Tag Archives: Oracle Marketing Cloud

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.

Here are the 2018 Markie Award Finalists

We are excited to announce the Markie Award finalists for 2018! This year marks the 12th year that we have celebrated the best in Modern Marketing. We were pleased to invite Oracle Commerce customers to submit for a Markie Award and they proved that great marketing can be done with Oracle Commerce products, too!

A lot goes into great marketing - from leveraging data for insights, to creating personalized messages and reaching target audiences through multiple channels. The Markies submissions reflect the changing nature of marketing and the fact that our customers are demanding better customer experiences in exchange for brand advocacy and loyalty.

Thank you to everyone who submitted and shared their inspiring stories with us. Our judges enjoyed reading through them all. The caliber of the submissions showed just how savvy our Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Commerce customers are when it comes to Modern Marketing.  Congratulations to our finalists!

Winners will be announced at the Markie Awards dinner ceremony at Modern Customer Experience in Chicago on April 10th at 8 PM. All attendees to the event are welcome to attend and celebrate with us.

And now…the finalists!

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.

This year’s finalists achieved phenomenal results with their account-based marketing strategies. With focused, methodical and well-executed campaigns, these organizations were able to increase open rates, build pipeline and tightened the overall experience, providing seamless touchpoints for their target audiences. At the same time, they were also able to create cross-functional relationships within their organizations.

  • Cisco
  • Clarivate Analytics
  • DX Marketing
  • NEC
  • NTT Communications Corporation

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.

The finalists below are delivering integrated experiences, streamlining processes and providing seamless commerce experiences for their B2B customers. Some have even mastered B2C-like experiences for their B2B audience and increased their conversion rate in the process.

  • Calix
  • Dubai World Trade Center
  • Integra Life Sciences
  • The Chefs Warehouse
  • WestRock

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.

These finalists have created strategies to align and unify their brands, designed beautiful visual selling websites, leveraged mobile in engaging and easy-to-use ways and provide a variety of their users with targeted experiences.

  • Ascena Retail Group
  • Moleskine
  • PureFormulas
  • Public Broadcasting Service Distribution
  • Vermont Country Store

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.

This year’s finalists show how integrating with either multiple Oracle products or other third party products to build their marketing stack can help improve efficiencies and significantly increase revenue, sales opportunities and customer interactions.

  • ADP
  • Atea
  • Infosys
  • Jetstar
  • Vodafone Group Enterprise

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.

These finalists show just how extraordinary email can be. They were able to personalize emails for their target market, adopt A/B testing, analyzed their data to make customer experience the forefront of the campaigns that ultimately, drove revenue contribution.

  • Aer Lingus
  • Certiport
  • Olav Thon Gruppen
  • Tech Mahindra Limited
  • Wine (Dia da Saudade)

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.

This year’s nominees proved that size doesn’t matter. They were able to create targeted customer experiences with clear objectives, organizational alignment and collaboration across different departments.

  • E-commerce Enablers Pte ltd /Shopback
  • Mist Systems
  • Second City Works
  • TurnKey Vacation Rentals


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.

These finalists have adopted a customer centric approach to their mobile experience, developed creative and modern looking responsive designs and designed mobile apps to connect online and offline data for complete end-to-end experiences.

  • Moleskine
  • Mountain America Credit Union
  • Public Broadcasting Service Distribution
  • The Vitamin Shoppe
  • Vermont Country Store


Best International Campaign

The Best International Campaign award will go 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.

The finalists this year truly built international campaigns by incorporating multiple campaign canvases designed for multiple languages across multiple countries, resulting in impressive ROI and pipeline revenue.

  • American Express
  • HCL Technologies Ltd
  • LATAM Airlines
  • Morningstar
  • Philips Lighting

Best Lead Management Program

Finalists 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.

The 2018 Finalists in this category managed to coordinate leads across complex enterprises and multiple campaigns, creating alignment between sales and marketing and increasing revenue and pipeline at the same time.

  • Basware OYJ
  • Covance Inc
  • HCL Technologies Ltd
  • Saison Information Systems Co., Ltd
  • Samsung Electronics France

Best Omni-Channel Marketing Program

Finalists 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?

This year’s finalists are leveraging multiple Oracle products, leveraging all channels to build complex marketing programs that result in uplift rates, cost savings and improved customer experience.

  • Aon
  • Lojas Renner
  • Medtronic
  • National Roads and Motorists' Association Limited

Best Overall Customer Experience

Every company says they are customer focused. But few actually deliver. These finalists have 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.

The following finalists are making the digital shift and personalized their customer journeys using various technologies and integrated data, often connecting their customers offline and online resulting in increased customer retention, sales and conversion rates.

  • Axcess Financial (Check n Go)
  • Cisco
  • Schibsted Media
  • Vermont Country Store
  • Visma Software Oy -  Tutka

Best Social Campaign

For finalists in this category, Social Media is more than just a buzz word. They 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.

