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The Modern Marketing Blog covers the latest in marketing strategy, technology, and innovation.

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Cross Channel Marketing

How Ads Keep Generating Revenue After Campaign Ends

By Michael Anderson, data scientist, Oracle Data Cloud Let’s say that after three months of running an ad campaign, it finally comes to a close. The numbers are in, the ads stopped running, and your targeted audience is no longer seeing your brand as part of that campaign. Logic would say that an unfortunate side effect of a campaign ending is that revenue for the campaign ends, too. Our data science team is here to show you how the revenue generated by an advertising campaign does not end with that campaign. In fact, 53% of a typical campaign’s value is derived from additional consumer spending up to 12 months after a digital campaign ends. How can this be? We’ll walk through our research, which includes some stats that might surprise even the most experienced marketer. In the January 1978 issue of the Harvard Business Review, Nariman K. Dhalla paints advertising as an inherently long-term investment—marketers have known this forever. Dhalla writes, “Sales revenue is not generated immediately in a lump sum”—rather, it “flows like a stream over time.” With that in mind, let’s explore why data is the key to unlocking the potential of that statement. What’s Lift Got to Do with It? In marketing terms, we define “lift” as the increase in sales in response to an ad campaign.   An ad campaign generates lift in two ways—a lift in sales or a lift in penetration. Penetration lift during a campaign is derived from new buyers or existing buyers purchasing “out of cycle,” that is, after the campaign has ended.   Often, sales lift is used as a primary key performance indicator (KPI), but this view alone can underestimate the full effect of penetration lift on sales. Additional value is accrued when the change in behavior driven by the ad continues into the future, long after the campaign has run its course. Any additional increase in sales during months 2-12 after that campaign ends is referred to as “long-term value.” Long-term value (LTV) contributes significantly to the value of a campaign. Because LTV is defined by continuous consumer spending over time and is independent of additional ad spend, it can have a substantial impact on Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). How Data Can Help Marketers Understand Long-Term Value It’s true that brand loyalty decays exponentially over time—that’s a straightforward concept. Here’s what I mean:   For an advertising example, let’s say the rate of decay is 0.7. This means that 70% of the buyers from an ad campaign will buy the advertised product again in the future, then 70% of those two-time buyers will buy for the third time, and so on. This process continues until the effect of repeat buyers is negligible (in this example, after 12 months, only 1.3% of buyers will purchase again). To model this behavior, Oracle Data Cloud uses a Markov model on past-purchase data to estimate two decay curves: 1.    The first curve estimates how ad-inspired/incremental buyers will buy in the year following the campaign. 2.    The second curve estimates how those households will buy if they did not see the ad. Long-term value is calculated as the difference between those two estimated curves. (Get more in-depth with Markov chains in the below video). In our study, we selected 107 campaigns since the implementation of long-term value measurement in early 2017 and compared short-term vs. long-term value estimates. We discovered these three key results: The full impact of long-term value is dependent on many factors, such as the purchase frequency of a product and brand loyalty. A shorter purchase cycle means more opportunities for repeat sales, and brand loyalty increases the chances that the consumer will choose your brand again. Advertising is positioned to influence both of these factors by reminding the customer to use your product often and by building brand loyalty. To learn more about how your ads can drive long-term revenue, contact us on the Data Hotline. Michael Anderson is a data scientist at Oracle Data Cloud, focusing on using data to create actionable insights and best practices for the ad-tech industry.

By Michael Anderson, data scientist, Oracle Data Cloud Let’s say that after three months of running an ad campaign, it finally comes to a close. The numbers are in, the ads stopped running, and your...

