Author: Chris Lynch

Cross-Channel Orchestration: Customer Journeys Done the Right Way

The digital marketing world is enamored idea of customer journeys -- and why not? The idea behind them is great. They help us plot out a personalized path for customers based on their interests and behaviors to deliver more relevant experiences. The problem is, most customer journeys don’t actually work. In fact, we asked CMOs to assess their traditional customer journey efforts, and 96% of them expressed dissatisfaction with how they work today.

That’s why the Oracle Marketing Cloud team was proud to announce this week the newest iteration of our Orchestration Canvas. Found inside Oracle Responsys, the Orchestration Canvas provides a centralized place for marketers to build cross-channel experiences for their customers, spanning key marketing channels such mobile, email, web and display advertising.

In this post, I’ll recap key elements of the Orchestration Canvas and the key market problem it helps consumer marketers address.

Remove Marketing Silos with Elegant Canvas to Build Cross-Channel Experiences

According to IDC, consumers that engage across channels hold a 30% customer lifetime value (CLV) than a customer that engages on one channel. But as marketers try to coordinate a more cross-channel experience, silos for people -- and the technology they work from -- can get in the way. The email team might send email from one platform, while the mobile team enables messaging from a different platform. More than 90% of marketing teams have this problem, according to eConsultancy.

Our Orchestration Canvas provides a centralized place for marketers to come together and orchestrate interactions across numerous channels. The exhaustive list includes email, mobile SMS, MMS, push notifications, in-app messages, display advertising, web campaigns, and mobile web campaigns.

With this announcement, we noted that the Orchestration Canvas was recently restyled in Alta, an initiative our product team has been using to make even the most sophisticated user actions simple and elegant to perform.

Build Personalized Experiences Based on User Behavior

Within the Orchestration Canvas, marketers can pivot customer experiences based on a variety of user behaviors. These behavior triggered event such as browse abandonment, site search, and many others allow marketers to keep pace with the rapidly shifting preferences of the modern consumer. Traditionally these complex behavior driven marketing messages were only possible for companies with large IT teams and the patience for custom solution development, however all of these functions can be performed through an easy drag and drop interface with Oracle Responsys.

There are a number of tools in the Orchestration Canvas that help marketers adaptive to customer behaviors including: Event Switches that moves a customer through a different path based on an action or Stage Gates that wait and listen for an action to occur before moving a customer forward.

Build Adaptive Experiences Based on Data

While those tools allow marketers to build adaptive experiences based on rules they define, we’re also starting to incorporate machine-learning and predictive techniques to orchestrate experiences. As Oracle announced last week, Oracle Adaptive Intelligence will allow marketers to deliver recommendations and offers based on a variety of 1st party data that sits in the Oracle Marketing Cloud and third-party audience data from the Oracle Data Cloud to model ideal customer experiences.

Test Your Mobile Experiences; Don’t Guess

Just because marketers can automate a customer journey doesn't always mean they do a good job. That’s why the Oracle Marketing Cloud announced a new editor that helps marketers test the experiences customers have in their mobile applications. While this capability always existed within Oracle Marketing Cloud, this update makes it more accessible to non-technical users.

It also follows a long heritage of making testing a vital part of the customer experience. Marketers who use the Orchestration Canvas can do everything from a simple A/B test right up to more complex multivariate tests that help a marketer make informed decisions about what customer experience makes the most sense.

We hope consumer marketers will continue to redefine how they build customer journeys and stay tuned for more modern marketing innovation from the Oracle Marketing Cloud product team!


Forrester Research Names Oracle Marketing Cloud a Leader

As digital marketers grapple with the 3800+ vendors that serve the marketing technology landscape, many are demanding a focus on integration to help them deliver more consistent customer experiences. That’s according to Forrester Research’s newest Enterprise Marketing Software Suite (EMSS) Wave, a market assessment that looks at vendors who compete in the “marketing cloud” landscape. This year, we’re proud to share that Oracle Marketing Cloud was a leader in their assessment.

The need for simplicity in the digital marketing landscape is urgent. According to research Forrester shared in the assessment, more than 40% of marketers say their technology environments are too complex, and that separate teams often purchase redundant capabilities. To help combat the need, Forrester defines an Enterprise Marketing Software Suite (EMSS) as “an integrated portfolio of marketing technology products that provide analytics, automation, and orchestration of insight-driven customer interactions to support inbound and outbound marketing.”

