Tell us about your role and journey into Technology. What inspired you to start at Arkose Labs?
I am the VP of Marketing for Arkose Labs where I am responsible for establishing Arkose Labs’ global brand, driving demand and building the go-to-market strategy, as well as establishing the Product and Market positioning. Prior to Arkose Labs, I had the chance to work with some of the world’s biggest brands in payments as well as successful startups. I started my career in payments and worked with leading financial institutions including Visa, Capital One, Standard Chartered Bank and ABN AMRO Bank.
It’s not hard to be inspired by the innovation and disruption that technology is bringing when working in the valley. My journey into technology began when I moved to the Bay Area in 2007 to join Visa. There, I had the opportunity to engage with both the new entrants and established companies that were creating new business models to make commerce better. ThreatMetrix was my foray into the world of start-ups and I have thoroughly enjoyed the intensity and pace that comes with working in a fast-growing company.
While technology is key, it is the people and customers that make the work rewarding. Arkose Labs is truly disrupting the fraud and risk management space. Over the past two decades, as digital commerce has grown, so has fraud. Businesses worldwide have been focused on growing their digital presence; meanwhile, fraudsters have been at work building an ecosystem by exploiting any loopholes they can find. Arkose Labs’ approach puts the control back in the hands of the good guys. We are not just playing defense anymore, trying to build models to plug yet another gap; rather we are taking the offensive approach and breaking down the fraudsters’ business model. We believe that the long term solution is going to be rooted in sapping the fraudsters’ return on investment (ROI).
As a woman Marketer in Tech company, what’s the biggest challenge you face from within the organization and outside? What message do you have for other CMOs in the community?
The fraud and risk space is rapidly evolving on the backs of data breaches with newer attack patterns and surfaces emerging and advanced tools being made available on the dark web. Arkose Labs’ is unique and is underpinned by a sophisticated platform and an innovative enforcement approach. In a team with brilliant technologists, I have to constantly strive to do justice to our technology to ensure we are crafting our messaging, positioning and go-to-market strategy effectively and reaching the right audience. These challenges are not unique to me because I am a woman, as any VP of Marketing would have similar responsibilities. Technology, especially security and fraud management, is rapidly embracing diversity and I believe I have the same voice and influence as my other colleagues.
My advice to other CMOs in the community would be to work closely with product and tech teams to understand the product, as well as communicate with customers to actively understand how the Product value is resonating.
How much has the Arkose Labs Marketing strategy evolved in the last 2-3 years? What platforms are you currently focusing on to drive Sales and Revenue?
The past few years have been about growth and expansion for Arkose Labs. The company was founded in Brisbane by Kevin Gosschalk and Matt Ford and commercially launched in 2017. The initial years were focused on understanding the product-market fit, establishing a go-to-market (GTM) plan and building a brand. The focus now will be to hone in on the GTM strategy and driving scale.
Which group of customers are the fastest to the adoption of Arkose Labs’ various products and solutions? How do you measure the performance of your products?
We have been fortunate to work with some of the world’s biggest brands. These companies have a strong digital presence and multiple customer touchpoints to allow their users to sign up, access products and services or make purchases through digital channels. Our mission is to help these companies protect their digital authenticity. We measure our success through customer throughput, lower fraud, and operational costs.
What is the relation between Brand Reputation and Spamming malpractices?
The digital economy is powered by data and the insights that can be harnessed from the data can be the difference between great brand reputation and faux pas. As businesses are trying to effectively leverage data to make decisions, fraudsters and cybercriminals are trying to manipulate data to create inauthentic outcomes. This can range from fake news to bad reviews to illegitimate listings as well as disseminating spam and abusive content, all impacting the underlying brand reputation of the business they are trying to manipulate. It has never been more critical for the entire commerce ecosystem to come together.
Tell us about your technology integrations with other Marketing, Sales and HR Technology platforms such as Contacts, Social Media, Automation, Contracts, Email and Customer Service.
On the Marketing team, we use Salesforce and Marketo to manage and contact our customer database, along with tools like ON24, LinkedIn Advertising, AdWord, and Sprout Social to generate leads and drive demand. Additionally, we use the Google apps suite, Zendesk, Dropbox, and Slack for workplace productivity.
Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies do you currently use?