Cross Channel Marketing

How Organizations Can Get Ready for the New Virtual Reality

Recently, leaders at an Australian telecommunications company lamented about the high cost of bringing together some 6,000 employees for an annual training event. Suchin Venkataram, director, Oracle Insight, proposed an immersive alternative: “I suggested they include virtual reality in their training,” he says. “Employees could get the same, or better, training and at less expense than flying everyone to one place.” Only a few years ago, that suggestion might have seemed like the stuff of science fiction. Now, several trends—including declining costs of headsets, improving bandwidth, and cloud computing—are converging to make it feasible for organizations to create and deliver immersive digital experiences that solve real-world problems. Though it’s still in its early days, virtual reality (VR) technology is gaining traction in nearly every industry, including ecommerce, healthcare, travel, real estate, and manufacturing. Global VR revenue is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of nearly 55%, according to a recent report by Orbis Research. Meanwhile, organizations are exploring, prototyping, and implementing VR technology aimed at improving customer engagement, patient outcomes, employee training, product development, risk management, and more. “I think this is the moment in history of virtual reality where it is changing gears from being a consumer product to an important technology for enterprise,” says Venkataram, adding that organizations should be open to exploring the possibilities of VR without losing sight of the practicalities. “There has to be a clear benefit, such as driving revenue, or a specific problem that it solves, whether it’s a customer problem or a business problem.” Immersing Customers, Driving Sales Certainly, one area where VR holds great promise is in commerce. Merchants have begun using VR and augmented reality to improve the online shopping experience, create deeper emotional connections, and give customers a better feel for what they’re buying in a virtual environment. The upshot: better sales and customer loyalty, and fewer returns. Among many early adopters, Wayfair uses augmented reality to help customers explore how furniture will look in a room. Alibaba’s “Buy +” lets shoppers wander virtual aisles in computer-generated department stores. Payscout’s first-to-market VR transaction processing is turning virtual experiences into real revenue. Online car dealers are beginning to offer virtual test drives, and luxury tour operators are giving customers the opportunity to preview high-end travel destinations. Real estate firm Sotheby’s even offers the option of 3D tours and virtual reality tours. Improving Prototypes and Training While virtual commerce has the potential to bring a new technology dimension to buying experiences, companies are also looking at how it can drive efficiencies, reduce costs, and improve employee safety and outcomes. In fact, the Orbis Research study indicates that education and training are on track to see the greatest share of VR revenue, reaching $2.2 billion by 2023. Consider the challenge of training an employee on a complicated piece of equipment, says Ruchir Kalra, senior director, Oracle Insight. With VR, “companies can create a digital twin of this physical machine that mimics the exact physical specifications,” he says. The benefits are lower costs, more comprehensive first-person training and, ultimately, better safety. Product development is another area rich with opportunity for VR. “If I am developing a new aircraft model, for example, VR prototyping makes it possible to change the design without having to do a physical prototype every time,” says Kalra. “That saves on direct costs and, more importantly, reduces the development timeline.” Giving Virtual Medicine a Whole New Meaning Meanwhile, VR has huge implications for healthcare—think surgeon training in VR—and mental health. VR systems are helping people with post-traumatic stress disorder “relearn” how they think about traumatic events, and researchers are looking to VR as a solution for diagnosing and treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). In yet another example, VR is being used to help amputees develop the muscles and motor skills they’ll need to use prosthetic limbs, and VR is giving them the opportunity to practice using the limbs in myriad scenarios. The user benefit: patients are ready to use their prosthetics sooner and with more confidence. The Building Blocks for VR The possibilities for VR seem endless, to be sure. That said, it’s important for organizations to think about how VR applications will integrate with the rest of their operations. Merchants looking to VR to create better ecommerce experiences, for example, will need to think about how to make built-in transactions in virtual shopping malls and other virtual apps seamless for users. Similarly, companies exploring VR for other areas, such as product development, need to think about how it fits into the bigger picture of the organization. “The big question is how to link it back to the core operations,” says Kalra. Meanwhile, VR raises still other issues tied to data: how to manage it, how to analyze it and, in some cases, how to think about customer privacy in the virtual world, to name a few. “As applications become more and more complex, the magnitude of data required to do all of these things only increases,” he says. While the cost of headsets for VR experiences has come down considerably—to the point that they may soon be as ubiquitous as mobile phones—the personalized nature of VR still presents the problem of how to make certain applications, headsets or otherwise, mainstream. That doesn’t mean organizations shouldn’t be thinking about and experimenting with what’s possible. “Maybe it is something that is non-mission critical today,” Kalra notes “but it could have far-reaching implications tomorrow.”  

