The Next Big Thing In Modern Marketing: Data As A Service

This may sound odd coming from a guy who makes his living in the technology industry, but here goes: To succeed in the digital economy, you must spend less time on the tech and more on the data.

The reality is that we live in an increasingly connected business world where data fuels our ability to create new products and services. Data floods into our systems from myriad channels—social media, mobile devices, sensors, corporate systems—you name it. Managing that enormous and ever-changing flow of data isn’t simple.

To truly maximize the value of data to business operations, you must somehow separate the data from the underlying tangle of management, legal, and integration problems that often stunt our ability to use data for competitive advantage. Here’s how:

1. Separate the data from the application. Oracle ORCL +1.24% has a little history doing just this—we’ve been disrupting data and information management from as far back as 1977, when the company separated databases from the applications that used them. Now, we are doing the same with data in the form of Oracle Data as a Service for Business (Oracle DaaS for Business), a data licensing model that provides data through a cloud service to fuel applications anywhere.

Oracle DaaS for Business allows you to abstract and build a single stream of data from both internal and external sources to send to any application or engine of your choice, simply and easily. The first two services available are Oracle Data as a Service for Marketing (Oracle DaaS for Marketing) and Oracle Data as a Service for Social (Oracle DaaS for Social), with more to follow in other enterprise categories such as sales and service.

2. Extract full data value. Even more important, we have taken care of several truly monumental headaches that often stop companies from building such a data stream. The first is something called addressability. Most companies lack the ability to link the various types of customer touchpoints (think: e-mail, social handles, phone numbers, third-party cookies, mobile apps) across various data streams to build a single view of the customer. We are extremely focused on building a comprehensive addressability map that allows businesses to link together a single connected view of the customer. You can imagine that this initiative will only grow as more channels (think: wearables) and forms of data emerge in the real world.

We also handle commercial rights—data is governed by an incredibly complex legal maze of data-usage models and privacy regulations that vary worldwide, and it takes a lot of work to ensure that data from millions of sites has been vetted for commercial use and compliance.

DaaS also provides effective data management methods that separate the signal from the noise, as well as the ability to integrate and activate that data into the many different platforms used by marketing, sales, and service teams in order to impact customer interactions in real time. Business users now need only to log on and access data streams that they can customize to their needs. Moreover, they can augment the unique value of their own data with our marketplace of third-party data.

3. Let data become your connective tissue. Think of DaaS as a NASDAQ or NYSE for data, in the sense that data from a whole range of sources flows through the Oracle marketplace—from B2B to social to transaction and commerce sites—to the tune of more than a billion profiles a month. And that data stream isn’t just happening in advertising; you can use it in your site optimization systems, and you can use it for service and social engagement. It’s a unifying element that pulls all of your marketing, sales, and service activities together.

Here’s an example of how it works: Let’s say that you are running a campaign that targets prospects across online, video, search, and social. With most current systems, you probably create separate audience segments for each channel, resulting in disjointed ad and content experiences for your potential customers. You’ll also probably remain oblivious to actions and reactions that take place in different channels, as well as conversations on the web in which customers discuss their experience with your company.

With Oracle DaaS for Marketing, all of that can get connected in some very interesting ways, because we link fragmented customer activities into a single profile. Now, your prospective customer looks for a flight on Kayak and gets plugged into all your ad campaigns across these channels. They go to your site and see a more targeted landing page than others, based on what they were researching. You can tell when they become a customer and stop showing them the prospecting ad. And, if they say something about your company on Twitter TWTR -1.5%, you’ll be able to respond to it immediately.

It’s just vastly different behavior, and exactly what defines the data-driven approach so vital to modern marketing success. This is the kind of competitive advantage that happens when you can focus on the data.

Omar Tawakol (Group Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Data Cloud)

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