Security Firm Dials in its Marketing Targeting

Daniel Faggella

Daniel Faggella is Head of Research at Emerj. Called upon by the United Nations, World Bank, INTERPOL, and leading enterprises, Daniel is a globally sought-after expert on the competitive strategy implications of AI for business and government leaders.

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Tech Provider: MarianaIQ

Client Company: WhiteHat Security

Client Company Description: WhiteHat Security is an established info security firm focused on application security testing.

Industry: (Many)

Function: Marketing / Advertising


Krishnan Natarajan (Director of Demand Generation at WhiteHat Security) wanted a better way to ensure targeted messaging to it’s audience. Natarajan was adamant about not allowing the wrong message to be sent at the wrong time, as it reflects poorly on the company. He sought a more accurate method of targeting prospect personas in order to achieve this aim.

WhiteHat’s problem boiled down to two factors:

1. The only information available about leads was the user input from online contact forms, which was often incorrect or inaccurate.

2. Rule-based approaches were used to map titles to personas, which meant a Bank VP was mapped to an Executive, and an IT Manager could not be mapped to the appropriate function within IT. These led to enough persona mapping errors that WhiteHat was unable to personalize the messaging to the extent they wanted.

Actions Taken

MarianaIQ worked with WhiteHat’s demand generation team to define 8 to 10 specific C-suite personas of high value to WhiteHat’s sales team. Mariana’s technology scanned a variety of data sources in order to compose a more rich and accurate description of it’s ideal prospects. Data sources analyzed included: WhiteHat’s own CRM and leads database, public databases (such as resumes and public professional profiles), social feeds (such as Twitter), and websites.

(What marketing platforms were we then targeting these new leads through? Or was this more about optimizing marketing messaging to existing leads? Do we change our lead sources, or just our messaging?)

The application was used for nurturing WhiteHat’s existing leads (those already in their marketing and sales automation systems), with the goal of increasing engagement and velocity to MQL and SQL.


MarianaIQ claims that it was able to match ~40,000 leads of the ~60,000 leads in one of WhiteHat’s databases directly to one of the personas that WhiteHat and Mariana had determined together. As of our last communication with MarianaIQ there are not currently any data on Mariana’s impact on email response rates or sales closing rates.

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