Recently, leaders at an Australian telecommunications company lamented about the high cost of bringing together some 6,000 employees for an annual training event. Suchin Venkataram, director, Oracle...

Email Marketing

The Real Bottom Line: Open Rate and Customer Engagement

As a marketing channel, email shows no signs of slowing down. Nearly 233 million of the world’s 3.7 billion email users are located in the US, and that number is expected to grow to nearly 255 million by the year 2020. It should come as no surprise then that over half of marketers plan to expand their budget for email in the same period to leverage this growing audience. But as email adoption increases and brands invest more in the space, traditional KPIs like opens and clicks are falling behind money generated per email as the key decision and strategy driver for larger marketers. This begs the question, what happens to deliverability when attention is solely on the bottom line? Performance Impact There is a perpetual concern in the email community that open rates are falling. Customers are receiving more and more mail—ignoring even messaging they’ve opted into—and subscriber fatigue is a real issue. Recently, email performance expert eDataSource analyzed “Back to School” email campaign performance YOY for 2017 and 2018, and noticed the same downward trend. Almost universally, email read (or open) rates underperformed from the year previously. This made me curious – was it increased fatigue generated by a specific type of campaign that individuals could easily ignore, or was there something larger at work here? Leveraging eDataSource I decided to pull performance across a few additional industries for the entire month of July in both 2017 and 2018 to compare.   Category MM/YY Inbox Rate Read/Open Rate Apparel & Accessories J-17 77.096 18.887 Apparel & Accessories J-18 84.987 17.654 Restaurants, Bars, & Food Service J-17 83.753 18.797 Restaurants, Bars, & Food Service J-18 89.963 18.021 Sporting Goods J-17 77.896 18.174 Sporting Goods J-18 84.440 17.652 It’s Time to Refocus The results were certainly interesting and confirm what others in the space are seeing. While Inbox rates did go up, open rates dipped across the board. Combined with numerous industry studies, a larger picture is starting to emerge here. Customers are receiving more mail, marketers are focusing more on monetary returns per campaign, and a deliverability impact is coming. The importance of open rates cannot be understated. This is a key indicator to ISPs that an individual actually *wants*to receive and engage with a brand’s messaging. It sends a direct signal to the ISP to deliver this mail to the inbox. Essentially, the higher the open rate, the lower the spam rate, the better deliverability is likely to be overall. Not to mention the fact that a customer can’t spend money on an offer they never receive or look at in the first place. It is critical that marketers don’t lose sight of traditional engagement metrics in their efforts to capitalize on returns. Standard best practices should always apply. Leverage a double opt-in, always apply engagement-based segmentation and cease mailing to customers who opt out or do not re-engage. These are the building blocks to ensure campaigns continue to deliver functionally to the inbox. Email marketers, also make sure to read 'Tis the Season for Holiday Planning (Now!) from Kenna Hilburn, Director of Account Development at Liveclicker. She has four tips, to highly engaging email campaigns your customers will love. 

As a marketing channel, email shows no signs of slowing down. Nearly 233 million of the world’s 3.7 billion email users are located in the US, and that number is expected to grow to nearly 255...

