MarTech Interview with Tessa Court, CEO, IntelligenceBank

MarTech Interview with Tessa Court, CEO, IntelligenceBank
MarTech Interview with Tessa Court, CEO, IntelligenceBank

“Marketing Resource Management is pretty much the same thing as Marketing Operations, but it has a budget and planning component.”

Tell us about your journey into Marketing Technology.

Since the age of 16, I knew I wanted to get into marketing – specifically, global advertising. I worked in global advertising in New York City for several years.   When technology came onto the scene, there was a massive exodus of agency people going into martech as new technologies created infinite possibilities for not only creating efficiencies amongst the entire marketing mix, but enabling the production of great creative work.  I was one of those advertising people that took the leap to martech.

What inspired you to co-found IntelligenceBank?

IntelligenceBank started its life as the extranet of my husband’s Market Research company – to seamlessly share creative and marketing insights to different stakeholders via a secure portal.  At the time, I was the CMO of an internet startup that just exited, and took the opportunity to expand IntelligenceBank into the marketing operations product I always wanted when managing a large marketing team with international offices.  I knew the problems that needed to be solved first hand, so I went out to create a solution to fix it.

What are the three must-haves that any DAM should possess?

Digital Asset Management is a strange category as a lot of platforms claim to have DAM capability, but only few really have it.  Above the hygiene factor of online file management, the three must haves for DAM are:

  • A robust search and metadata capability with AI file tagging.
  • The ability to transform assets on the fly – such as turning an InDesign File into a JPEG.
  • Sophisticated file sharing with pre-set sizes and compressions in the URL so files in your DAM can have one to many relationships with other systems.

While these three DAM features are useful on their own, when combined together with a personalization engine, clients see immediate benefits, as without properly tagged content and advanced capability to serve assets on the fly – large scale personalization campaigns can’t be done.

What are the main benefits for CMOs to streamline their Marketing Operations?

Marketing operations is the end to end process for creating content.  From a creative brief, to creative project management, approvals, brand education and digital asset management, it’s the system of record for marketing departments.  Just like a CRM is critical for a sales team, a Marketing Operations Platform is a must have for large marketing departments.  Especially for businesses in regulated industries.

The benefits are basically in two camps:  there’s efficiency so teams can work faster and smarter and the other is compliance:  so marketers don’t get fired and companies don’t get sued based on the marketing claims they offer customers.

Although we work with marketing departments across all industries, our sweet-spot is large marketing departments in regulated environments such as banking, insurance, healthcare, gaming, alcohol and energy.  These organizations instantly see the double benefit of efficiency and compliance in a single platform.

Which geographies have been the fastest to deploy IntelligenceBank’s solutions?

As our headquarters are in Australia, Asia Pacific has been our core market, however, 4 years ago we started an office in the US and now North America represents 40% of our customer base.  Given the size and sophistication of the US market, this will become our major market over time.  With that said, we have users in over 55 countries.

Could you provide us a sneak peek into the MarTech, Salestech and CX solutions you leverage at IntelligenceBank? Which proprietary platforms do you currently leverage for your own Marketing and Sales campaigns?

We drink our own Kool Aid and use IntelligenceBank for our DAM, Online Brand Guidelines, Creative Briefs, Kanban/Calendars and Approvals.  We use Hubspot for Marketing Operations and Salesforce for our CRM.  Tangential systems include Pendo for product usage analysis and PandaDocs for proposals.

How do you define Marketing Resource Management and how could it be leveraged to drive growth?

Marketing Resource Management is pretty much the same thing as Marketing Operations, but it has a budget and planning component. That is, for each creative brief you submit, you need to capture budget, KPI and results information and then have custom reports to report on the efficacy of campaigns.  It’s also about managing resources.  That is, how many projects each person or designer is working on, and what degree of difficulty is there so you can prioritize and allocate new tasks.  Our new workload widget is really popular amongst internal design teams who are always overworked and are always trying to maximize efficiency.

Which three megatrends will reshape the MarTech industry in 2019?

At IntelligenceBank, we are always thinking about these three megatrends, the problems they solve and how our marketing operations software can help.

Personalization – no one wants to buy vanilla – they want brands to market to them what they want to buy.  This means having an integrated omni-channel marketing stack to dramatically lift sales.

Automation – a lot of marketing is administration and software can take out the repetitive tasks and give marketers back 20% of their day.

Compliance – risk departments are scrutinizing marketing as false claims in advertising can lead to fines, jury by social media and loss of brand reputation. Marketers need a way to produce great work quickly and at the same time, have an audit trail and system to approve all work before it leaves the building.  Marketing compliance is a subject we write about a lot and are always thinking of new ways to help our clients

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Business leader?

I feel prepared for this as we use it already in our own product by automatically tagging keywords, and in our business using chatbots.  But the real opportunity I see is how does it get applied across the entire workforce to reduce admin tasks and to automate the generation of business insights.

AI is in its infancy and gets better every day.  As a business leader, it’s important to understand what’s out there, and adopt quickly – once the technology is ‘business ready’.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

Because we are a technology company, we tend to fall in love with new technologies and sometimes buy them before we have capacity to implement them properly.  I don’t need to inspire anyone on our team to use technology, but rather, I need to get people to use what we have.  But if there is a niche problem that needs solving – we turn to tech.

One word that best describes how you work.

Fast.  I take multi-tasking to a new height.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

IntelligenceBank Marketing Operations, CRM, Marketing Automation, Web Analytics

What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?

In a word, micro-efficiencies.  I have a small laptop that goes everywhere with me.  I’ve mastered the art of working in the car or on trains, and I always take taxis or ride in the passenger seat so I can use what would otherwise be downtime into productivity.  That way when I’m with friends or family, I can be present in the moment.

What are you currently reading?

A trashy spy novel, of course.  I forgot the title – they are all pretty much the same but are great for escapism.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

As IntelligenceBank is a fast-growing start-up, I’m always thinking 2-3 years ahead of where we want to go and what we need to become.   In doing so, I sometimes forget to stop and smell the flowers.

So the best advice received has been to enjoy the journey – the present is the best gift of all.

Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?

I’m an optimist and for every problem that presents itself, I don’t get bogged down, but I see opportunity and possibility.  I’m also quick to take considered action and move pretty quickly when we need to address a problem.

Tag the one person (or more) in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read.

I was just at a trade show and met some of the team at Siteimprove.  They have a great business and I’d love to hear from their CEO, Morten Ebbensen.

Thank you, Tessa! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

‘Tessa is the CEO and co-founder of IntelligenceBank, a smart content management platform that helps businesses streamline processes and put governance around digital content. IntelligenceBank is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, with offices in the US and Canada. Prior to IntelligenceBank, Tessa was a member of the Executive Team at Hitwise, a leading audience measurement firm, where she managed the global expansion of Hitwise into Asia, the US and UK.  She has a background in startups and global marketing, and has held director (NED) positions on several boards.

intelligencebank logo

IntelligenceBank is the leading marketing operations platform, helping content marketers seamlessly manage digital assets, creative approvals and compliance, marketing project management and creative distribution. IntelligenceBank’s beautifully designed platform is used by over 400 brands with 250,000+ users in 55 countries. IntelligenceBank has offices in the US, Canada and Australia.

The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.

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