As Oracle Marketing Cloud just celebrated its second birthday this year, our performance in this evaluation reflects where a lot of innovation work has been focused. By creating an integrated portfolio of best-of-breed components, we’ve been to help marketers connect data, build comprehensive profiles, and orchestrate experiences across marketing channels. In doing so, we can not only deliver marketing simplicity to teams, but we also empower them to be more customer-centric in the interactions they tailor for their customers.

Forrester emphasized the data-driven characteristics of our acquisition portfolio and the fact we made a strategic decision to have best-of-breed experience for both B2C and B2B marketers.

The Oracle Marketing Cloud addresses B2C marketers with Oracle Responsys and B2B marketers with Oracle Eloqua. It supports audience management for both with a comprehensive data aggregation strategy based on acquisitions of BlueKai, Datalogix, and AddThis….Oracle effectively addresses multiple B2C and B2B use cases with native functionality and an impressive partner network.

Despite the topic of the report, it’s important to remember that marketers still manage heterogeneous technology environments. While we’ve invested in areas of digital marketing we believe every marketer should have as part of an integrated experience, we remain committed to an open platform strategy that helps them connect all their third-party applications they need to power their customer experience. This is most evidenced through the Oracle AppCloud.

Finally, I’d encourage marketers to think about as their marketing technology becomes more connected is how to configure their organizations to support the shift to Enterprise Marketing Software Suites. Recently, we released the CMO’s Guide to Building a Modern Marketing Organization, which I recommend as a starting point.

We’re honored to be recognized as a leader in this report, and we look forward to creating more connected experiences for our marketing customers.





Newly Released Innovations for Oracle Marketing Cloud Has Something for Everybody

When you attend digital marketing conferences, it’s hard to avoid Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape, an intentionally chaotic PowerPoint visual that curates the more than 3800 marketing technology vendors. While the continued expansion of this ecosystem ensures strong innovation, it also provides complexity for modern marketers looking to develop a cohesive digital strategy.

This morning, Oracle Marketing Cloud announced new enhancements that help marketers reduce the complexity of this chaotic ecosystem. Specifically, new innovations and integrations across our stack help marketers connect their audience data, orchestrate cross-channel interactions and optimize the customer experience.

Because we have cross-channel platforms tailored to both consumer marketers and B2B marketers, we made sure this launch had something for everyone.

B2C Marketers Improve Audience Quality and Optimize the Customer Experience

Back in August, we announced the acquisition of Oracle Maxymiser, the industry’s leading platform for online optimization and testing. Today, we’re announcing that Oracle Maxymiser is now integrated with Oracle’s Cross-Channel Orchestration solution (Oracle Responsys) and the Oracle Data Management Platform.

As marketers connect audience data in the Oracle DMP, they can use that data to optimize the experience with their Oracle Maxymiser campaigns, helping them convert their most ideal customers. Once they become a customer, and marketers seek to retain and grow that relationship using Oracle Responsys, they can orchestrate the web campaigns they build in Oracle Maxymiser right alongside their email, mobile and display messages.

Finally, we’re also announcing key innovations that help consumer marketers reach their ideal audiences on digital media channels. With the addition of Oracle Data Cloud’s AddThis Audience Discovery tool, marketers can build audiences based on their engagement with keywords on billions of web pages across the web. With new look-alike modeling capabilities, they can then model that against offline purchase data from Oracle Datalogix.

Learn more about new releases for Oracle Responsys

Learn more about new releases for Oracle Data Management Platform





B2B Marketers Target and Nurture Key Accounts More Effectively

The modern B2B sale is getting increasingly more complex and involves more stakeholders. According to data from CEB, the average B2B deal involves 5.5 stakeholders. And while 64% of executives still have final sign off on a deal, a large number of non C-suite employees (81%) have a say in their executives overall decision.

