Tag Archives: marketing automation

Congratulations to the 2018 Markie Award Winners!

Celebrating a Magical Night Honoring Old and New Marketing and Commerce Legends

Last week at Modern Customer Experience, we celebrated our 12th Annual Markie Awards. This year marked a significant turn in our awards ceremony, as we welcomed our Oracle Commerce customers to participate in the Markie Awards submissions and celebrate the successes of their peers across both commerce and marketing.

It was a night to remember. Magician and performer Nigel Mead hosted the evening with fun and entertaining magical tricks and even turned our audience members into legendary magicians! Past Markie Award winners were also brought on stage to present awards along with Oracle executives. 

And now…congratulations to our 2018 Markie Award winners:

Account Based Marketing Team of the Year

These teams have embraced an end-to-end view across the entire buyer journey and across all channels. They know their buyer profile, have created targeted campaigns that drive engagement and ROI and have created visibility into which accounts have the greatest propensity to buy and have implemented Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to target the right individuals and accounts to deliver personally relevant and well-timed messaging.


Best B2B Commerce Experience

These data-driven Modern Commerce or Marketing professionals have proven ways to deliver personalized buying experiences for every B2B customer. They have provided their customers with relevant content, merchandising, personalized search, customized marketing programs, and tailored websites across all channels. At the same time, they enable self-service with custom catalogs, custom pricing and account-specific experiences.

Best B2C Commerce Experience

These data-driven Modern Commerce or Marketing professionals are delivering personalized buying experiences for every B2C customer, connecting the online experience to the in-store experience by exposing inventory availability and offering click and collect. This award recognizes the supremely enlightened organization that truly gets the power of personally engaging consistently delightful, and seamlessly integrated experiences where the customer runs the show.

Best Digital Marketing Ecosystem

These organizations are taking advantage of digital marketing integration to enhance processes or improve analytics. They have created an integrated ecosystem with CRM, third-party cloud apps, or other applications to automate, streamline, and enhance your marketing efforts and are often using APIs in interesting ways.


Best Email Marketing Campaign

Email can be extraordinary. In fact, there are some email communications that are so well written, so masterfully designed, that it's only a question of when people will respond, not if. Achieving extraordinary response rates isn't luck – it's the result of great targeting, content, personalization and timing.



Best Emerging Company Marketing Campaign

Doing more with less? These fast-growing, emerging companies of $100M in revenue or less have lean, mean, marketing teams that have executed masterful marketing campaigns using marketing automation to do the work of ten people.

Best Integrated Mobile Experience

For these organizations, mobile is the platform of choice for the majority of their ideal customers. As such they have created personalized experiences with messages and promotions optimized for mobile.



Best International Campaign

The Best International Campaign award goes to a company with a successful marketing campaign outside the United States - in multiple countries in multiple languages, modification of a program originally created in the U.S. and re-launched in another country, or any variation in between.



Best Lead Management Program

Winners in this category have a sophisticated lead management program that delivered measurable results. They demonstrate the use of lead scoring and deliver compelling results. In this award, people, process and technology all come into play.



Best Omni-Channel Marketing Program

Winners in this category create personalized experiences with messages and promotions across web, social, mobile, email, display, or other digital channels to attract or retain their ideal customers.



Best Overall Customer Experience

Every company says they are customer focused. But few actually deliver. This winner has created a customer retention or loyalty program that has successfully transformed their customers into fiercely loyal brand advocates. They have shifted their culture from consumer transactions to customer relationships to drive loyalty.



Best Social Campaign

In this category, Social Media is more than just a buzz word. Winners have found creative ways to utilize both new and traditional social mediums in order to build sustained dialogs with customers and prospects, and have seized the opportunities available through social media to generate proven results.