Oracle Marketing Cloud

Oracle Named a Leader in Gartner Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management 2018

In a recent report, Gartner evaluated 14 different vendors on their ability to manage the processes associated with CRM Lead Management and Oracle is honored to be named a ‘Leader’ in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management 2018. If you aren’t already aware, our focus is to provide solutions for marketing and sales teams that give them the competitive edge needed to engage buyers with the most relevant customer experiences, at the most opportune times – to close sales faster and increase customer lifetime value. With today’s fast-evolving technologies, organizations of all sizes are transforming how they do business to engage prospects and customers. Oracle Eloqua is aggressively advancing our current offerings through recent releases including our new email editor, new landing page editor, dashboard analytics reporting, sales enablement tools, and enhanced user-friendly native integrations with CRM platforms. And we aren’t stopping there. Oracle is committed to continually innovating our products and services to meet the increasingly complex, sophisticated 1:1 adaptive customer experiences that drive interest, engagement, and increased revenue as buyer preferences and requirements shift. From an execution standpoint, one of the things I’m really excited about is our approach to data and the way our approach helps create a truly connected and adaptive customer experience. Without the right data pulled from the most relevant real-time customer interactions, delivering a timely connected experience across the customer lifecycle is just not possible. As a result, we have worked tirelessly with some of the most innovative companies in MarTech to deliver easy to deploy, marketer-friendly integrations for our customers that help them connect their data across multiple internal and external sources and channels for more insight into the interests and preferences of their customers.    Gartner noted in their report, “Based on its high value provided to sales organizations, the lead management market is anticipated to grow further in the upcoming years…Growing collaboration between marketing and sales teams is the significant factor boosting this demand.” And in recent years, we’ve seen sales and marketing leaders take a “better together” approach to ensure the best acquisition, nurturing and communication strategies for their prospects and customers. Siloed approaches from these teams have traditionally produced broken experiences and irrelevant conversations that decreased interest, but that doesn’t have to happen anymore. The most progressive marketing teams provide their sales counterparts with the most pertinent intelligence and insights into each buyer’s behavior and interests within the environments where they are most comfortable working, so they are knowledgeable and prepared for their 1:1 conversations.  We are very excited about Gartner’s recognition of Oracle as a ‘Leader’ for CRM Lead Management. We feel that our continued performance in this report shows our strong commitment to innovation in the marketing industry, and a continual drive to execute on our vision in the fast-paced, ever-changing world of marketing and customer experience (CX) technologies.  Want to learn more? Download Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management report. You can also contact us to learn more about how Oracle Marketing Cloud can help you reach your sales and revenue goals with engaging, connected customer experiences. Note: This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner's research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

In a recent report, Gartner evaluated 14 different vendors on their ability to manage the processes associated with CRM Lead Management and Oracle is honored to be named a ‘Leader’ in Gartner’s Magic...

Customer Experience

Marketing in the Age of the Connected Customer Experience - 3 Questions Marketers Must Answer