Given this trend, we’re excited to announce Oracle Marketing Cloud’s solution for Account-Based Marketing. The new Oracle Marketing Cloud Account-Based Marketing capabilities provides one of the industry’s largest sets of curated B2B account audience data for targeting on paid media through a new direct integration between Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Data Cloud. Oracle Data Cloud has data on more than one million US companies and over 60 million anonymous business profiles.  B2B marketers can now use this data within the Oracle Marketing Cloud to prospect for anonymous users based on account, online behavior and offline data such as past purchases or other behavioral data.

In addition, to empower B2B marketers to execute account-specific campaigns that increase conversion rates and decrease sales cycles, the new capabilities include unique account-based messaging that enables communications to be personalized at scale. Marketers can also easily append account data to new and existing leads, eliminating the need to present long forms for lead capture, while significantly improving data quality. The new account scoring and nurturing capabilities are powered by integrations with Demandbase. It can be administered directly inside Oracle Eloqua, the Oracle Marketing Cloud’s marketing automation solution.

Learn more about new features for Oracle Marketing Automation's Account-Based Marketing.

We’ll be discussing these integrations and more at Modern Marketing Experience 2016 this week, so stay tuned.


Oracle Named Leader in IDC’s MarketScape on Worldwide Marketing Cloud Platforms

In a first of its kind, IDC has released its MarketScape on Worldwide Marketing Cloud Platforms. This MarketScape looks at the capabilities and strategy of leading marketing cloud platforms.  The evaluation is based on a set of capability parameters as well as buyers’ perception of each vendor’s ability to execute against their expectations.

I’m happy to share that IDC positions Oracle as the Leader in Marketing Cloud Strategy and a leader in Marketing Cloud Capabilities.  According to IDC, "Oracle has assembled a star-studded portfolio of technologies and partnerships that will carry even the most advanced, complex, and high-volume marketers to new heights for many years.” 

IDC had an interesting perspective on the market that’s worth examining as marketers start to build out their strategy for marketing technology internally. IDC parses requirements for a Marketing Cloud into a few key areas. Here’s a quick summary of how to think about it:

  • Interaction channels. This is based on the ability to execute messaging across key channels, such as email, mobile, display, social and web.
  • Collaboration. How can teams collaborate on key processes required to execute your marketing?
  • Content. What content must be developed to execute your marketing, and how can teams run it through specific workflows?
  • Analytics. How can marketing assess its performance and demonstrate revenue for the business?

As IDC conducted its research, one clear conclusion they reached is that marketers are growing tired of the complex technology ecosystem that plagues their businesses today. “The largest and most experienced users are finding that having hundreds of different systems, each optimized for a specific activity or team or region, leads to a great deal of complexity at the corporate level, which in turn increases costs and time to market,” writes Gerry Murray, IDC’s author of the report. “With the advent of marketing clouds, these customers can now evaluate the advantages of consolidating core functions with a single provider.”

Because Oracle Marketing Cloud is built on an open platform, we can help customers as they make this transition towards integrating the technology they have in-house while providing foundational applications that help them connect data, create actionable audiences, and orchestrate and optimize customer experiences.

As the IDC points out in this report, a marketing cloud is not just about front end marketing. In addition to Oracle’s marketing offerings, IDC notes that it “brings a host of back-end solutions to the table as well as vast customer information services and transaction history.” This is especially important as marketers engage technical stakeholders to connect with the data they need to serve customers.

The report is tremendous validation for Oracle Marketing Cloud customers. For them, we remain focused on building a platform that marketers love and IT trusts.

Read more about Oracle as Leader by downloading your own copy of the IDC MarketScape on Worldwide Marketing Cloud Platforms.

New Gartner Report: Build Your Digital Marketing Hub

Gartner has published its Magic Quadrant Report on Digital Marketing Hubs. While the marketing technology industry has many different market assessments, this research very much reflects the emergence of “marketing clouds” as a category of software. While the Oracle Marketing Cloud was honored to be named a leader for the second straight year, this post will summarize the definition of digital marketing hubs and offer some ideas for how marketers think about constructing theirs with a variety of the technologies they use today. 

In its report, Gartner defines a digital marketing hub this way: 

"A digital marketing hub provides marketers and applications with standardized access to audience profile data, content, workflow elements, messaging and common analytic functions for orchestrating and optimizing multichannel campaigns, conversations, experiences, and data collection across online and offline channels, both manually and programmatically."