These finalists incorporated social media in innovative ways to promote their product, generate leads and drive results. They used visually appealing creative, leveraged influencers and put customer experience at the forefront of their campaigns.

  • Axcess Financial (Check n Go)
  • Bajaj Finserv
  • Sage
  • Technos
  • Texas Instruments

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.  

The finalists in this category took testing to a whole other level by starting out with testing theories before implementing, as well as testing across different country sites. They analyzed and optimized personalized content on the web, resulting in significant revenue increases.

  • American Express
  • Etihad Airways
  • Hilton
  • HTC
  • Signet Jewelers

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.

This year’s finalists used data science and predictive modeling to uncover segments and opportunity with a great realization and achievements. They used different data sources to lower costs of acquisition and created highly targeted campaigns using a strong mix of implicit and explicit data points.

  • Jones Lang LaSalle Property Consultant Pte Ltd
  • LTI (Larson Tourbro Infotech)
  • Passarela
  • REA Group
  • Samsung Business America

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).  

These finalists used analytics and data science to proactively engage customers throughout the entire relationship lifecycle with personalized and optimized communications; establish enterprise-wide reporting strategies to create complete and actionable stories and determine ROI from campaigns to justify additional development of campaigns within their organizations.

  • Cisco
  • Covance Inc.
  • Hitachi Consulting
  • La-Z-Boy
  • Morningstar

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.    

This year’s submissions demonstrated impressive and inspiring leaders who are taking their marketing to the next level by aligning changing business environments with consumer behavior and bringing a “digital-first” vision into the organization. They have broken down silos and implemented ground-breaking marketing and testing new technologies.

  • Brightcove - Chris Bondhus
  • FIS - Alisa Barber
  • Pirelli - David Alemani
  • Sage - Kevin Cassidy
  • Stein IAS - Marc Keating

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.

These finalists have innovatively used segmentation and gamification to both educate and nurture their customers, increase interest in their product and leveraged celebrity to increase activity across multiple channels.

  • Cisco
  • Desert Financial Credit Union
  • Eaton
  • FIS
  • Texas Instruments

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.  

Within their first year, these finalists were able to both rapidly transformed their marketing and their corporate culture, successfully implement more than one marketing technology and use data analytics to drive their campaigns.

  • Banco Votorantim
  • BMW New Zealand
  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel
  • Movember
  • Pirelli

People's Choice Award: Best Video Submission

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

  • BMW New Zealand
  • DX Marketing
  • Hilton
  • PETStock
  • Samsung Electronics France

Voting will be open soon! Check Topliners to watch the videos submitted by our finalists and cast your vote for Best Video Submission!

Note: Voting requires registration to Topliners. New to Topliners? Click here to get started.

Congratulations to our finalists! Watch the replays of the Markies Finalist announcements by visiting the Markies website.

3 Digital Trends Driving Improved Customer Experience in 2018

Customer Experience (CX) is not just a buzz word. Businesses are operating in a saturated market where brand loyalty is decreasing, price competition is rising and consumers are distracted and exposed to several media, devices and a lot of information.

In this complex ecosystem, CX is becoming crucial for companies in order to differentiate themselves, improve customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, reduce churn and ultimately increase revenue.  

Just to provide few examples, according to a KPMG study (2017) there is a positive correlation between CX and financial results. A report by McKinsey (2014) found that companies focusing on maximising satisfaction of the entire customer journey can potentially increase customer satisfaction by 20%. And again, Forrester (2016) showed that superior CX drives superior revenue growth. When they compared the total growth rate of all CX leaders to that of all CX laggards they noticed that the leaders collectively had a 14-percentage point advantage.

So CX is not just the latest trend, but what is it exactly and what makes a CX outstanding?

There are different opinions on what the key elements of a good CX are. In my view, a good CX must be Consistent, Useful, Personalised and Delightful. I like to think that it’s not a coincidence that if you play with those words, you get CUPiD, the Latin God of attraction and love who would strike you with an arrow and make you fall in love with someone…or in our case with a brand!

So, if in the eyes of the consumers, CX is trumping price and products, what are the areas where companies are investing to make their CX unique and respond effectively to consumers’ needs?

According to a recent survey by eConsultancy (2017), over one-fifth of client respondents ranked 'optimising CX' as the single most exciting opportunity for the year ahead. In order to deliver differentiated CX, brands are looking at: engaging audiences through virtual or augmented reality, using artificial intelligence/ bots to drive campaigns and experiences, enhanced payment technologies and finally internet of things.

In fact, the industry agrees that there are at least three prominent trends that are driving CX to the next level: VR/AR, AI/Bots, Mobile/IoT.

1. VR/AR

VR and AR will play an important role in connecting the online and in-store experience.

