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The latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

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Marketing Automation

"Oracle Impresses with AI" According to Forrester's Experience Optimization Wave Evaluation

Optimizing experiences to match customer preferences, tastes, and behavior is an integral part of modern-day marketing. Customer journeys have changed significantly over the past few years. One size does not fit all, and brands need to respond in real-time, for each customer, at scale, and in an automated fashion. At Oracle Marketing, this thinking shapes our strategic vision around connected data and connected intelligence. We recognized early that real-time data and AI sit at the core of marketing transformation. Through our Oracle Infinity Behavioral Intelligence and Maxymiser Testing and Optimization products, we are on a mission to help brands optimize customer lifecycle engagement through understanding real-time user behavior at a granular level and automating the decision-making process for marketers. Our efforts are being noticed, with Forrester writing "Oracle impresses with AI" in a recent Experience Optimization Wave report. Optimizing the customer experience with AI  AI is transforming many activities and industries, from driving to medicine to writing emails. Machine learning-based algorithms help humans make smart decisions quicker, lower the cognitive load, and improve the productivity and effectiveness of the task. Even in creative fields, state of the art language models, such as GPT-3, are writing full-fledged articles and novels and generating synthetic images for use in marketing campaigns. At Oracle Marketing, we've made a significant investment in data science, which is now making a dent for customers across all our products, giving them the ability to: Decide whether and when to send an email/message to a customer Pick the right channel to send that message Predict subject lines that best deliver the message When a user visits a website, our unified CX Tag helps us have real-time understanding of user behavior and intent using clicks, scrolls, downloads, views, dwell-time, and numerous other parameters. Our machine learning models can act upon this wealth of high-fidelity data at sub-second latency, predict users' next actions, recommend appropriate products (or content or offers), and optimize experiences on-the-fly. We have built a machine learning framework to allow any developer or data scientist to quickly roll out their algorithmic models and iterate rapidly on them. This framework underpins our data science across the entire Oracle Marketing stack. The Forrester Wave™: Experience Optimization Platforms, Q4 2020 report gave us 5.0/5.0 scores in the criteria of product vision and experience optimization technique innovation. We're also thankful to our customers for validating our approach and excited about all the new product launches we have lined up for 2021. To learn more about Oracle's offerings around optimizing customer experiences, please visit: Oracle Maxymiser Testing and Optimization Oracle Infinity Behavioral Intelligence Oracle Marketing

Optimizing experiences to match customer preferences, tastes, and behavior is an integral part of modern-day marketing. Customer journeys have changed significantly over the past few years. One size...