One of the most compelling things about a digital marketing hub is that it accounts for the fact that most marketing technology and advertising technology environments are heterogeneous. In some cases, you might be leveraging technology from a vendor like Oracle for the foundational components of your digital marketing hub, but marketers can also pull in other data, application and media sources as needed to provide more consistent customer experiences. 

As we’ve been building the Oracle Marketing Cloud during the past three years, we’ve been taking a modular, but integrated, strategy that helps marketers think about their proprietary digital marketing hubs in five discrete layers. As you think about all the technology you leverage today -- and how you want to think about your hub in the future -- this concept of the hub can be a good organizing mechanism. 

1. Connected Data

Because marketers have a variety of data sources to contend with, a digital marketing hub must help them connect with the right data that matters. This includes the data marketers own -- such as their CRM, automation or website data -- but also the data they purchase, such as third-party audience data for advertising. 

2. Actionable Audience Profile

You can connect all the data in the world, but to make it useful, it needs to be actionable. Marketers need actionable profiles for both anonymous channels -- such as advertising -- and known channels, such as email, mobile and social. The main difference is that while both profiles leverage relevant attributes, behaviors and preferences, anonymous targeting generally preserves key aspects of user privacy depending on the country. 

3. Intelligent Orchestration

Potentially the heart of a digital marketing hub is the orchestration layer. Here, a marketing team has one canvas to orchestrate experiences across paid, owned and earned channels. With this orchestration canvas, a marketer should be able to utilize all the behavioral data at their disposal.

4. Digital Experience Management

This is about the moment of truth, and the mechanics and content required to engage customers properly. Here, content marketing collaboration and content management is critical. In addition, especially in consumer environment, eCommerce capabilities are key. 

5. Testing & Optimization

Just because we can automate more marketing processes today doesn’t necessarily mean we’re always going to do a good job. This layer of the digital marketing hub helps marketers leverage analytics and testing to understand what messaging, products and services drive conversion and enhanced engagement.

The concept of a digital marketing hub is very compelling, and we’ll be following this topic throughout the year on the modern marketing blog, so stay tuned. 

Oracle Marketing Cloud Launch: Align Sales and Marketing and Create Consistent Cross-Channel …

Marketing Cloud rolled out new innovations that help marketers orchestrate relevant mobile interactions for consumers and salespeople, attribute revenue with rich reporting, and optimize the experience for individual customers.

As marketing expands its scope and influences more decisions across the enterprise, teams require technology that’s contextualized to specific use cases and business outcomes. So no matter what you part of the marketing function you sit in, there was probably something for you in this morning’s announcement. 

Consumer Digital Marketers: Orchestrate Richer Mobile Experiences

Oracle Marketing Cloud rolled out In-App Messaging. Expanding on our core mobile offerings, mobile In-App messaging empowers marketers to create and deliver relevant messages to consumers within the context of a mobile application. Rather than silo those messages within the app itself, it can now be orchestrated alongside the other native channels powered by the Marketing Cloud, including email, social, push, SMS, MMS, and display.

By leveraging in-app messaging, marketers can make their applications more engaging and tailored to individual customers. In fact, recent research indicate that apps that send in-app messages were shown to have 2 to 3.5x higher user retention than those apps that do not.

Optimize and Test Your Consumer Experiences

The Oracle Marketing Cloud’s cross-channel platform announced multivariate testing for email. With the Oracle Marketing Cloud’s new multivariate testing, marketers can now optimize the consumer experience by testing the performance of up to eight versions of the same message, analyzing subject lines, content and the sender of the message. The real value here: Eliminate the guesswork of what marketing campaigns actually drive results, and start making more informed decisions about the right message, product or service.

Demand Generation Marketer: Empower Your Sales Team with Better Profile Data and the Right Messaging

While the Oracle Marketing Cloud provides the industry’s most sophisticated solution to score and nurture leads for B2B organizations, it also has featured tools that help salespeople better understand the profile of their individual contacts and engage them with relevant content. With this launch, the Oracle Marketing Cloud’s sales tools – called Profiler and Engage – feature key enhancements. First, Engage is now accessible on mobile devices. Second, the Profiler sales tool can be accessed as a Google Chrome Extension, allowing salespeople to access relevant profile information as they visit a contact’s LinkedIn or company website. Leveraging better data to inform the sales process can have incredible results. In fact, B2B organizations that have done more progressive profiling have seen as much as a 7.5% increase in revenue.