For example, it will enable customers to try before they buy. Amazon has just patented a mirror that dresses you in virtual clothes. Ikea has recently launched Ikea Place, which allows users to place virtual Ikea furniture into their own home to see how everything might look once assembled.

Another home interiors-related app, Dulux Visualiser uses AR to see what your walls will look like when painted a different colour.

AR can also be utilised to improve the experience in-store. Home Depot, for example, has launched an app that allows customers to find products inside a shop using real-time inventory and visual search. The Home Depot App has the ability to sense when the customer enters one of the stores and it activates the in-store mode, allowing them to find any item where they are. You can even use your camera to take a picture of an unfamiliar item and the app will show you a list of similar products and where to locate them.

2.  AI/Bots

AI is taking the personalisation to the next level. Chatbots, for example, are making every one-to-one interaction completely tailored, allowing customers to engage 24/7 with a “virtual” representative that mimics the way a customer support representative would talk.

Levi’s, for example, has announced a chatbot on Facebook Messenger, Levi’s Virtual Stylist, which will help customers find the perfect pair of jeans, providing shoppers with fit, rise and stretch recommendations in order to increase satisfaction and reduce returns.

Another example of how AI will change CX is through an improved ad-relevance and on-site experience.

In the last Shoptalk Europe, Topman explained how they are optimising conversion rates by serving different messages to shoppers when they are at risk of leaving the website. The notifications use machine learning to address issues that will help retain the consumers. For example, letting them know an item is low in stock is providing an uplift of 3-5%.

3. Mobile & IoT

Mobiles, wearables and smart devices will help provide a consistent and seamless experience for customers.  Let’s just think about how mobile payment has impacted our lives and how easy it is today to browse, choose and pay all within the same app.

In the UK alone, mobile payments spending tripled in the first half of 2017. In China Mobile payments totaled 81 trillion yuan ($16.7 trillion) for the first 10 months of 2017, nearly 40 per cent more than the whole of the previous year.

As smartphones became ubiquitous, they became the perfect device to act as the hub of CX. But mobiles are just the beginning. According to Intel, there will be 200 billion connected devices by 2020. A market that will reach $1.29 trillion. Future IoT-enabled devices have the potential to allow marketers to uncover new innovative ways to understand and influence customer activity, behaviour, and consuming trends.

Some great examples of how IoT is driving truly connected and omni-channel experiences is Amazon go, where customers place items in their baskets and simply walk out of the store when they have finished shopping.

OfferMoments has developed dynamic billboards that change as you walk by. They turn digital screens into an interactive experience with adverts customised to you.

Another great example of IoT in action is Rebecca Minkoff’s dressing room with smart mirrors enabled to read information from RFID tags placed on items brought into the cubicles.


CX is not the latest buzz word. It’s determining customer loyalty, influencing churn and ultimately has an impact on revenue and profits.

To be successful, CX should be Consistent, Useful, Personalised and Delightful.

Companies see optimising CX as the main opportunity for the years ahead. They are investing in new technologies to transform their CX and make it unique. Virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and Internet of things are at the forefront of these investments and are increasingly playing a key role in defining the future of CX.

Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018 here

ModernCX is the only conference where you get to see end-to-end solutions from marketing to sales, service and commerce. Your Marketing Community Pass will give you access to all 4 tracks. Join other marketing professionals, industry influencers, product experts and Oracle executives to learn how you can use the entire marketing ecosystem to impact customer experience.

See you in Chicago:


Why putting the business focus on experience pays off

Despite numerous articles and opinion pieces promoting the need for brands to adopt customer-centric commerce, the business realities and commercial pressures placed on retailers still mean that many are taking a purely conversion-centric approach.

As more brands make the shift into the digital space, it’s important to prevent tunnel vision when it comes to customer conversion and instead, find a balance between outcomes and customer experiences and help business to recognise that their conversion-centric approach is detrimental to their success.

According to recent research by Aberdeen Group, delivering a good digital experience can result in as much as a 15% uplift in customer retention rates, up to 7x improvement in annual company revenue and 6x improvement in customer satisfaction rates. Such stats have helped to convince marketers that – when used correctly - customer experience can be a powerful marketing tool, both helping to drive growth and bolster customer loyalty. In order to gain these benefits however, brands must first become more self-aware and more willing to embrace digital transformation.

One way to welcome this change and drive success in all areas is to think of experience as a transactional currency, from which both the brand and the customer can benefit. As competition blooms, brands need to understand that user experience is often a more powerful differentiator than price, as consumers gravitate to brands that adapt to their needs  . This loyalty, which in turn drives engagement, can be harnessed – using the right technology - for maximum benefit to both brands and customers.

