Oracle.com is a fast-evolving enterprise website hosting millions of visitors each year. Visitors are from numerous cultures, speak various languages, and have varied expectations. Our goal is for every webpage interaction to provide an exceptional customer experience (CX) and ensure our prospects and customers get the information they seek.
Oracle.com covers more than 100 subdomains, each with a specific purpose and identity, so customer experience optimization is challenging. Our approach covers the entire business and tech stack, including:
We see B2B online habits, privacy preferences, and user expectations changing within this ecosystem. Today’s consumers are more informed, empowered, and engaged than ever before and struggle with time scarcity. There are also effects from our increasingly nomadic work environment and the combination of personal B2C and business B2B expectations.
We have an opportunity to pair innovative digital interventions (i.e., changes in imagery, messaging, page layout, etc.) with creative storytelling, vast amounts of user data, advanced processing capabilities, and advances in online CX to create an experience that will exceed our visitors’ expectations.
The traditional B2B buyer’s motives and attitudes are changing. Today’s B2B buyers (increasingly made up of millennials) are merging their personal and professional purchasing habits. These buyers are investigating and engaging with online digital content and interventions as part of their buying journey. And the pandemic has escalated this behavior.
A wide range of content influences the buyer's decision-making process. Recent research found that, on average, 13 content pieces are consumed as part of the B2B buyer process. Eight are hosted on the vendor’s website, five are off base (i.e., on sites other than the vendor’s site), and the attribution is often unmeasured (dark analytics).
At Oracle, we thrive on providing our customers with powerful technology to help them give their own customers exceptional customer experiences. And to better serve our customers, we are also assessing our effectiveness and looking for areas for improvement. We call this philosophy and practice of adopting and continuously enhancing our own technology Oracle@Oracle.
To optimize Oracle.com, we researched and evaluated technologies that would help us understand comprehensive historical, real-time, and predictive insights that we could use to drive business action. We needed a solution that would allow us to deliver user interventions in real-time to test and, where applicable, build hyper-personalized solutions. The solution should also incorporate the complete content lifecycle from analysis to testing, personalization, and beyond.
We chose Oracle Infinity, which natively includes testing and optimization through Oracle Maxymiser.
Infinity is a crucial part of the optimization expert’s toolkit. It has a broad set of capabilities, from historical and real-time data collation, data science, and personalization overlay technologies. This enables Oracle.com and all subdomains after that to “master customer signals” by applying intelligence to real-time digital behaviors. We could then optimize a customer’s in-flight digital journey in real-time—called micro-moments.
Our Oracle.com digital-first personalization strategy is the sum of our data analysis, experience curation, and delivery of individual customer interventions at scale.
Let’s look a little more closely into four core functionalities critical for daily Oracle.com optimization.
Understanding how users use Oracle.com content is critical to correlating the baseline to optimize on-page experiences. We use various analytical tools to understand user behavior. That said, turning data into insight, action, and wisdom is critical—and no mean task.
The aim is to determine actionable data within a determined context. Without context, data is well…just data.
To begin analyzing user behavior in context, we must determine the purpose and identity of each page, often within a user journey, with contextual alignment to the AIDA content model (i.e., awareness, investigation, decision, and action).
One of the key features we use is heatmaps. With heatmaps, we can look at a given page from two critical analytical perspectives across desktop, tablet, and mobile: click activity and scrolling behavior.
a. Click maps are an overlay depicting the density of click activity of key items on a page. The size and brightness of the red “heat” symbols indicate the volume of clicks. A handy metric filter can also be selected to show numerical click volume.
b. Scroll allows you to see how users scroll through a page. This is critical to understanding how users scroll through compelling content—thus identifying missed opportunities.
Both views can be filtered further to drill into segments such as new versus returning user visits, visitor country, user browser, and operating system. In addition, users can split-screen compare pre- and post-change experiences and analyze “time to action” (helpful to understanding how effective the page is at driving call-to-action immediacy with five- to thirty-second segments).
Once we have determined potential optimization opportunities based on our ROI model, we often need to move into an A/B/n testing phase. In this phase, we construct a testing hypothesis. Then with appropriate attributed and device targeting and action tracking, we can experiment to prove or disprove our theory.
We use the WYSIWYG editor for curating and deploying variant experiences, an experiment duration calculator (more on that in a moment), custom action tracking, standard and custom targeting attributes, and performance analytics.
When running an A/B/n test, the application automatically observes as users engage with an experiment to uncover hidden customer segment insights. This is very helpful as it often provides additional data segmentation that is not apparent when looking at the raw data sequences. The campaign duration calculator is also a valuable feature that indicates how long an experiment will likely need to run to attain statistical significance (default level is 95%). It also has a low visit volume setting for experiments (typically less than 1K page visits per day).