We use Salesforce, On24, Marketo, ChiliPiper, and Opensense.
What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Mobile App protection technology for 2019-2020?
A few things I think will disrupt the Mobile App protection industry in 2020 are:
- New breaches will bring more data into the dark web that will be increasingly used by fraudsters to attack.
- As customer behavior has evolved, so has their interactions with the mobile applications. We will continue to see more targeted attacks on mobile platforms.
- As we move towards the convergence of online and offline using mobile as the bridge (in-store, buy now pick up later, order ahead), new sets of security and risk concerns will emerge.
- As Apple and Android clamp down on security, jailbreaking and rooting will become more and more difficult.
- Reliance on SMS, phone numbers or SIMs for MFA will continue to pose security risks.
- New technologies will emerge enabling fraudsters to mimic legitimate traffic.
What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?
Bugcrowd has a unique approach toward bug bounty that I respect. I also like Ravelin’s approach to data-driven analytics.
How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a Marketing Leader?
There has been a lot of focus on AI/ML and how it is going to impact every aspect of our lives. AI enables businesses to analyze the vast amount of data to bring out actionable insights. As a marketer, it is crucial to leverage these insights effectively in campaigns, messaging and all aspects of Marketing. However, given the rapidly evolving digital landscape, the accelerating pace of innovation and disruption and the changing customer behavior, it is also crucial to balance AI with human intuition.
How do you inspire your people to work with technology?
Technology can be a powerful enabler in helping a lean team scale. We are working in a fast-paced environment and it is critical that we leverage all the tools that can make us more efficient.
One word that best describes how you work.
It’s hard to just describe me in one word so I would say intense and collaborator.
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
I cannot live without:
They help me work productively and efficiently.
What’s your smartest work-related shortcut or productivity hack?
I always take notes on my computer. To save time, I usually jot down one or two words that summarize the entire discussion.
What are you currently reading?
I primarily read the Wall Street Journal, Dark Reading, Forbes, TechCrunch and SC Magazine, to name a few. The content I read varies between news articles, opinion pieces, blogs, analyst notes, and tech specs. For newsletters, I make sure to always catch Tim Starks of Politico’s Morning Cybersecurity and Axios’ Codebook weekly newsletter by Joe Uchill. Other reporters, I enjoy reading from include Charlie Osborne of ZDNet and Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security.
Working in tech means round the clock work hours and sometimes being unavailable for quality time with the family. Reading has become a way for me to connect with my 10-year-old; we read the same books and have our own book club, and that means that the bulk of my leisure reading is young adult fiction. I just finished the Uncommoners series by Jennifer Bell. These books help me disconnect from the tech world and provide a unique opportunity for me to discuss the book with my child using our diverse approach.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have been fortunate to have many mentors who challenged me, inspired me and guided me. These mentors have offered me support and many valuable insights over the years, however, the one that has been truly life-changing has been about getting comfortable in asking for help. Be it to ask someone for help or to just share the latest problem and get their perspective on it. Many times we put a lot of pressure on ourselves and perceive the act of asking for help as a failure. I truly believe that the power of one’s network can make one grow tremendously.
Something you do better than others – the secret of your success?
I am a storyteller. I can craft the narrative around technology and its benefits very well.
Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read:
Tricia Phillips, SVP of Product and Strategy at Kount.
Thank you, Vanita! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.
Vanita is an industry veteran with over 17 years of experience in the payments and risk management space. Vanita joined Arkose Labs in 2019 as the VP of Marketing, responsible for driving demand and establishing Arkose Labs as an industry leader.
With extensive experience in strategy, innovation, product management, and analytics within the payment industry, Vanita has held a range of diverse positions at some of the world’s leading financial institutions including Visa, Capital One, Standard Chartered Bank and ABN AMRO Bank. Vanita has spoken at many industry events and has been covered by top tier media, including HuffPost. She holds patents about inventions that make digital payments more efficient and customer friendly.
Arkose Labs is solving multi-million dollar online fraud problems for major global businesses in sectors including online marketplaces, travel, banking, social media, ticketing, and online gaming. Our bilateral approach combines global telemetry with a patent-pending enforcement challenge that stops fraud without false positives and without impacting the user experience. Arkose Labs is based in San Francisco, Calif., with offices in Brisbane, 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.