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Modern Marketing In The Cloud Gives CMOs New Tools And Greater Influence

31 Mar, 2015

Kevin Akeroyd, the senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Marketing Cloud, had lots to say through Forbes, about today's customer, marketing, and the latest in Cloud technology where the mix can enhance your customer relationships.

Acorrding to Akeroyd: In this Age of the Customer, everyone is talking about marketing. In the process, CMOs are re-establishing their position of leadership in the C-suite. They’ve had to rethink their organizational structures and apply new technologies to create more personal and relevant customer relationships.

The need to become customer centric isn’t new, nor is marketing’s responsibility to drive growth. In fact, the need to make the best possible use of content, the need for marketers to apply technology, the need to use data to drive insights, the need to prove marketing’s value and show ROI–none of those things are really new.

However, in the digital world, the unprecedented access to the customer that requires marketers to build lasting relationships on behalf of their brands has created a Wild West of vendors making big promises but all too often delivering a fragmented and obscured path to success.

As a result, marketers have done a reality check in the last year on the need to balance innovation with initiatives that can deliver measurable results. Some of the “shiny new toys” out there made matters worse by increasing boardroom expectations while actually wasting time, budget, and resources.

The reality of how customers interact with brands is sinking in, and many marketers are starting to realize that the customer journey is anything but a straight path. Rather, it’s a never-ending, dynamic, constantly evolving relationship, one that requires management of real interactions with real people.

The same is true for Big Data. Data can be incredibly powerful, but “big” isn’t the end game. CMOs need practical insights and data that is actionable. More data isn’t the answer, unless it can be combined with customer history or data from loyalty partnerships and linked to analytics and applications that deliver richer engagement.

What the CMO needs is the right data, married with the right behaviors, in the right context, in real time. And the CMO needs it activated and integrated with customer experience channels to drive relevant, individualized, real-time digital communications—not in some big data warehouse an ocean away from the customer.

Content marketing is another area that has evolved tremendously in the last year. As more and more companies put content at the center of their marketing initiatives, marketers are realizing there’s a pressing need to go beyond cool creative and traditional content.

The sheer volume of content needed to support digital initiatives means marketers have had to find a better way. Understanding how to create and curate low, medium, and high effort content—and measure its effectiveness across topic, voice, and channel—is critical to getting the most out of what is typically 25 percent of a marketer’s budget. Modern marketers are increasingly focused on cross-channel content strategies that engage customers with compelling stories across devices and touch points.

This might sound strange coming from a marketing technology provider, but almost everyone I talk to now clearly understands that more bells and whistles aren’t what marketers need. They require an open framework that connects data, apps, media, and content so they can see results quickly from state-of-the-art technology that exists today and so they can be ready for tomorrow’s innovations.

Customers Lead the Way

We’ve learned all this from our customers, the modern marketers who are out there working every day to meet the expectations of both their ideal customers or consumers—and their boardrooms.

It’s been almost a year since Oracle launched our strategy for Oracle Marketing Cloud, which is driven by the principles of marketing simplicity, customer centricity, and enterprise readiness. We’re excited by the confidence the world’s largest brands are placing in Oracle Marketing Cloud to meet near-term pressures around revenue growth and long-term aspirations to build great customer experiences. Marketers in more than 50 countries now use Oracle Marketing Cloud to execute campaigns and deliver engaging digital experiences that have a measurable impact on revenue.

We now support more than a score of languages, have launched an EMEA datacenter, and have built one of the most comprehensive marketing ecosystems, with more than 500 application, media, and data partners.

All of these efforts are designed to support our customers. Here are a few examples of what they’re achieving:

    Dell rolled out a nurture program—and experienced 2X higher average order values—that spanned multiple countries and became their standard for successful nurturing.

    PetRelocation boosted customer conversion rates by 150 percent and increased brand visibility—direct benefits from online consumer marketing efforts that now account for 70 percent of the company’s annual revenue.

    University of New Brunswick found that segmenting and targeting is much better than batch-and-blast—seeing average open rates of 39 percent.

Looking Toward the Future

The next few years are going to be huge for modern marketers as they wrestle with the skyrocketing expectations of Wall Street and Main Street. There’s no magic bullet on how to succeed, of course, but Oracle Marketing Cloud is now a proven, foundational approach that makes it simpler and more effective.

I’d like to share some questions the world’s best marketers are asking each other as they make the transition to modern marketing:

  •     Where do you see the most hype and confusion in the marketing technology discussion? And how can you avoid the next pitfall?
  •     How much time do you spend managing complex technology versus driving growth?
  •     How can technology serve you better in your real mission?
  •     How are you doing internally—in terms of your organization? Are you still operating in silos with each treating the customer differently, using  different KPIs and charters? Or have you started to organize around the customer?
  •     Do the CFO and the CEO understand how to measure you? And are you proactively driving that conversation?

The answers to these tough questions involve people, process, and technology, and Oracle Marketing Cloud brings all of those things together in new ways. Oracle’s acquisitions of Eloqua, Responsys, Compendium, Vitrue, Collective Intellect, BlueKai, Push IO, and Datalogix combine best-of-breed cloud organizations, customer communities, and the latest technologies.

In the last year, we have enabled our customers to increase customer centricity with messaging, mobile, and content enhancements, simplify marketing with improved content creation tools, and leverage enterprise-scale data management, automation, and marketing processes. We also delivered industry solutions for life sciences, higher education, and manufacturing.

I invite CMOs and other marketing professionals to join us in a lively discussion of all of these issues and modern marketing best practices at Modern Marketing Experience, which takes place March 31 to April 2 in Las Vegas. Oracle will also announce our popular Markie Awards for excellence in modern marketing. I hope to see you there.

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