Name: Juliette Rizkallah
SailPoint provides core security technology to hundreds of large companies around the world. SailPoint is a $100 million+, pre-IPO company that is profitably growing in one of the highest growing segments of the cyber-security market. We spoke to CMO Juliette Rizkallah, a marketing veteran with more than 20 years of experience, to find out more.
Large companies now have more than a billion points of exposure to data breaches, mostly tied to the identity of individual workers. In order to support them as they navigate an industry fraught with such risk, SailPoint provides a way of managing these points of exposure with the power of identity, offering the industry’s broadest set of identity and access management products. The firm is a $100 million+, pre-IPO company that is profitably growing in one of the highest growing segments of the cyber-security market.
Juliette brings a wealth of expertise and pragmatism to SailPoint. She shares how she draws on this throughout her work.
“Personally, I bring energy and pragmatism to SailPoint in my role as Chief Marketing Officer. My strong track record has helped the companies I’ve worked for to evolve into market leaders with double digit revenue growth. My philosophy underscores the importance of a close partnership with all sales channels, direct and indirect, with constant creativity and the ability to think differently than competitors do. Through my role I oversee all aspects of SailPoint’s marketing strategy including corporate and product messaging, branding, corporate communications, digital demand generation, field and channel marketing.”
The firm prides itself in the way it has become a leader in its industry, and central to this
success has been its marketing team, of which Juliette is head. She outlines how her team has worked to create a strategy which showcases Sailpoint’s brand to its fullest and reaches its target market.
“SailPoint’s marketing team is the best in the identity industry. This is a difficult industry to market due to its highly technical nature. A lot of the jargon and even the technology is still somewhat obscure. Our use of thought leadership and media presence has driven up our notoriety in the industry and created a gateway for prospects to get to know the company, product and industry better in their search for an identity solution.
“Central to our approach is the fact that we leverage both the science and the art of branding to drive our marketing initiatives, and focus on impact to SailPoint’s business. Marketing impacts the company across virtually every department, from recruiting to sales to customer satisfaction, and our marketing team focuses on aligning our efforts to the company’s strategy in the most impactful way.
“The team’s close alignment with sales allows us to show that 40% of revenue is sourced by marketing, namely our demand generation team and market development representatives. With constant feedback on target accounts, message, engagements and pipeline maturation, we are able to increase our impact on the pipeline and revenue in a significant way.”
Within the wider industry, the technology buyer’s journey has transformed in the past decade, making it much more similar to that of a consumer, who does the bulk of research before ever reaching out to a company about a product. In fact, research shows that technology buyers often get seven digital touch points with a B2B brand before directly interacting with that brand. As such marketing has become focused on the buyer and supporting them, although, as Juliette explains, there are many challenges in this pursuit which firms such as hers work hard to overcome.
“Based on the buyer journey, a digital marketing strategy is a critical part of a company’s overall marketing strategy. Therefore, here at SailPoint, we recognize that our target buyers at Global 5,000 companies research the market, our company and our solutions before they interact with us. We see compelling content across a variety of mediums as king, and content distribution and digital/inbound marketing are cornerstones of our strategy. Because everything is digital, marketers now have the ability to more effectively track every function across every medium at every stage of the sales process which allows us to use data to be more accurate, more effective and ultimately, more competitive.
“Alongside our focus on the buyer journey, we also work hard to overcome the various challenges we as a market face. The security industry as a whole faces a messaging challenge.
For years, security companies have been betting on a strategy of putting fear in the hearts and minds of CSOs to spur them to purchase various solutions. Customers are barraged with the message that if they do not buy a certain solution, they will be attacked and breached, losing millions of dollars and suffering reputation damage in the process. Customers are now numb, not only to this message but to data breaches in general. We all know that no solution is bulletproof, and the war against hackers is more complex than we ever imagined.
“SailPoint very intentionally has taken a different approach: instead of building on the FUD messaging that permeates the industry, our goal is to position identity governance as the business enabler it is, and help customers and prospects understand how identity governance empowers them to move their business forward, securely and confidently.
“In this way, identity governance provides a competitive advantage to CIOs at the world’s largest organizations; and as the industry leader who pioneered the market, SailPoint is well positioned to be the strategy partner.”
Ultimately, Juliette believes that the firm’s marketing plays a vital role in its success. She shares the secrets behind this success and provides compelling advice for anyone seeking to follow in her footsteps and lead their marketing team to similar success.
“Overall, our success is tied to three things: creating the best marketing team in the industry, having a compelling story to tell, and our focus on impact as we market that story to every audience.
“Companies will get attention with a novel idea or new approach, but unique differentiation and consistent execution is key to a marketing team’s success. SailPoint’s marketing team has successfully created a brand platform that is provides a larger vision of the identity market, supported by a unique and compelling visual language, and then aggressively and consistently promoted across every channel, from marketing and across the company through to brand ambassadors.
“Anyone looking to emulate such success in marketing needs to focus on impact, and not be afraid to fail. SailPoint competes with industry giants who spend tens of millions on marketing every year; since we cannot compete dollar for dollar, we do not even try. Instead, we pay close attention to what activities are having visible impact, and we try a lot of new strategies to see what works. We view every strategy that does not work as an opportunity to learn rather than a failure, which is why we have come to succeed where many others have failed.”
Looking to the future, Juliette explains what the firm’s aspirations are to continue on this path of success.
“Moving forward, our team is dedicated to growing the brand of this already successful company, which is profitable and well known within the identity market to be one that is globally known as a security leader. In the next five years, we’re taking one of the best kept secrets and making it a household name.
“In a high-tech company the marketing team’s growth mind set is of the utmost importance. Not only is this team good at what they do, but they understand the identity market inside and out and strive to keep up with it. Everyone on this team focuses on the impact we can have and sets goals accordingly. By not boxing ourselves in, our team to is able to grow and ultimately help grow the company in a meaningful and impactful way.”