CMO Corner

5 Aces to Overcoming the Pandemic for CMOs

The global pandemic has changed nearly everything for CMOs, forcing them to scramble as consumers shift even more to online shopping. Meanwhile, CEOs are pressuring their marketing chiefs to find strategies for recovery.  At our recent CX Virtual Summit for Asia, I had an insightful conversation with Jojo Concepcion, CEO of our customer Concepcion Industrial Corporation (CIC), about the intersection of customer experience software and the need for businesses to make decisions more nimbly. CIC has been incredibly successful at striking the right balance, especially during a very challenging year. The Philippines-based appliance distributor has managed to give customers what they need when they need it while creating new business opportunities.  What’s helped CIC are the “five aces” that CMOs must establish in their companies while leveraging – with intention – critical emerging technologies to modernize their interactions.   The five aces are:  Adaptability: The world has changed, but businesses still need to keep going, whether through finding new ways to reach cash-strapped households or helping customers visualize products from the comfort and safety of their homes. Marketing organizations must become comfortable with change. Accountability: Businesses expect marketers to help deliver quantifiable business impact with the help of modern technology. As the measurement of campaigns has become more sophisticated, CMOs must embrace accountability.  Authenticity: Modern marketers need to know and use data they collect from customers to engage them in highly personalized communications across their devices, print, and broadcast media.  Action: Customers expect companies they do business with to respond quickly and at all hours. Meeting them on their terms helps foster brand relationships.   Alignment: This doesn’t just mean coordination between sales and marketing; it also means aligning the organization so that customers’ needs dictate the businesses’ activities.  Jojo and I agreed that experiences are everything – we know they’re often more important than the product or service we’re delivering. Uncertainty and not knowing how the world will evolve creates a huge opportunity for marketers to define their companies. There’s hard evidence behind the proscriptions. 83% of 260 global CEOs surveyed by management consultancy McKinsey last year said they expect marketing to be a major driver for their companies’ growth. To do so, marketing departments need to move faster, collaborate better, and focus more sharply on customers.  Yet McKinsey estimates making such changes can cut 10% to 30% of marketing costs while adding 5% to 15% to sales growth. And about 23% of CEOs say marketing isn’t delivering on the growth agenda. Often, executives pour time into a few initiatives, “then grow frustrated when the promised value doesn’t appear,” according to the study.  CIC is consolidating sales, customer service, and e-commerce systems with its back-office software to understand its customers better. That’s helping the air conditioning, and refrigeration company simplify online ordering, sell directly to consumers, and forge new business models -- such as renting cool air time “as a service,” rather than selling an appliance outright, Jojo said.  “For 90 days, we had no place to sell our products – stores were closed nationwide,” he said. “Manufacturing, distribution, and most e-commerce stopped for three months during the pandemic’s height this year. CIC adapted by emphasizing products for kitchens tailored to people staying and cooking at home and developing new ones for those who wanted a cool environment without the upfront cost”.  Vince Abejo, chief sales and marketing officer at property developer Filinvest Land, spoke during our conference about capturing data points during and after the sale of a house or condo so the company can retain buyers it sells to over time. Filinvest is holding online house tours, inspecting properties by drone aircraft, and courting prospects to ensure the pipeline stays stocked after the pandemic ends.  Not only is the company attuned to its customers’ needs, but it has also adopted its behavior to stay authentic. “Booked sales are now back to pre-Covid levels,” Abejo said. These are just a few fresh ideas that can be brought to life using the five aces and modern cloud technology. I’d love to hear directly from you about other ideas you might have, so be sure to reach out to me in the comments to let me know how I can help.  To learn more about the trends impacting marketing leadership today, visit the CMO Corner. 

The global pandemic has changed nearly everything for CMOs, forcing them to scramble as consumers shift even more to online shopping. Meanwhile, CEOs are pressuring their marketing chiefs to find...