Expand Your Reach into Paid Media

While worldwide spending on paid media surpasses half a trillion dollars, many companies are making that investment without leveraging all the data at their disposal. In fact, just 11% of marketers leverage the data they have for all customer-related decisions.

This is why the Oracle Marketing Cloud features more than 400 partner integrations that help marketers, publishers and advertisers activate their audience data into other platforms for use in digital campaigns. Now companies and brands can expand upon that ecosystem based on the vendors that matter most to them. A self-service capability helps teams build integrations of their own that send audience data from the Oracle Data Management Platform into key digital advertising and media platforms, such as demand side platforms, ad networks, and website optimization tools. 

What’s the results of better data activation? One telecommunications firm saw a 38% increase in their conversion rate from activation into display ad ecosystem.

There are more posts on each of these modern marketing innovations, so check the product news portion of the Modern Marketing blog!

Gartner: Marketers Should Focus on Campaign Management’s Critical Capabilities

While nearly 70% of marketers want to orchestrate more consistent cross-channel experiences for their customers individually, they must balance that strategic priority against the need to drive specific conversion rates on their campaigns. 

The technologies to power those campaigns have sometimes been spun up in isolation. On one hand, you have traditional campaign management tools to manage your marketing list, perform segmentation, and manage digital assets.  These have existed for a decade or more. 

But during the past few years, the need to focus on customer journeys has brought on the rise of marketing orchestration—a centralized canvas to build individual customer experiences that adapt based on customer behaviors, preferences, and interests. Any channel—whether it’s mobile, email, social, display advertising, or web—can be managed by marketing teams or their agencies in one location.

The convergence of these worlds of cross-channel marketing and campaign management might be close at hand if you read Gartner’s latest report, Critical Capabilities for Multichannel Campaign Management

The report assessed a combination of traditional campaign management solutions alongside Modern Marketing orchestration in the Oracle Marketing Cloud. 

Assessing Oracle’s placement, Gartner writes: 

Oracle's Marketing Cloud offers one of the strongest, most consistent sets of functions in the MCCM market. It scores high on all use cases (campaign creation and measurement are the strongest scenarios). In every capability, the product scores at least a Good rating, while some are Excellent (multidimensional segmentation, campaign workflow and content marketing), and it receives Outstanding marks for email marketing. 

As the market matures, we expect to see a convergence of these features continue. As it stands today, a good portion of Oracle Marketing Cloud customers integrate their cross-channel orchestration alongside traditional campaign management. 

To learn more about how the capabilities of multichannel marketing were evaluated, read the full Gartner report.

Oracle Chosen as Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant

Today, marketing is leading a significantly higher percentage of the buying process than ever before. For example, according to a study by Google and Corporate Executive Board, “buyers are 60% through their decision process before engaging with a sales person.” That market reality has caused companies to vastly rethink their CRM strategy and make lead management a core component. Marketing must create a cohesive, cross-channel experience, and carefully score every behavior, attribute and preference of their customers along the way.

Perhaps the most important assessment of the technology landscape to support that effort is the Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management. This Magic Quadrant evaluates the leading CRM Lead Management vendors based on an in-depth survey that covers a wide variety of criteria: product functionality, education and services, partners, customer interviews and more.

Oracle remains the leader in this Magic Quadrant. Oracle Eloqua excelled across all categories of measurement in Gartner’s analysis, and much of this can be attributed to key investments we’ve made since joining the Oracle family. According to Gartner, “Oracle is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant, based on Eloqua's rich lead management feature set, its global and broad ecosystem of partners and digital agencies, and its growing roster of customers.”

With that whole ecosystem as a key theme in the report, we believe that our philosophy around “openness” will be incredibly important as we move forward. Throughout the customer experience, many pieces of technology operate in the background to make it possible. With Oracle Eloqua, we want to provide the centralized hub to orchestrate those experiences appropriately.

Gartner went into further detail discussing Oracle’s strengths around product functionality, our rich set of adjacent solutions within the Oracle Marketing Cloud, and our Global presence/ecosystem.

To learn more about Oracle Eloqua as the leader of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management, download the full report.