Kaila Garrison — the director of product marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud — spoke to Target Marketing about cloud platforms and how Oracle Marketing Cloud is simplifying the digital ecosystem for marketers.
What are marketers looking for in a cloud platform?
Marketers need a solution that simplifies digital marketing. A digital platform that they love, but also one their IT teams trust.
When it comes to actually using the platform, what capabilities are most important to marketing success?
Today’s customers move about the world in a way that’s fast, digital and unstructured. They vacillate from device to device, channel to channel and online to offline at any given moment. No matter where they go, they expect a tailored experience individualized to their needs.
Marketing leaders must translate those disparate moments into a cohesive experience.
Marketing teams need one place to connect data, orchestrate experiences and optimize interactions for each individual customer.
They also need it to be open: A platform that connects with hundreds of apps, data and media providers that brands use today.
By reducing the complexity of the digital ecosystem for their teams, marketing leaders can focus on transforming customer experience with innovation, and liberate themselves from spending time, money and resources on integration.
Orchestrating billions of customer experiences worldwide, Oracle Marketing Cloud provides the security, performance and scale that IT expects.
Is there a gap in what marketers look for and need?
The challenge is rooted in complexity and fragmentation.
Today’s marketing teams amass dozens of applications that handle discrete areas of digital marketing execution. Meanwhile, data within a marketer’s enterprise systems is isolated from audience data used for their media campaigns.
This lack of integration between media, apps and data sources consumes a marketing team’s time, resources and money — all while creating a heavy reliance on IT. More than 90 percent of today’s marketers report teams working in silos by marketing channel, and 85 percent of CMOs say disparate customer data prevents their brands from delivering a consistent cross-channel experience.
What capabilities are going to be more important for marketing clouds to offer during the next five years?
Deliver a data-driven contextual experience for each individual customer. Marketers are going to shift their thinking from a world where we feel we can predict customer journeys to a world comprised of micro-moments.
As Forrester Research and Google partnered to define, a micro-moment is any point in time where a customer seeks out a product or piece of information. It’s no longer just about the fact mobile is so pervasive; it’s how it’s changing consumer expectations. Consumer behavior is becoming even more impulsive.
Context will become the biggest single capability. In the first wave of digital, everyone paid homage to the idea of personalization. But really all it was was treating people like segments through the collection of profile information. Now profile and data about a customer is just baseline. What will take precedent is how we can take into account their immediate surroundings — how we can use ambience as a signal for what experience they should see.
The audience era will displace the media era. The world of traditional media is going to be turned on its head. While there’s still a large percentage of marketing budget dedicated to primetime TV campaigns, data-driven marketers are gong to realize that there’s greater opportunity to have an audience-first focus.
Reaching that audience in more niche channels and ensuring you’re top of mind will start to trump the mass-audience and campaign-centric approach.
Marketing must connect anonymous and known interactions. It’s not just identity that’s changing — the way we look at customer data also needs to change.
Customer behaviors — and the data generated from them — happen on a spectrum. On one side of the spectrum, we have all of the anonymous data and the behaviors generated around it. On the other side of the spectrum, we have known data sources that occur from known channels, such as email, SMS or push notifications. Somewhere in between, we have what we call “Anonymous Known.”
Here, a customer might be visiting a website or going and purchasing something offline. We have a good sense of who they are, but might not know the name specifically. A 360-degree profile today needs to account for this full spectrum of behaviors and data. And that’s how we need to think about that connected customer profile.
Marketing must be adaptive to real-time changes in behavior. There’s so much talk today about the customer journey. But really, most of the time, customer journeys are just wishful thinking on the part of the brand.
In the coming years, it’s going to be presumptuous to think we can plot or even predict every step through data modeling. Instead, we need to think about how we build experiences that are malleable and adapt to each and every behavior, preference, interest or basic whim of the customer. [Marketing clouds must be] self-learning and grow more intelligent with time. Marketing must also learn from the experiences of past customers, and take that into account as they build these systems of adaptation. This will signal the convergence of marketing as an art and a science.
How do you counsel your customers in defining the parameters and setting up an attribution model?
[Special thanks to TM blogger Chuck McLeester for suggesting this question.]
Marketers today need to put an actionable audience profile at the center of their marketing. One that can scale across every step of the customer lifecycle. We ensure our customers ... think about solutions and plans for every step of this customer lifecycle:
- Prospect and acquire: Connect data between enterprise systems and the industry’s largest audience data marketplace. Transform that data into an actionable audience to target with paid media.
- Convert: Drive customers to mobile and Web channels, and optimize the content and offers to convert the right customer.
- Retain and grow: Orchestrate consistent cross-channel experiences rapidly, based on customer behavior, preferences and attributes.
What’s going to determine who wins “The Cloud Wars”?
There are five reasons why world-class brands will choose the Oracle Marketing Cloud to attract and retain their ideal customers:
It’s accurate: The Oracle ID Graph provides the most robust solution to link IDs across digital channels, devices and marketing systems, giving brands the highest level of confidence they are targeting the right individual customer while ensuring strong reach.
It’s data-driven: With the most comprehensive solution for audience data management, marketers get the largest marketplace for anonymous audience data right at their fingertips and can connect it with their proprietary data about known customers in one actionable view.
It’s adaptive: With the industry’s most proven tools for cross-channel orchestration and marketing automation, Oracle Marketing Cloud shapes customer experiences rapidly based on individual customer behavior, preferences and needs.
It’s intelligent: Brands using the Oracle Marketing Cloud don’t just guess; they test the customer experience more deeply than their peers with the industry’s most sophisticated solutions for optimization and personalization.
It’s open: The Oracle Marketing Cloud provides the most marketer-centric ecosystem, connecting marketers to 400-plus applications, media and data sources they rely on today. By reducing dependencies on IT, marketers can spend more time innovating and less time integrating.