Marketing Automation

3 CX Marketing Lessons from the Legends of the Chicago Bulls

When I introduce myself to new people, I make sure to include the phrase born and raised in Chicago as I’ve always felt pride in saying that. It acknowledges that I’ve grown up knowing what makes a pizza superior, and I never complain about 94-degree weather in August because I know what a negative 30 windchill feels like in winter. And I also know, without a doubt, that the 90’s Chicago Bulls remain the greatest sports dynasty with the greatest basketball player of all time. I recall being a youngster cramming on the couch next to my siblings with a 2 liter bottle of Mountain Dew, a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos, and turning on our family TV to watch Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen score outlandish amount of points against the Utah Jazz. I relished Dennis Rodman dominating the paint, sporting hot pink hair. These childhood memories have infiltrated my wardrobe even as a 30-something woman as my inner voice says, “another day, another Bulls jersey.” Let’s just establish that if I ever do randomly run into Dennis Rodman, the odds that I’ll be wearing his jersey are very high. When I joined the Oracle CX team and found out the Chicago Bulls, were a customer through Chicago Bulls Kid Nation, my heart skipped a beat! This excitement led to finding out why and how the Bulls are using Oracle CX Marketing. Bulls Kid Nation leverage Oracle CX Marketing in a very similar fashion that the 90s Chicago Bulls played, and here’s how. Aside from collecting championships, the 90’s Chicago Bulls were known for 3 things: 1. Differentiation Before Michael Jordan joined the Chicago Bulls in 1984, they had faltered as a team and as a franchise. From 1975-1984, the Bulls had only made the playoffs twice. They had never won a championship title before Jordan. At the time that “Mike” Jordan was drafted after leaving UNC early, the NBA was dominated by players who played center. The big guys ran the show. Jordan was a guard, so there were many who questioned his abilities before they saw him play. There’s no question that drafting Michael Jordan was instrumental in differentiating the Chicago Bulls into franchise greatness. Just watch this compilation video from his rookie season. Before using Oracle CX Marketing (Eloqua), Bulls Kid Nation realized that many teams had “too playful” of a design that was geared more towards kids than parents. Now they use Oracle Eloqua to deliver differentiated content and experiences. Their design is clean, information is easy to enter, and for parents signing up their kids, it’s quick and efficient. Oracle Eloqua gives their marketing team full control on how items function and it’s been a win-win for both customers and internal users. 2. Personalization Every individual on the Chicago Bulls team had a specific gift that elevated the team’s play as a whole. Dennis Rodman didn’t care about the glory that the offense got. He was a true believer that defense won the game. He often sacrificed his body to win a rebound. Scottie Pippen is an all-time great along with Michael, but he was always seen as Jordan’s right-hand man. He put himself in Jordan’s shadow for the greater good of the team. Steve Kerr’s decisiveness at point-guard was pivotal in shooting and scoring the winning shot that earned the Bulls their 5th title in 1997. The marketing team knows that their fans all have distinct talents and likes. Therefore, building unique ways to communicate with them is critical. When gathering data from their fans to access in Oracle Eloqua to better understand their likes and interests, they go beyond asking the simple and mundane questions such as name, birthday, and gender. They also collect insights from answers by asking fun questions such as favorite player, do they play basketball, have they attended the United Center - all to communicate with them more effectively. This helps deliver a stronger message that adapts and grows with the child as they continue in the youth fan funnel. 3. Branding We’ve talked about the distinct players for the Bulls, their attributes, and what they brought to their team in terms of talents. But what we can also establish is the unique ability that each player contributed to the very brand of the team. The Bulls franchise went from being valued at $18.7 million to over $105 million in 1985. Forbes has estimated the Chicago Bulls value to be over 3 billion dollars. Much of this can be attributed to the 90’s Bulls, the championships they won, and the characters on those teams. Branding isn’t merely a logo but is the perception of the sum total of every interaction a brand has with its customers. Feelings, thoughts, and insights that are evoked when someone in a room speaks your name is the true worth of your brand. If you were a Chicago-suburban kid in 1996, you’d venture into the city via the Kennedy Expressway. As you entered the city limits, you’d be greeted by a 75-foot mural that often featured Dennis Rodman’s distinct hair color of choice. This mural caused so many motorists to brake, that traffic jams stretched for miles, sometimes causing accidents. As traffic increased on the expressway, the mural had to be taken down, only to be brought back up after the Bulls clinched their fourth title.  Rodman and the Bulls built the brand from the ground up. They were exceptional at what they did, which was more than just play basketball. They had a level of authenticity that was inspirational. Who else had leopard print hair in the NBA in 1997? Who else starred in a little-known movie featuring Bugs Bunny and the other looney toons? Speaking of Space Jam, check out their website that hasn’t changed since 1996, in anticipation of the sequel coming in 2021. In marketing, the customer doesn’t care about the tools being utilized when interacting with a brand. They care about the experience. And that experience with the customer is what builds the brand. Falter with the experience, you’d just as easily lose your customer. Continue to progress with your organization’s brand, the more you’ll see your pipeline expand, which is exactly what Chicago Bulls Kid Nation leverages Oracle Eloqua to do for them -  deliver a constant and seamless customer experience, from when the parents first sign up their kids and input their information to when they get their first Kid Nation package in the mail. This experience is heightened, individualized, and customized making their brand of singular importance to their fans and members. The next time a youngster tries to tell you about an up-and-coming new player being drafted in the NBA, make sure you remind them of the greatest NBA franchise of all time. Want to learn more about Oracle CX Marketing? Find out more here.

When I introduce myself to new people, I make sure to include the phrase born and raised in Chicago as I’ve always felt pride in saying that. It acknowledges that I’ve grown up knowing what makes a...