This will become even more apparent once brands begin to harness their customers’ data, turning gained knowledge into tangible business outcomes. There is never a lack of data to garner; customer experience data is rich and almost limitless – often gaining even more value over long periods of time. Brands can use this information to consistently tweak and improve their path to purchase and move toward their goal of meeting a customer’s needs. By using this data to build personas of their customers, marketers can become experts in the customer groups that frequently interact with their brands.

Many of the brands embarking on the customer experience shift have already started to see positive outcomes. A company that has been successful in getting digital customer experience right, to transform its success, is the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). The company set itself the challenging task of trying to redefine its brand in the market, transforming from being a financial services provider to being an ‘experience business’ which works within the financial sector. This change in focus, away from products and towards customer experiences, has helped RBS provide a higher quality of service to its customers, ultimately building trust and loyalty in the long run. In the first week of using this technology, RBS saw a significant increase in click-through rate, and the agreement in principle completion went up by 10%. RBS has since been able to improve over one million journeys.

Success like this is not limited to any particular sector and can be achieved by any brand that is willing to modernise and understand how customers purchase within the digital realm. All businesses – regardless of the products they sell or the services they deliver – ultimately strive to modernise their practices and identify areas that can be optimised and improved. Optimisation allows brands to overcome difficult business challenges that stem from a lack of interaction with customers. This holistic approach takes into account all the aspects of online behaviour that may have previously been missed. Focusing on experience allows brands to gain an edge over their competition, using sophisticated metrics and complex data sets to reach their targets and drive success for many years to come.

Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018:

Whether you are looking for better ways to manage the full lifecycle of your B2C customers or you want to nurture B2B clients from first impression to customer advocacy, you won’t want to miss what Modern Customer Experience 2018 (ModernCX) has to offer. Join other marketing professionals, industry influencers, product experts and Oracle executives to learn how you can use the entire marketing ecosystem to impact the customer experience. 

Register for the event hereLooking forward 

Five Pre-Conference Sessions You Can’t Miss at Modern Customer Experience (ModernCX)

Modern Customer Experience (ModernCX) 2018 once again offers registered attendees the opportunity to arrive early for a high-value, free pre-conference training event across multiple Oracle Customer Experience (CX) platforms. The Pre-Conference Education event takes place on Monday, April 9 and Tuesday, April 10, prior to the conference opening keynote.

Marketing cloud sessions, including courses on Eloqua, Responsys, DMP and Content Marketing, will span both days, presented by some of the best Oracle University instructors, like Rafael Rodriguez and Adrienne Albregts. Meet these and other favorite experts and network with your peers and Oracle pros from Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Beyond the photo ops and business card exchanges, the education is the hero of this event! Get the latest product knowledge, tips, tricks and best practices to apply in your marketing strategy.

The event session catalog is live on the ModernCX 2018 website, but here’s a sneak peek and an insider’s take on some sessions you won’t want to miss:

1.     Reporting 911: Using Robust Data Insight to Avoid Marketing Emergencies

Platform Focus: Oracle Eloqua

Presenter: Nikki Vaughn, Oracle

Overview: You'll learn how to best structure your organization's reporting in Insight to gain a more thorough understanding of your Eloqua marketing efforts. Learn more about how basic reports provide critical information and pull together your data in an easy-to-consume way. Meaningful insight and discussion are planned in this strategic session.

2.     Mobile App Messaging for Smarties!

Platform Focus: Oracle Responsys

Presenter: Rafael Rodriguez, Oracle University

Overview: You may know what a "Profile List" is, but do you know what an "App Channel List" is? Get answers to this and other questions in this intermediate-level session. Join this interactive session with one of our most experienced Marketing Cloud instructors to take a close look at how Responsys handles Mobile Apps to work with your data.

3.     B2B: Oracle Eloqua App Cloud

Platform Focus: Oracle Eloqua

Presenter: Adrienne Albregts, Oracle University

Overview: Attend this advanced Eloqua session to learn how to install popular apps in Eloqua and explore topics such as social sign-ons and sharing apps to foster engagement and increase conversion rates.

4.     Facing Content Marketing Challenges Head-On

Platform Focus: Oracle Content Marketing

Presenter: Michael Kirsner, Oracle University

Overview: Content marketers face many challenges, but you’re not alone! In this session, we’ll take a look at some of the most common challenges facing content marketers, and explore the features of the tool that can help address these challenges.

5.     Modern Learning for the Modern Customer Experience (CX) Organization

Platform Focus: All CX

Presenter: Susan Korbey, Oracle University

Overview: Your CX cloud training needs to keep pace with evolving cloud technology. In this insightful session, explore next-generation education options and get a first-hand look at how Oracle University has developed and enhanced training to drive user adoption and success.

Pre-conference education is the perfect chance to start or continue a training journey to marketing mastery! You can find more information about pre-conference education in the Topliners Community.