If done well (in the proper context, at the right time, with the correct targeting, and in the right CX), on-page trigger interventions can encourage behavior-focused action on a mutually beneficial user and business outcome, adding value to the overall user experience.
We use three types of trigger interventions on Oracle.com. All three include versatile targeting types, including custom attributes, mouse idle time, user browser session close, and others. As with all overlay trigger interventions, closely monitor user CX analytics. Close rates, for instance, can help determine if the interventions provide a positive experience or detract from it.
Callouts are one of my favorite trigger interventions. They balance the engaging needs of CX with the ability to subtly support, rather than detract, from a user browser experience. A callout is a pop-up text box that can be fully customized to draw attention to a given feature, functionality, or content on a page. For example, we have seen great success using callouts to draw attention to Contact Us support pages if a user appears to be idle on-page (determined by mouse idle time) and therefore potentially lost.
Lightboxes are a prominent alternative to the callout feature. They are fully customizable on trigger points and display a rectangular box with appropriate wording to encourage users to read a particular content piece, register for an event, or sign up for email communications. The possibilities are endless, but I use this trigger intervention with caution. I have seen great success with using a lightbox for event registrations. Still, there is a delicate balance as to when and where to show prominent user interventions so they do not detract from the overall user experience.
Have you ever wanted to post a prominent message to advertise a targeted promotion, sign-up, or event while maintaining the page experience? If so, stickybars may be a suitable answer. You can deploy the stickybar at the top or bottom of a page. The stickybar can be set to allow the user to close it or it can be closed by a pre-defined trigger action (e.g., an interaction).
Personalization, if done well, can deliver numerous prospect and business benefits, treating prospects and customers as a market of one and providing a one-to-one experience at scale.
Companies that provide data-driven experiences see 3X revenue growth over those that don’t.
At Oracle.com, we are building upon our base platform capabilities of language, country, culture, and personalization using a combination of data insights and customized user interventions.
Oracle Infinity capture real-time anonymous user data across more than 100 Oracle subdomains (if user data analytics browser permission has been given). This anonymous data helps us understand and group user journeys and then mine the data for specific segmentation characteristics—at scale. Using behavioral triggers, we can pass these attributes for in-session personalization within milliseconds. We then ingest these attributes as custom pre-defined targeting variables, which enable us to curate and deliver bespoke user experiences.
We have seen great results from delivering custom Oracle.com campaign page user experiences aligned to segmented persona email campaigns. Segment A email persona type receives Segment A version of the campaign page, Segment B email persona receives Segment B version of the campaign page, and so on.
All the user data capture, tracking, and landing page alterations are done within the application. There is no need for alternate page URLs as this is handled dynamically via the overlay content delivery system, making experience content curation easy and agile.
The personalization opportunities are endless when you combine real-time data insights with the ability to change the on-page experience for users.
To succeed, we have taken an eclectic approach to technology, ensuring we understand our prospects and customers through factual real-time behavioral analytical insight and testing experiences against data hypotheses. Where appropriate, we’re personalizing the customer experience using Oracle trigger interventions. This personalization is designed to aid the user’s journey rather than detract from them.
The possibilities with Oracle Infinity are endless. We focused on areas that deliver immediate user and business value while planning for long-term strategic features and functionality that will allow us to evolve and scale. Artificial intelligence and machine learning pose real opportunities to crunch data and predict user interactions before the actual click is taken (up to five clicks before). This will help us focus on user outcomes and curate bespoke user journeys at scale. Integrating Oracle Infinity with Oracle Unity CDP and Oracle Eloqua will jump-start user experiences based on 360-degree intelligence.
This journey has focused on optimizing Oracle.com to ensure that every online interaction counts for our prospects and customers. Making Oracle’s customers successful will ultimately make Oracle successful.
Oracle Infinity is a vital part of the marketing toolkit that helps us achieve success today and ensure we are prepared for whatever the future holds.
Learn more about how you can transform your customer experience with Oracle Infinity IQ. And check out these resources:
An experienced leader in the fields of global e-commerce, big data analytics, consumer psychology and advanced online advertising techniques. His expertise, built from over 25 years in the industry, covers online retail, paid advertising, SEO, Social, Email, resulting in multi-million $ revenue streams, through the use of numerous custom, on-premise and cloud applications.
He previously worked in Snr. roles for key blue- chip organizations including Virgin Atlantic (Travel), Fujitsu (IT) and Sun Microsystems (IT). Outside of work, Justin is a keen book reader, skier and runner.