Best Testing and Optimization

These Marketers have optimized the online customer experience with testing, insights, and personalization. They have maximized revenue potential across web, mobile, social, apps, and other digital channels as a result and have taken the leap to multivariate sophistication. Nominees for this award have incorporated testing and optimization of their campaigns and programs to mitigate risk, drive better decisions, increase revenue, and improve the customer experience.



Best Use of Data

The data-driven Modern Marketer targets and engages their ideal audience for specific business initiatives These finalists are successfully using data to target, personalize, measure and win. They are using data in innovative and strategic ways, and have seen their efforts pay off with improved customer experiences and ROI.



Best Use of Insights and ROI

These Marketers are interpreting data for actionable recommendations that improve business results and customer experience. This award recognizes an organization that has moved beyond reporting (old methods of organizing data into informational summaries to monitor performance) towards analysis (new data and meaningful insights that improve performance).  


Modern Marketing Leader of the Year

Just as great people are the foundation for successful businesses, innovators are often the driving force behind exceptional marketing. These nominees are the passionate senior people that push their teams to succeed, lead decisive change, set the vision for the entire marketing organization and introduce innovative concepts.    

Most Creative Marketing Campaign

Sometimes all of the pieces align to create a fantastic marketing campaign – the perfect idea, the right target, the memorable artwork, the personalized follow-up, and of course, the measurable results.



Rapid Transformation

Enabling a high-performance marketing culture isn’t always easy. For most organizations, it can take time to master the intricate blend of messaging, segmentation, data orchestration, organizational alignment and other disciplines. The Rapid Transformation award honors those who have successfully implemented any Oracle Marketing Cloud technology in the past year, for their superb planning, execution, and results.  



People's Choice - Best Video

This award honors the best video submission with a people’s choice award voted on by your peers. Winners in this category showed exceptional videos enhanced by creativity, humor or human-interest touches.


Congratulations to all our finalists, winners and thank you to everyone who submitted. Here is a highlight video capturing the magical night:

We look forward to seeing you next year!

How To Win The Markie Award

Honoring excellence in marketing since 2007, Oracle’s Markie Award is a recognized global pillar of success. Companies of all sizes share their most innovative and successful campaigns in Omni-Channel Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Marketing, Data Management & Advertising, Web Optimization, Marketing Innovation and Analytics.

With over 600 entries each year, becoming a Markie finalist or winner isn’t easy. The Markie Awards recognize only the most innovative and successful marketing campaigns. Submissions take time and focus to prepare and competition is fierce. Each of the past 10 years, at least one of our clients consistently advance to the finals of the Markie Awards, and many have gone on to win.

How do these award-winning companies design their Markie caliber projects? Here is the four step process we use to help our clients architect Markie award winning projects.

1. Defining Challenging Goals

First, we spend time understanding exactly what our clients are striving for. We do this with the mutual understanding that a “challenger mindset” must be used to allow the team to come up with new innovations.

We have found that in order to become a finalist and a winner, you have to go over and beyond the basics to be considered innovative and to get the judge’s attention. Basic or easy-to-achieve goals will not accomplish that. Setting a measurable, challenging goal is key to marketing success, which leads to an innovative Markie submission.

Some of the challenging goals we’ve used recently are:

  • Increasing mobile engagement by 5x

  • Increasing new account acquisition by 50%

  • Reducing unknown to known visitor ratios 500%

  • Reducing customer effort

Our Markie-winning client campaigns all start with a specific challenging goal that’s well beyond a simple sales increase, which can be clearly documented as genuinely innovative.

2. Defining Key Data Points

Next, we help our clients define the data points needed to support the project and help achieve the goals established in step 1.

We define the key data points. Then we ask, are these data points accessible within Eloqua or Responsys? Or do we need to conduct an integration within the customer’s TechStack to sync the data? In order to achieve challenging goals, we have found the need to sync data with the web analytics platform and Eloqua or Responsys. Doing so, properly, will open opportunities to build Markie caliber campaigns much easier.