1. Every vendor claims to provide a data-driven marketing solution. What’s changed in the marketing landscape, and how can you stay competitive?  Within the last decade, marketing has evolved to become one of the most data-driven professions anywhere. Savvy marketers are championing rich data as the foundation to executing personalization at scale. Personalizing the customer experience is the key to delivering higher ROI from your marketing investments, and building lasting relationships with your customers. So, with the need for scalable personalization, and with a dynamic marketplace, what would be the best strategy for building the most useful and competitive marketing automation solution?   The key starting point to building great, data-driven marketing campaigns is having access to the right data to understand and target your customers. A Data Management Platform (DMP) is one of the first pieces to consider adding to your toolkit. DMPs provide the means to conduct audience targeting and data unification, while simultaneously delivering audience insights and analytics. 91% of marketers have or plan to adopt a DMP to enable a unified view of the customer.  However, marketers shouldn’t stop there. They also need data strategies that transcend data silos and connect online, offline, 1st, 2ndand 3rdparty data to accurately select their audiences. Bringing all this data together is a big challenge. Oracle is leading the way to solving these issues through its acquisitions and integrations of DataLogix, BlueKai, and Moat. The Oracle Data Cloud makes it possible for marketers to leverage Oracle’s comprehensive data strategy in order to deliver personalization at scale to their customers. While many other companies offer DMP capabilities, it’s important to know how complete their views of the customer really are. A limited view of customer data only enables limited personalization. Several DMP solutions in the market focus on only online data and lack data ownership capabilities, providing a partial and often inconsistent view of the customer.  Marketing leaders will benefit greatly by investing in a comprehensive data strategy.  Building marketing campaigns that include segmentation, targeting and customer analytics effectively enable a rich, singular view of the customer through data, helping to deliver the highly personalized customer experiences demanded by today’s consumers. 2. Customer journeys have changed. They are now infinitely unpredictable. Since marketing solutions need to manage the entire customer journey, what is mission critical, and how can I get this right?  Customers switch channels effortlessly as they skip around sites and devices, double back and pause – each person taking their own unique path to purchase. Accenture revealed that 78% of customers receive a fragmented experience as they move from channel-to-channel. Among the biggest culprits are marketing technologies that specialize on providing a great experience on one channel, but fail to deliver that same high-quality experience across other channels of engagement. To address this challenge head-on, marketers need to leverage cross-channel orchestration tools that manage customer interactions across multiple channels such as email, SMS, MMS, push notification, in-app messages, display ads, web and mobile web campaigns. Only with the right tools can a marketer deliver the richest, most personalized experience across the widest variety of engagement channels.  Picking the right vendor to enable high-quality and consistent cross-channel engagement requires examining several factors: Is cross-channel orchestration a key strength of the vendor?  Can the vendor continue to support your growth as you scale your campaigns?  Does their product roadmap continue to invest in cross-channel orchestration as a key capability?  Does the vendor have a reputation for supporting customers and working with them closely to strategize and solve problems?   Oracle Responsys has long been recognized as a leader in the market for cross-channel orchestration tools. It has a history of innovation and a roadmap looking towards the future to stay ahead of the need to reach customers with highly personalized interactions at scale across the important channels of engagement. Aside from a history of producing great technologies, Responsys also has the service and support to ensure you are successful in building winning customer engagements that serve your customer with the right answer on any device, any time and every time.  3. Is your organization prepared for the expanding role of the CMO?  Traditionally, CMOs have primarily been tasked with brand-building as their key metric of success. But today, that picture has changed as more than 70% of CEOs now hold CMOs accountable for top line revenue growth. For CMOs to keep their job, they must think more broadly about customer acquisition, cross-sell and upsell opportunities, and increase the lifetime value of each and every customer. Putting the customer at the center of the marketing focus and building superior end-to-end customer experiences is now a table stakes requirement for being a successful CMO. The good news, according to Gartner, is that the CMO is well positioned and uniquely qualified to own and drive strategy around the customer experience. The marketer has the holistic purview of the brand-to-consumer, and brand-to-prospect relationship, more so than anyone else in the organization. Building high-quality customer experiences is the new marketing currency to win and retain customers. In this never-ending challenge to own and improve the customer experience, marketing, and other business units must adapt their processes, practices, and technology to connect marketing, sales, services and loyalty programs.  Oracle’s Customer Experience platform is a trusted partner in helping organizations deliver a seamless, high-quality, experience for every customer as they move on their journey from a prospect to a customer to a vocal supporter. In business transformation, customer experience is the new battlefront. Does your company have the right weapons? Deliver a seamless customer experience across a multichannel landscape with our helpful guides.  

1. Every vendor claims to provide a data-driven marketing solution. What’s changed in the marketing landscape, and how can you stay competitive?  Within the last decade, marketing has evolved to become...

Marketing Automation

Why do Marketers Switch Marketing Automation Solutions?

