Oracle Corp. announced yesterday its vision to tie together recent acquisitions BlueKai, Compendium, Eloqua, and Responsys into the Oracle Marketing Cloud, doubling down on the busy software-as-a-service space that sees several major software vendors vying for the growing technology spend of chief marketing officers.
Unveiling the packaged service in a keynote presentation from New York City, Oracle President Mark Hurd positioned the marketing cloud as a cross-platform service that can be used to run campaigns across web, mobile, social, and email channels. There are tools for content marketing and integration into Oracle’s Social Cloud too. The strategy overview focused on the marketing cloud’s ability to present a unified view of customer data that marketers could use to understand behaviours, attributes, and preferences.
Client success stories were marched out on stage, including Thomson Reuters 175 per cent increase in revenue attributed to marketing, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors 300 per cent growth in Twitter followers, and Zurich NA’s 10 per cent improvement in customer retention.
While the keynote was slim on details of how Oracle’s acquisitions are now integrated into one solution, this event was mainly to send one clear signal to the marketplace, says Peter Kim, analyst, Constellation Research. Oracle has arrived to the marketing cloud competition.
“This is the first step in Oracle signalling its commitment to its marketing cloud and therefore marketers,” he says in a phone interview. “At minimum, it gives their salesforce a story to tell.”
Oracle is answering the competition’s moves, Kim says. Salesforce.com has its ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, there’s the Adobe Marketing Cloud, and SAP has partnered with Adobe to cross-sell its software. Now Oracle can offer its platform across the entire organization, touching upon each line of business.
“They’ve got all the right pieces, they’re all not necessarily integrated,” Kim says. “That’s the work they need to do in the short term.”
Oracle is positioning its suite of marketing software as the solution to an audience fragmented across different digital channels. It promises to help deliver personalized marketing experiences with automated tools. Here’s an overview of four capabilities of Oracle Marketing Cloud:
- Cross-channel marketing. Leaning on its Responsys acquisition, Oracle will offer its customers a way to create consistent personalized experiences across web, social, mobile, email, and any other digital channel. The goal is to attract customers, improve their loyalty, and even convert them into brand advocates.
- Content marketing. This feature comes from Oracle’s Compendium acquisition. It helps marketers plan, produce, and deliver their content to customers that are at a certain stage in the buying cycle. The goal here is to boost engagement, nudge closer to conversion, and improve customer retention.
- Social marketing. By tying in its Social Cloud, Oracle is giving marketers the ability to listen, analyze, and engage with customers’ social media conversations. It also provides customer advocates an opportunity to help promote your brand.
- Data management. The BlueKai acquisition from late last year is the data piece that will tie other marketing efforts together. One customer profile from across various digital channels means marketers have more opportunity to tailor their messages to each individual.
The next thing to watch for from Oracle is more detail about how it will offer the unified view of the customer. Uniting data from across its recently-acquired products into a single customer profile will be key to its message to marketers that it can make their decision-making process an easier one.
Users of individual products from prior to Oracle’s acquisition probably won’t notice much of a disruption to their software for now, he adds.