Monday, April 9:

·       Time: 12:00pm - 5:00pm

·       Sessions: Three 90-minute training blocks, across multiple rooms

·       Topics: Marketing Cloud (B2B, B2C, DMP, OCM) -- presented by Oracle University instructors

Tuesday, April 10

·       Time: 9:30am - 1:30pm

·       Sessions: Two 90-minute training blocks, across multiple rooms; lunch break included

·       Topics: Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Commerce Cloud -- presented by Oracle University instructors and CX product experts


It's easy to take advantage of pre-conference education sessions.

·       Register for MCX 2018 

·       Plan your sessions in the session catalog

·       Arrive early to attend

·       Learn, network and enjoy!

Pre-conference education sessions are free and open to any registered, full conference attendee, but space is limited, so be sure to plan your sessions early.

The Education Help Desk can assist with any questions about pre-conference education.

See you in Chicago!



What we think about Google’s AMP for Email

Heard about Google’s recently announced AMP for Email project?

AMP, or Accelerated Mobile Pages, was developed by Google to efficiently load modules within web pages, specifically on mobile devices. A few weeks ago, Google announced they’ll be bringing this same technology to inboxes, allowing for what they're calling "engaging, interactive, and actionable email experiences."

Currently being tested by Pinterest, Doodle and Booking.com, it’s being used to include dynamic content and real-time pricing and availability, all within email.

Example of Pinterest using Google's Amp for Email

But is this something you need to start learning right away?

Since I have the coding knowledge of about a 2nd grader, I turned to James Wurm and Rowdy Gleason, both Senior Email and Web Developers out of our Chicago and Seattle offices, respectively, to get their thoughts.

And I’d love to hear yours below in the comments.

Okay, so what are some good AMP for Email use cases?

RG: AMP is already used on the web for things like carousels, image galleries, hamburger menus, embedded video. With the new AMP for Email announcement, we can use those same modules within email. It’s even possible to theoretically load applications, demonstrated in the form of JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, and interact with APIs.

I’d imagine for our typical client, the primary use cases would be simple carousels and hamburger menus. Although, the more exciting tech is dynamic and real-time content. Think real-time shipment tracking on your online orders.

JW: Versions of this type of programming already exist in some brands’ shipping confirmation emails, or other communications that provide status updates. For example, delivery tracking emails that are continually updated as more info is provided by the shipper. Right now, we use third-party vendors such as Movable Ink and Liveclicker for similar functions.

Why should businesses and email marketers care?

JW: If they’re communicating shifting data points, the emails could reflect live, current information, which is valuable to customers.

RG: This is a huge evolution for email if it sticks around and sees adoption across a broader base of clients. In the short term, it allows AMP developers to easily implement otherwise fairly intensive and hacky modules, like carousels (although purely as progressive enhancement). The real excitement are the long term implications that are much more difficult to envision. Being able to connect with APIs and load full applications can lead to a whole host of possibilities.

Example of Doodle using Google's Amp for Email for real-time scheduling

How will this affect email marketers’ work?

RG: I think there is the desire to bring cool and interesting experiences to the inbox and this could be enticing if the tech is adopted and email developers become familiar with the language. It would allow marketers to mimic offerings like Movable Ink’s “real-time” content.

Where is AMP for Email supported?

RG: Support is extremely limited to Gmail webmail (not even their mobile apps). Even if Gmail is a majority market share for your list, I don’t believe the amount of development time necessary to make an AMP module is worth it. Google is hopeful that more clients will support AMP, but in my experience with Google technology for email (anyone remember Grid View, pulled less than a year after its release?) and other clients supporting modern web tech, that’s probably not going to happen.

What does this mean for email and web developers? How will this change how you work?

RG: In the short term, I don’t foresee clients investing the time to have developers code specific AMP modules. If we see Apple devices pick up this tech, it could become worth it. Otherwise we’ll likely continue doing kinetic development instead, as well as partnering with Movable Ink–type services that can show “real-time” content.

That being said, if we do see that adoption, our role will evolve a bit as we’ll need to learn AMP development – it’s basically its own language, although it’s fairly semantic and shorthand – and become quite good at it since the modules function independently from the markup that shows in unsupported clients.

Do you see any benefits to this new technology?

RG: The main benefit is evolving the inbox. Going back to the question about use cases, the best thing we can do with this service is real-time content (flight info, shipment tracking, etc.). Maybe if nothing else, it could push the inbox to adopt more web standards.

Example of Booking.com using Google's Amp for Email showing real-time offers and pricing

Any drawbacks?

RG: The big one is support. Only working in Gmail is not sufficient for the amount of time invested into coding the module separately from the rest of the markup (meaning the fallbacks are entirely discrete). Knowing the pace at which email clients move, it seems unlikely that other clients will adopt it anytime soon. Even if they did, Apple is a must considering their device range makes up nearly 50% of the market share. For OMC Creative Services standards, we expect at least that, in addition to the big webmail providers, to pick it up before considering it standard support. Otherwise it exists more in the realm of kinetic.