For example, we used our insights with Oracle and Adobe to share a data point that’s in Adobe but wasn’t in Eloqua. This now allows our customers to support a challenging goal of real-time, 1-to-1 website personalization that compliments an Eloqua email campaign.

Knowing what data is available isn’t enough. Knowing how it supports the project is key.

3. Experience Making - Knock Their Socks Off!

Now that the client has key data points to support their goals, the next step we use is a concept called “Experience Making”.

Experience Making is the ability to design customer experiences in a predictable manner by leveraging a harmonious integration between Oracle Marketing Cloud, the web analytics solution, and the tag manager. We have seen customer experiences go from needs improvement to exceptional. Having the right data gives clients the ability to craft better experiences and becoming Experience Makers.

Our approach is to help the client put themselves in the prospect or customer’s shoes and look for Deal Breakers.

Deal Breakers are experiences that slow down or kill engagement and ultimately, deals. This is an essential step in effective Experience Making. Markie finalist and winners seek to build campaigns that are making things easier for the prospect or customer.

4. Measuring Impact - Before and After

Documenting the results for a Markie submission is key. One example of this is how we helped a client reduce cart abandonment, increase campaign performance clarity and mobile engagement.

We take a snapshot of the baselines of how things performed before the project. We include metrics such as, opens, clicks, emails sent, downloads, video engagement, webinar engagement, leads, orders, average order size, KPI conversion rates, etc. This is so we can clearly show, in the Markie submission, what impact the new project has had by doing a Before and After side-by-side comparison.

Our successful Markie submissions have come from companies that set challenging goals, identify key data points, become experience makers, and clearly measure the impact of their efforts. Follow this proven model and maybe you too will win a Markie. Good luck!


Dion Jones, is VP, Consulting & Multi-Solution Architect at Enautics, and knows exactly what it takes. Enautics is a specialist integration partner with Oracle Marketing Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud.

They have developed a suite of solutions to harness and expand the “Experience Maker” capability of Oracle and Adobe Marketing Cloud. Along with their products, Enautics provides consulting solutions for marketers striving for innovative success.


The Markie Awards will take place on Tuesday April 10th at the Modern Customer Experience event. Make sure to check out the complete list of finalists for this year’s Markie Awards on the Markie website and also on this blog. Still have not registered for ModernCX? There is still time. Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018 here.

Forget The Hype And Really Understand What AI Can Do For You

Technology is transforming marketing faster than ever before. Add AI to the mix and marketers experience another layer of complexity. But according to the latest research, marketers who successfully adopt and adapt artificial intelligence into their digital marketing strategy will most certainly rise above the rest. eMarketer recently published a report, Artificial Intelligence for Marketers in 2018: Finding Value Beyond the Hype. Their research highlights benefits of brands who have already implemented AI.

But before looking at the data, let's look at what falls under the umbrella of artificial intelligence. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company defines AI under eight categories:

  1. Natural Language Processing (NLP)
  2. Natural Language Generation (NLG)
  3. Speech Recognition
  4. Machine Learning
  5. Decision Management
  6. Virtual Agents (chatbots, etc.)
  7. Robotics Process Automation
  8. Computer Vision

So what kind of advantages have organizations experienced since implementing AI? eMarketer reports:

The overall benefits are encouraging. To dive even further into real-world applications of AI, eMarketer found that retail marketers are using this technology to craft a better customer experience across the board.

While this data is promising for organizations to see, the question some grapple with is, where do we start? eMarketer shares some solid advice to those looking to incorporate AI into their business efforts.

I think the best advice the research revealed is to forget the "hype" and really understand what AI can do for your brand. Allen Nance, Global CMO of Emarsys, suggests asking questions like:

  • What data sets can we use to inform AI systems?
  • Who will develop the algorithm?
  • Will we have on-staff data scientists?
  • Show me how it will change my role and my organization?

While AI is in a growth stage, it is clear to see it will be one of the most important investments marketers can make for the future. And as you can see from the data, many have already started down that path. Is your organization ready?

