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Audience 1st is a modern customer research agency.

Better understand cybersecurity buyers
and turn them into loyal customers.

We're removing the barrier to customer insights for cybersecurity companies so they can scale growth and retain loyal customers. Learn what motivates them, their challenges, the things they hate that vendors do and what you can do about it.

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425+ cybersecurity marketers and sellers are getting insights & mastering buyer research.

Do things right → Do the right things

My name is Dani Woolf. I've spent the last decade running digital marketing and demand generation departments for high-growth B2B technology startups.

In 2018, I joined the cybersecurity industry and discovered the way marketing is executed in other verticals does not work in the security space.

I realized marketers talk about pursuing customer research but don't do it, foregoing customer-led growth models which burns through budget, stunts growth, and upsets buyers.

So, I created Audience 1st, a modern customer research agency, to help customer-obsessed go-to-market teams in growth-stage cybersecurity companies quickly and cost-effectively get access to true buyer insights, cut the guesswork, gain and retain loyal customers.

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If tech companies know precious little about their customers, how do they expect to grow and sustain business?

Executive leaders spend little time with their customers.

According to Harvard Business Review, CEOs spend only 3% of their time with customers - less than two hours a week. 47% of B2B buyers believe vendors deliver on their promises, indicated by Gallup.

Marketers avoid customer research and active listening.

A Gallup Research report states that only 31% of B2B marketers are fully engaged with their customers. Access to customers is often denied by customer success or marketers do not know where to start.

Sales people ghost their existing customers losing them to competition.

A Forrester article reveals that net new ARR logos accounts for nearly 23% of total revenue versus 77% retained business plus growth via upsell and cross-sell revenue.

There are ways to get to know your customers, but they aren't something to rave about.

  Searching for insights yourself 

This does require time and legwork and without advice on how to pursue busy cybersecurity buyers, you'll likely waste critical time and upset your audience.


  Buying a general customer research course

Regardless of your goals as a professional in the cybersecurity industry, you'll go through the same curriculum as everyone else. They fail to show you methods to engage with cybersecurity buyers that work.


  Hiring market analysts and analyst firms

This requires shelling out thousands of dollars per month to firms and professionals that are not a direct representation of your target audience.


  Continuing to do nothing

Assuming you know what your customer wants or how they buy is high risk as you will likely continue on the road of guessing instead of validating your work and processes against real buyers.

Clark Barron

"I leaped into this industry without realizing that marketing would be drastically different for Infosec. A month in, I was frazzled and afraid to take action. Audience 1st has helped me get my footing.

Mary Peale

Head of Communications and Customer Success, Vonahi Security

Collecting qualitative data from security executives and practitioners doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming.

Those who are curious, listen, and invest time in customer research are able to:

  Enhance your customers' experience

Improve the experience your buyers have with your product, services, marketing programs, campaigns, and outreach messages.

  Stand out against your competition

Be the first to hear from your customers of anomalies or differences in the marketplace you can take advantage of to stand out from your competition.

  Efficiently and authentically acquire and keep customers

Building relationship capital with your customers establishes trust and credibility which can last throughout your entire career.

  Save time and money by cutting trivial tasks

Discover which methods, channels and messages actually resonate with your buyers so acquisition is more predictable.

   Empower and align your team

Gain confidence and peace of mind that your team is armed with true insight that informs the highest-impact strategies and tactics.

Grow your business based on true insights, not assumptions

Audience 1st works with you to define, plan and execute your customer research programs so you don't have to do the heavy lifting.

Then, all feedback and discussions are distilled into topics of insight and recommendations so you can quickly find the most relevant information needed to apply to your strategies and tactics.

With Audience 1st's customer research programs, you can get feedback to help you:

Validate Your Marketing Messaging or Sales Outreach

Discover whether your messages resonate with your audience and what you can do to improve it.

Understand Buyer Motivations and Goals

Learn what drives security professionals to do what they do and the operational results they expect from purchasing security solutions.

Identify Pain Points and Challenges

Understand the bleeding-neck challenge and learn what keeps security practitioners up at night to help them find accurate solutions to their problems.

Uncover the Buyers Journey

Discover the behind-the-scenes story at each phase of evaluation, resources cybersecurity buyers trust, and people who influence security practitioners during purchase.

Spot Anomalies and Market Trends

Gain a keen understanding of market conditions and trends, how that impacts buying decisions, and what you can do to leverage that against your competition.

Verify Internal Corporate Strategies

Align your corporate team and make stronger business decisions with ongoing insights on topics critical to your whole organization.

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Clark Barron

"This is very, very accurate. You did better here than any CISO report I have seen."

Zlatko Hristov

Information Security, ThreatDefence


There are four ways I can help go-to-market teams in growth-stage cybersecurity firms get true customer insight

Whether you need to quickly validate ideas or you're ready to take a systematic approach to growth and master cybersecurity audience research, either way, you'll be lightyears ahead of your competition and closest to your customers.

Primary 1:1 Interviews

Understand your target audience attitudes and opinions by conducting a one-to-one interview with an existing or ideal customer over a Zoom call.

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CISO Validation Panel

Validate an idea, trend, message, service or product with our CISO Validation Panel. Iterate using the post-research insights document we will provide you.

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Custom Online Focus Groups

Hear your target customer feedback in their own words, discover their decision making process, and uncover underlying challenges to meet their needs.

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Facilitated Customer Advisory Boards

Enhance rapport, drive loyalty, and create strong advocates for your company's brand with your key customers by providing them a seat at the table. 

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Clark Barron

"Audience 1st by Dani Woolf is literally the first content series I've ever consumed that has made me hesitate to share it because there's competition in my network. It's that damn good.

Clark Barron

Demand Generation Manager, Nisos

I curated a handful of the most useful cybersecurity buyer insights so you can take better action immediately.

2022 Black Hat USA Vendor Booth Analysis: Buzzword Edition

Discover the top used buzzwords at Black Hat USA, the most prominent colors used, booth messaging that could be improved, and why.

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63 CISO Buyer Insights Curated for Cybersecurity Marketers

I interviewed 6 CISOs. That’s nearly 5 hours of buyer insights. And I curated 63 insights just for you. You're welcome.

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7 Outreach Tactics Cybersecurity Buyers Hate (+ The Alternative)

Get a sneak peak inside the inbox of a security professional. Flip the script on your worst marketing & sales messages.

Read More
Clark Barron

"I love your site Dani Woolf. I love the alternative sections even more. It's always nice to offer the "do this" instead of just shutting it all down and leaving people wondering. What a way to re-educate the industry!

Amber DeVilbiss

Strategic Security Advisor and Sales Engineer, GuidePoint Security

Listen to brutally honest conversations with security buyers about
the things they hate that vendors do and what you can do about it.


"Dani Woolf is rapidly becoming the single source of truth walking database on marketing do's and dont's in cybersecurity." 

Allan Alford

Chief Information Security Officer

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The Audience 1st Vault is a private and safe space to connect with and learn from equally curious cybersecurity marketers, sellers, and practitioners.

✓ Access hundreds of rich cybersecurity buyer insights & discussions, packed with actionable advice from real security pros

✓ Get structured guidance and templates on how to prioritize and apply buyer insights

✓ Secure strategy sessions with CISOs to validate your work

+ more bonus, no-fluff content

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Join 425+ cybersecurity marketers and sellers mastering security buyer research to better understand their audience and turn them into loyal customers.

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