JW: Google hopes devices and platforms will support this feature, but enforcing such would be difficult and messy. Also, they have a history of big pushes for new tech, and then dropping products after a few years. Imagine all the training and strategy that could go into a fully realized campaign, just for Google to unceremoniously kill the library.

Any other drawbacks developers and email marketers should consider?

RG: Frankly, there are some major problems I have as a web developer when it comes to development, security and weight.

In terms of development, although it seems simple enough in the examples provided like carousels, the code is proprietary Google AMP – essentially shorthand Javascript with some markup. I’d recommend spending a lot of time becoming very familiar with the possibilities before making it an official offering, which requires a big up-front investment for a technology that is likely not going to be around for very long or adopted, based off Google’s history with these things (speaking about AMP for Email, not AMP as a whole).

As far as security goes, AMP for Email allows applications to load inside the inbox. This is dangerous and alarming for obvious reasons, but in the same respect if anybody is going to have complete control over it, Google is a good company to put a handle on how it works and what can be done. I’d like to see more emphasis placed on security before I’m willing to assume more clients adopt the tech because Javascript has no business being in the inbox.

And lastly, load time and weight. This is the least important here, but worth noting that in Google’s presentation, they call out that modules do load independently from the rest of the markup. I didn’t enjoy that there was a noticeable “loading wheel” that held for a second on open, even on Wi-Fi. I can’t imagine it’s much better of an experience on dicey mobile connections. I’m not sure on the weight over a user’s connection and how that impacts data, but I’d be curious to play around and see how it feels in my hands and how much I can push it before it’s noticeably slow to load. The irony is that AMP for web is meant to make the experience faster than typical pages, but compared to simple HTML/CSS for email it’s probably still heftier.

So, do you think this will be worth it?

RG: In its current state – no. It needs to at least see adoption by Apple before it’s worth investing time into beyond cute enhancements. Having to code the module independently rather than as a progressive enhancement means directly investing time into whatever client supports it at the time, which I currently do not see a serious benefit to doing.

We can continue to do kinetic development and work with our partners to provide a more well-supported but similar experience in the inbox without investing a ton of development time into learning a proprietary new tech that may or may not exist in a few years.

When can marketers or developers start using this technology in their own email communications?

JW: There’s no date provided for wide release. It seems it’s still in beta mode.

RG: And right now developing for it is under NDA and a limited acceptance. They’re looking to release it this year publicly and broaden to their mobile apps. If your dev team can get access to the developer preview then you can start right away – public release is slated for “later this year.”

So what do you think? Are you biting at the bit to get creative with Google’s new AMP for Email? Or will you just wait and see? Let us know below!

Getting to Know the GDPR

You cannot get marketing right if you get privacy wrong. With the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), European and global marketers have new privacy requirements. As a leading provider of marketing technologies, Oracle is committed to helping our customers comply with the GDPR. This effort starts with awareness, so let’s cover the first line of questions and answers.

Who Is Affected?

GDPR will apply broadly to any company, whether based both inside or outside the European Union (EU), that collects and handles personal data from EU-based individuals.

What Data Is Involved?

“Personal data”: any information relating to an individual who can be directly or indirectly identified from that information.

What Are Marketers’ Obligations?

The key obligations involve how marketers collect, manage, and protect personal data. For example, you need to get an individual’s consent when you collect personal data, you need to observe certain security guidelines when storing and transmitting such data, and so on.

When Do the New Rules Take Effect?

May 25, 2018.

What Happens If My Company Violate the Rules?

It depends on the violation, but GDPR-related fines can be as large as the greater of 20 million euros or 4% of a company’s prior-year worldwide revenue.

What Is Oracle Doing for Customers?

Oracle is committed to helping our customers address the GDPR’s new requirements that are relevant to our offerings. Oracle Marketing Cloud products that handle personal data already have built-in privacy and security features. We are reviewing these, creating new documentation, and providing other information resources to accelerate our customers’ adoption of the GDPR.

Where Do I Learn More?

The Oracle Marketing Cloud has a GDPR Resource Center. On it, you’ll find our white paper, “You Cannot Get Marketing Right If You Get Privacy Wrong.” And for non-Oracle reading, I recommend this Overview of the GDPR by the United Kingdom’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

Webinar – Oracle Marketing Cloud and the GDPR

Join us for this webinar to learn the upcoming GDPR regulations and how you can prepare yourself for them.

November 29, 2017

Register for 9AM ET/3 PM CET

Register for 3PM PT/ 6 PM ET / 10AM AEDT


Ignite the Fan Experience

As a fan of the Golden State Warriors, I’m still gushing over their 2017 NBA Championship win.  Congratulations Dubs!  We’re so proud.