For practical tips on how to bring AI into your marketing, don't miss Adaptive Intelligence: Practical Tips for Bringing AI into Your Marketing from David Gutelius, CEO of Motiva AI, a machine learning company dedicated to adaptive customer experience and an Oracle partner.

Building the Foundation of Digital Marketing Success

Welcome to the first installment of Makers of Modern Marketing at Oracle! A brand new blog series featuring interviews with the creators, architects and risk-takers behind marketing at Oracle. This series gives readers a peek into how marketers inside Oracle are applying our own products (“drinking our own champagne” as some might say) to drive innovation and build the future of digital marketing.

We are starting off with a bang as we sit down with Patrick McGavock, Senior Director- Marketing Systems of Global Marketing Operations to chat about the constantly evolving sphere of marketing automation, the current and future states of data and what it takes to be a powerful modern marketer.

McGavock came to Oracle about 14 years ago with the PeopleSoft acquisition in 2004 (though it doesn’t seem so long, he admits). Since then, he has been instrumental in building out the infrastructure and very foundation upon which much of Oracle Marketing Cloud operates. McGavock spends his days managing business analysts and marketing ops specialists around the world to maintain, advance and improve the capabilities that allow his team to oversee the systems that support thousands of events and tens of thousands of digital campaigns globally each year. And, on top of all that, this lifelong drummer (and former member of the PeopleSoft house band The Raving Daves) is teaching his two young daughters to play the drums like his favorite drummer John Bonham, or at least, as well as Dad.

Convenient Acquisitions

In late fall of 2012, McGavock and his team were looking into third-party marketing automation and began evaluating Eloqua and Marketo as prime candidates. “Eloqua came out way ahead for our use cases and for our set-up,” says McGavock, but then, “right in the middle of that was when they announced the acquisition!” With the tricky negotiations out of the way, McGavock and team immediately set about the construction of an entirely new marketing automation ecosystem, laying the foundational infrastructure for the tool we know today. The team worked at remarkable speed and pushed out the first campaign in just three months, unheard of in a corporation the size of Oracle.

In the following years this foundation was intricately fleshed out, “it works well today and it allows us to do what we need to do…We're always tweaking it and there's always room for improvement,” says McGavock.   

Garbage In, Garbage Out

Data is at the root of everything we do, but not all data is created equal. At Oracle, we like to say that “data is in our DNA,” but what does that really mean?

For McGavock, it means creating a well thought-out marketing automation ecosystem that has been optimally designed to support set business goals, “making sure you have the processes in place to be able to collect and manage the data efficiently and effectively.” He cites an age old marketing adage, “garbage in, garbage out”, that rings just as true today when applied to machine learning as it did in the early days of direct marketing. Machines will only learn what we provide for them, so marketers must set up an environment of success from the start or else what gets processed will never yield quality results, “if you feed the machine garbage, the result is more garbage,” says McGavock. Marketers must be cognizant of the quality of the data that they use, “It’s understanding the right KPI’s to focus on, with so much data available, sometimes people lose sight of the basics.” In the end, no matter how much fancy, new technology you have access to, nor how many incredibly minute data points you can measure, the success of your technology investment hinges on foundational marketing automation that is directed, digestible and actionable.   

This is ever more relevant with the rise of real-time decision making and dynamic lead scoring across channels. From the internal data warehouse to 3rd party providers, there are a number of different real-time data sources to digest/manage, “we want to make sure we are able to understand and act, as people are researching or looking into particular subjects or solutions, that we want to take advantage of and make sure that the prospects have the information they need.” At the same time, however, Oracle adheres to strict data privacy and security protocols that vary across globe, going above and beyond to treat customers with the utmost respect when it comes to how their data is leveraged.

“If you're worried about losing your job because of machine learning, then you're just not thinking about it right.”

