don’t want to be idyllic in any way. Are there challenges alongside these highlights? YES, there are challenges too. Quite a few and not always easy to overcome. But looking back all the effort paid off and the decision to enter the cyber room was a very fortunate one. Product Marketing in cybersecurity is hard work a very rewarding hard work. For those of you interested in starting a career in Cyber or steering your career toward Product Marketing, feel free to drop me a message here or on LinkedIn and I would gladly help with more insights and recommendations.