Being in the Bay Area, we are very lucky to have talented sports teams including basketball, baseball, football and hockey.  Having been to every stadium/arena, the fan experiences are quite different!

At home, we’re spoiled by the HD surround sound, consistent internet connectivity and multiple screens so we won’t miss any moments.

As stated in “Should the Chief Marketing Officer Oversee The Whole Customer Experience?” report, the consumerization of IT has created often unfulfilled customer experiences. 

At stadiums for example, there are:

Lines: they were everywhere from parking lot, front entrance, concession vendors, bathrooms, leaving the game, you name it.

Limited connectivity: it’s very slow.  So slow to load it’s hard to watch replays or look up real-time stats.

Disengaged experiences: once I step away, I missed plays. 

Arch rival: gotta love them.  That’s why it’s a game!

Supportive fans: those are the best and there are tons of them!

At live events, there’s no frustration among fans waiting in long lines.  We’re patient, interactive and social, at least before the game.  Social networks and consumerization of IT have created the expectation with apps, online and mobile experiences that’s easy to use and fun keeping us engaged. 

With all the digital disruption in every industry from retail to manufacturing to banking, this is the perfect place to use technology and data to enhance the customer experience with the Oracle Simphony Cloud

At live events, spending less time in lines should be an easy fix!  The action is what fans like me are most passionate about and it would be the next best thing to be able to enjoy a more interactive, modern experience like this:



Cannes Lions 2017 Sights, Sounds And More

Last week saw the close of another Cannes Lions event, AKA the International Festival of Creativity. As the dust settles, I figured now's a good time to take a look back at some of what was said, seen and heard. 

Let's start off with some sights and sounds. 

First up is Sylvia Jensen, Head of Marketing, EMEA, Oracle Marketing Cloud. As part of her Instagram takeover she took viewers for a walk. Take a stroll with her from the Palais to the Cannes Oracle Deck, the heart of where marketing and advertising leaders converged to celebrate creative achievements and innovation during Cannes. 

And no Sylvia doesn't really walk that fast. Or then again maybe she does. 

Next up is Ron Corbiser, CEO of Relationship One who shares some insights on his first day at event. 

Quotable Quotes

Here's some quotable and notable quotes from Cannes Lion 2017:

  • "Life is about being authentic & not worrying about the outcome" - Halle Berry
  • "Transformation now is led by customers." - Jennifer Renaud, CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud
  • "Digital transformation is about doing biz differently." - Senior Marketing Director, Global Tropicana Brand, PepsiCo
  • "It's very difficult to lead transformation from the center." - Una Fox, VP Digital Marketing Technology, The Walt Disney Company
  • "Success is not linear. Opportunity comes in many guises," Tina Brown, CEO & Founder at Tina Brown Live Media
  • "It is really imperative to have a diverse team driving the Marketing agenda" - Antonio Lucio, Global Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at HP Inc
  • "In a data driven world, small moments can drive bigger outcome." - Kristen O'Hara, Chief Marketing Officer, Time Warner Inc.
  • "We need to make a case that equality is good for men & for people in majority" - Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook
Gender Equality

Sheryl's quote is the perfect segue to talk about a major topic that came out of Cannes: gender equality. In her post on LinkedIn last week Alex Rynne referenced this very topic as being one of the trending topics to come out of Cannes.

"Marketing execs weren’t running away from the diversity issue at this year’s event... Several large companies announced plans to run continual research over the next decade on gender equality. As Unilever CMO Keith Weed put it, 'Why would you only use half the talent in the world if you can use the whole talent in the world? You could get a lot of middle aged men and teach them to try and think differently or take a diverse group of people and leverage the diversity among them.'”

Moreover the findings of research that was released at Cannes revealed that “85% of women said that when it comes to representing them, the advertising world needs to catch up with the real world.”

Additional findings of the research, which was from The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and J. Walter Thompson New York include:

  • There are twice as many male characters in ads than female characters.
  • 25% of ads feature men only, while only 5% of ads feature women only.
  • 18% of ads feature only male voices, while less than 3% of ads featuring female voices only.

To make real change, however it can't be just men talking to men or women talking to women. As Renaud points out "we need men in the room to have a dialogue in order to make real change." 

More Pics

Here's a few more pics from Cannes Lions 2017 and Oracle.

Kristen O’Hara, CMO, Global Media, of Time Warner Cable and Jennifer Renaud CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud discuss how they are empowering their teams to create heroic marketing moments for growth.Kristen O’Hara, CMO, Global Media, of Time Warner Cable (L) and Jennifer Renaud CMO, Oracle Marketing Cloud discuss how they are empowering their teams to create heroic marketing moments for growth.