Machine Learning and Job Security

AI and machine learning are at the forefront of every marketer’s mind these days. On one hand, it opens up an array of possibilities and offers a glimpse into what the future holds, but on the other hand, many of us are left with the creeping feeling that our jobs might be filled by computers. Perhaps McGavock can offer us some piece of mind with his admittedly “jaded” perspective on the robotic take-over:

“If you're worried about losing your job because of machine learning, then you're just not thinking about it right…there should be plenty of other things that you need to be participating in or could be driving around the systems, processes and data necessary to support machine learning programs… There's still a lot of heavy lifting that has to happen.”

This does not discredit the importance of machine learning, however. McGavock explains that nearly all Oracle lead scoring these days is being run by machine learning globally. And many more use cases are being built as we speak, “I think it's probably going to become more of a commodity where people will be able to use machine learning tactics without having a super deep knowledge of statistics.” There are seemingly boundless possibilities, so prioritization is crucial to investing time and capital into the technologies that will prove most beneficial to ROI. McGavock again emphasizes the need for data scientists, there needs to be someone who can look at data critically and on an individualized basis to pull the story from data, that is where the bottom line lies.   

Be Inquisitive, Tenacious and Accountable

Despite his many accomplishments as a marketer within and without Oracle, McGavock remains humble in his knowledge of the marketing space, “I kind of get a little nervous if somebody comes in and they are like, ‘I've got all the answers,’ because I have been doing this for a while and I learn something new every day.”

In any organization, but especially one the size of Oracle, one must be self-driven and go after the solutions oneself, “It's a big company, trying to get something accomplished. Nobody is going to really care about it if you don't care about it.”

And finally, harkening back to his own humble nature, McGavock says, “It's hard sometimes to say ‘oh we screwed up’ or ‘we could have done that better,’ but it's also kind of empowering because you don't get a lot of that.” The ability to own up to one’s mistakes, then to turn around and begin the search for the right solution on one’s own, is what brings all these qualities together to create an honest, effective, driven digital marketer. 

We don't lack for tools, essentially, so that makes it exciting!

Drinking Our Own Champagne

Other than being able to ride his bike to work every day, one of McGavock’s favorite aspects about working with Oracle is that his marketing team actually gets to utilize “all the great tools we have in our toolbox”. From Oracle Marketing Cloud products, as well as, Oracle Data Cloud and everything else under the Oracle umbrella, marketers at Oracle are not constrained in terms of “access to that software, hardware technology… we don't lack for tools, essentially, so that makes it kind of exciting!” This means that Oracle marketers know the technology inside and out—they know how to wield it for unique needs, maximize on all capabilities, predict challenges and solve issues with greater agility.

On a personal level, this means McGavock gets to work with products, like Oracle Eloqua, that he helped cultivate from its earliest stages at Oracle. He gets the unique joy of watching the fruits of his labor grow and challenge him in new ways—sipping on a healthy draught of his own champagne.

Looking to structure your digital marketing environment? 
Download our free eGuide Transforming Marketing Technology. We partnered with Digital Doughnut to bring you a new framework to guide you through a successful deployment of your marketing technology.  

GDPR Isn’t a Crisis for Email Marketers, It’s an Opportunity

GDPR Isn't a Crisis for Email Marketers, It's an Opportunity

Maybe you’ve heard the idea that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of two syllables that respectively mean “danger” and “opportunity.” It's a great idea, but unfortunately it just isn't true.  Yet “crisis = danger + opportunity” won’t go away because it perfectly captures the way many erstwhile

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3 Reasons Your Marketing Team Might Not Be Ready for AI

3 Reasons Your Marketing Team Might Not Be Ready for AI

If you have ever wondered what the proper use of AI in a marketing department should look like, consider the example of the recent rollout of a video newsletter about general engineering by IEEE GlobalSpec. The first step IEEE GlobalSpec took was to build a propensity model (a statistical scorecard

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Ignore the Vendor Hype: Tips for Selecting a Marketing Automation Platform

Ignore the Vendor Hype: Tips for Selecting a Marketing Automation Platform

How do you determine which marketing automation platform is right for your business? The answer has become increasingly complicated because more vendors are promising artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, dynamic content and direct integrations with analytics tools, supply-side platforms (SSP) and demand-side platforms (DSP) and social media advertising.

