Cloud Wars: Oracle Marketing Cloud Sees All
Oracle Marketing Cloud can solve a problem marketers may not know they have: that they need to access everyone in one place, says Shashi Seth, SVP, Oracle Marketing Cloud.
He spoke to Target Marketing about the solution:
"Marketers are tasked with delivering real business results of acquiring customers at the right price point, of delivering high lifetime value for existing customers, for reducing churn, and getting the most out of loyal customers. Real results require real marketing platforms, not a jumbled set of point solutions."
What are marketers looking for in a cloud platform?
Marketers today have a very different need from their marketing automation platforms than they did a year or two ago. They are looking for a platform that can scale; that is reliable; that can handle their use cases with ease ([e.g.], without having to write code) without needing a large number of marketers to run the day-to-day operations, across multiple brands, and multiple geographies. They want a platform that can handle omnichannel marketing across the globe, that can provide real-time personalization, and use data science and AI to manage all the optimizations in order to generate the right results at a high ROI.
When it comes to actually using the platform, what capabilities are most important to marketing success?
Today, marketers spend the bulk of their time in the day-to-day; essentially gearing up to run a campaign, and then running the campaign. In most of our customers, we see this phenomenon where marketers are overwhelmed by the amount of work that needs to go in to deliver a campaign. That does not leave marketers any time to plan, set goals and objectives, run lots of experiments, try new ideas out, optimize the campaigns, learn from the data and tweak, look at insights, and make adjustments. This is dangerous, because without really putting time into this aspect, a lot is being left on the table. So, what marketers should be looking for is a platform that allows them to accomplish the day-to-day with ease.
Is there a gap between what marketers look for and need?
We have started conducting “marketing maturity assessments” for our customers, where we look at their usage of our platform, look at what data they use, how they use it, what capabilities do they use more or less of, performance of their campaigns, and a whole lot more. Then we compare their data and metrics to the industry at large to see where they stack up. In doing so, we can give them a sense of where they are as users of our platform; and, in a sense, their maturity as marketers in leveraging all that they have at-hand. In that process, we find that a lot of marketers are leveraging the platform at fairly basic levels. We see it as our job to help these customers move up the maturity curve, and we give them a prescriptive set of things to go focus on.
What capabilities are going to be more important for marketing clouds to offer during the next five years?
The biggest opportunity is around data and intelligence. Our customers have a tough time when it comes to large volumes of real-time data. Pulling various sources of data, cleansing it, connecting it, and putting it to work in real-time for things like personalization, recommendations, predictive stuff — driven by AI algorithms — is hard to do for most companies.
What caused previous contenders to drop off of the list of Cloud War contenders? What’s changed since our previous coverage?
There has been a lot of consolidation, and convergence. Many point solutions have been absorbed and integrated, and we will see that kind of integration continue. I imagine that the Big 3 [Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce] will continue to own bigger market share, as this shift towards platform continues.
What’s going to determine who wins “The Cloud Wars”?
This is a pretty large opportunity, and there is room for many players. I don’t think there will be an outright winner anytime in the future.