(From L-R) Cory Treffiletti, Vice President - Marketing & Partner Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud, Charlie Chappell, Head of Media and Advertising Hershey Company and Blake Cahill, Global Head of Digital and Social Marketing, Royal Philips talk balance they face every day between infusing emotion and logic into their creative strategy.

The Four Temperaments of Organizational Alignment

It seems to be an unwritten rule. Or maybe it’s our collective failure to think of history as anything more than a collection of dusty tales from long dead, tech-deprived societies. Or maybe it’s simply ignorance. Whatever it is, it seems rare for anyone in the business world to look to the ancient Greeks for insight on organizational behavior.

There have been a few articles written over the years that touch on what ancient Greeks had to say about personal behavior, justice, leadership, and ethics, and community, preparation, and discipline but I can’t recall ever seeing anything that shared ideas they espoused that could be borrowed today in an effort to have business organizations work better together. So I’ll take a stab at it by lining up The Four Temperaments with the various stages that a company’s internal organizations are likely to experience as they embark upon an effort to align around a common goal.

Organizational Alignment is one of the ten capabilities we believe companies need to focus on and achieve higher levels of excellence in if they are to truly digitally transform. I’ll be periodically sharing stories around a few of these capabilities in future posts, and while my favorite is Customer-Centricity, I’d like to start with Organizational Alignment.

Why Organizational Alignment? Because it’s about people, emotion, and conflict. It’s about leadership and competition. It’s hopefully not about betrayal and deceit but one can never rule anything out. Because it touches the raw nerve of a company, Organizational Alignment is the one capability out of those ten with the most potential for bending the arc of history back towards ancient Greece and those four temperaments. Those four temperaments (in case you didn’t click on the link above) are: Choleric, Melancholic, Sanguine, and Phlegmatic. They are words you’ll not likely utter or read once a year, maybe not even in your lifetime. But they offer apt descriptions of each stage that occurs when, being a key digital transformation initiative, all the various organizations that touch customers are informed that they will need to operate from a single source of customer data.

Choleric (short-tempered, fast, or irritable, fiery) – Cries of heresy! “Operating from a single source of truth about customers?” “Why should other teams see what I’ve entered in the CRM?” “Why would my customer notes matter to their work? I don’t care about theirs; why should they concern themselves with mine? If I need to let them know about a customer matter that I’m responsible for I’ll let them know.”

Admit it, you’ll feel territorial. You’ll feel cynical, skeptical, threatened, controlled, pressured by Big Brother, disrespected, and probably a little hurt. I mean, come on, why should Sales and Marketing operate off the same customer records (same fields, no hidden data) as Support (and vice versa)? If this is how you envision your reaction then you’ll be in the first stage, the choleric stage.

How to resolve and move forward:

  1. Leaders must clearly describe to their organizations all the reasons why a single data source is critical
  2. There must be consensus on point #1 amongst all organizational executives
  3. All executives are peers in this initiative
  4. Even though it involves only the internal organizations, the customer is the most important party in this initiative. Empathize with the customer. See this from McKinsey to really understand what that statement means.
  5. Urgency, momentum, and transparency are critical attributes

Melancholic (analytical, wise, and quiet) – You’ve adjusted a bit and tamped down the fire. Your org is talking to the other orgs and collectively you’ve moved into a more analytical phase. Maybe the first thing that comes to your mind at this point is that your organization should be the one that defines the rules. After all, your organization has traditionally “owned the customer”. Wouldn’t it be logical for the group that knows the customer best to define the rules?

If I were you I wouldn’t shout that too loudly. That paradigm sailed away years ago along with its poor track record once SaaS rocketed onto the stage. No one but the customer owns the customer now.

How to move this phase along:

  1. Accept and embrace the initiative; understand and buy-in to the goal of placing the customer at the center of the CRM and conceptually have all organizations revolve around them
  2. Accept that internally transparent data is the best way to serve the customer

Sanguine (enthusiastic, active, and social) – This is when things become fun. You’ve met new people (your colleagues in the other organizations) and they appear to be quite bright and ambitious. You think they’re okay and that you might actually be able to work with them.

How to move this phase along:

  1. Figure out new ways to serve the customer from the common data records you’re all using.
    1. Is the data revealing surprising information about the customer
    2. Is the data suggesting that your existing processes are not working as you had hoped
  2. Make change happen
  3. Communicate the same messaging to all organizations about the wins

Phlegmatic (relaxed and peaceful) – Some time later, after all the other temperaments have sequentially run their course, comes this state during which you can review and pat each other on the back. Oh, and you can also expect to see your customer retention rates go up.

Yay! Congratulations! One capability down, nine more to go.

Stay tuned!

If simplifying things sounds useful to you, you might like to check out Customer Experience Simplified, to discover how to provide customer experiences that are managed as carefully as the product, the price, and the promotion of othe marketing mix.Customer Experience Simplified


Image source: Pexels