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Going back to basics to achieve true transformation

Transformation has become an archetypal buzzword. Its connotations are hardwired into technological change, but there’s more to it than simply plugging in a new platform or solution and hoping for the best.

To demystify what transformation really means for global organisations, the latest Eloqua User Forum heard from Oracle Marketing Cloud experts and leading brand marketers on how to align people, process and technology to transform a company and drive long term success.

Opening the discussion, OMC’s Associate Director of Transformation Services EMEA, Abdul Hamid Ebrahim, tackled the language of transformation. “Often we talk of big ‘T’ transformation, it revolves around ‘market disruptors’ and the ‘pace of digital change’. This is too generic. In fact, we ought to be focused on small ‘t’ transformation, where incremental improvements to an organisation’s marketing efforts, driven by the adoption of particular technologies, significantly impact the achievement of its goals.”

With that in mind, what is the three-step process to transformation and true alignment?

1.  Choose your model

Often this is referred to as an orchestration. In symphonies, a composer writes sheet music, a conductor conducts the performance, and musicians play their instruments. This represents the centralised model of alignment.

But it’s important to use an organisational structure that works for you. “There’s no right answer” as Kim Yeatman, Senior Demand Centre Director, Clarivate Analytics shared. “For us, a purely centralised model simply places too much pressure on our team of specialists”.

So, should the organisation be more like an improvisational jazz band? There is a chart that outlines the basic melody but musicians improvise what they play and riff off one another.

“We considered a dispersed model at length, but the training requirements involved with offering regional teams that level of autonomy are substantial.” In the end, Clarivate Analytics opted for a hybrid model, “What works for us is offering the freedom to these teams to build campaigns that they know will resonate locally, but keeping that final authorisation to the experts.”

Once you have chosen your model, the next step is to align company executives. Their endorsement will be vital in driving the change through different regional teams and structures.

2. Standardisation

Broken and undefined processes result in inefficiencies, wasted time, and ultimately, wasted money. So, processes for campaign creation and execution, content creation, reporting and analytics and lead management should all be defined, documented, assigned owners, and have built in accountability.

For Rosemin Patel, Head of Digital & Marketing Operations EMEA, Ricoh Europe, one of the biggest challenges was the sales and marketing alignment. “Historically, leads had been handed over as business cards or even just attendee lists from events. People and process is important – making sure sales appreciate the value of new marketing technology and how leads are now qualified is essential. Their involvement here gives them a sense of ownership.”

This is equally true of the IT team. Technology and data integration is essential for transformation efforts to extend consistently throughout the organisation. Without any involvement, the IT team will continue to look at the world through their IT lens, it’s important to get them on side early, host workshops and consultations so they’re happy new systems make sense.

3.Training and refinement

It’s critical to invest the time and money into training your team and developing their skills and expertise around the model you chosen, processes you have built and platforms you purchased. But it is crucial to think beyond just technical training. Professional and strategic training are equally as important.

However, upskilling can be tricky to win investment for. As Abdul pointed out, the CFO of your organisation will likely express concern at the thought of training a marketer only to have them leave the company. While perfectly valid, a far more compelling problem occurs when marketers aren’t trained and they stay.

The days of setting an annual plan in motion and letting it play out with few adjustments are gone. Technology gives new tools every month and it is imperative your organisation is set up to respond in an agile way. This sits at the heart of small ‘t’ transformation. It’s not just a survival tactic, it’s the key to competitive advantage.

If you enjoyed reading this, you don’t miss Abdul Hamid Ebrahim’s blog The Big and Small ‘T’ in Digital Transformation.