(It’s Because Their Needs Outgrow System Capabilities) When speaking with leading enterprise marketers who chose to re-platform, many expressed the need to change their marketing automation system due to issues with vendor support, price, performance, scalability and sometimes their own ability (or inability) to work with IT. Looking at the underlying issues we found, you can see several factors with the following anonymized quotes which led to the decision to switch: “The business grew ten-fold in the last few years and the volume of customer interactions grew even more. A new marketing system was needed that could scale with the business.” “Once the volume of customer interactions increased, the prior system started to have slow performance. For example, when analyzing huge data sets, queries could take a long time. Marketers don’t want to sacrifice system performance for scale.” “The system reached its limits to deliver more complex or higher scale campaigns. Many vendors have solutions which are perfectly suited for small to medium-sized organizations. But when marketing demands grow to be enterprise-class, their systems failed to keep up with our needs.” Switching to a new marketing automation solution can be a sizable commitment of money and effort. Many marketers feel reluctant to invest in an enterprise-class solution for fear of paying for features they don’t believe they currently need. However, with today’s cloud solutions and consumption-based pricing, marketers need only pay for the features they use, making it easier for marketers to justify an upgrade in technology and purchase solutions which can scale with their needs. Bait-and-switch Features Marketers who moved to Oracle Marketing Cloud solutions from other systems, often complain that their previous vendor did not deliver the features and functionality that was initially shown in the sales demo or disclosed in the RFP. Some marketing vendors offer alternate versions (on-premise and cloud) of their marketing automation software with varying capabilities.   Frequently a sales team will present the best features and capabilities that exist across both versions. After the purchase, the marketers are left with partial solutions which they felt could do one thing but lack many of the features of what they really need to be successful. Be careful of these bait and switch tactics and only buy from a trusted vendor who can deliver on their promises set in the sales cycle.  Hidden Fees Hidden fees are usually the talk of the town in the cell-phone industry.  So, we were really surprised to hear of customers encountering hidden fees after purchasing a marketing automation solution.  Some marketers found that after purchasing a new solution, key features they require to be successful actually cost extra. These fees can add up and in many cases can justify the expenditure of switching to a new vendor just to avoid the long-term costs.  At Oracle Marketing Cloud, with our one price model, we have made the purchasing decision for marketing clients even easier, by providing simpler, flexible and transparent prices. To learn more, click here. 

(It’s Because Their Needs Outgrow System Capabilities) When speaking with leading enterprise marketers who chose to re-platform, many expressed the need to change their marketing automation system due...

Cross Channel Marketing

Personalization at Scale for B2C Companies

It’s become common knowledge among marketers that personalized marketing provides higher ROI and directly benefits consumers in the form of better engagement and more personal brand relationships. Therefore, smart marketers are constantly investing and pushing to make their marketing more personalized. Yet, these same seemingly smart marketers are making a dumb mistake – forgetting to focus on the underlying fundamentals which are the key enablers of good marketing personalization. In a Harvard Business Review article, Mark Ariker et al. described the importance of integrating three key factors to developing a learning ecosystem for high quality, scalable personalization. They called this the 3Ds – data discovery, decision making, and content distribution. These three must be integrated to deliver on the promise of personalization.  This practical approach is how the Oracle Marketing Cloud helps to bring these capabilities together.  The 3D Approach to Personalization at Scale  Data Discovery covers the process of “sourcing and combining traditional and behavioral data to uncover meaningful insights about customers.” Data discovery is often underutilized due to how challenging it can be to coax meaningful insights from a wide range of disparate data. Oracle’s Data Management Cloud uses the Oracle ID Graph to unify data across multiple online and offline channels to easily develop a singular and holistic view of the customer.  Decision Making can be automated with AI as long as there is a source of high-quality data and the advanced analytic capabilities to recognize and utilize patterns, behaviors, and preferences. Oracle built its reputation on providing easy access to the highest quality data. Oracle’s Data Management Cloud, in conjunction with the analytical models from the Oracle Responsys platform, provides marketers with the data and analytics needed to scale up and deliver high-quality personalization.  Content Distribution is the next concern for a marketer once you’ve sourced the scalable data and powerful analytics required for personalization.  Today, content distribution seems to be only about getting the right piece of content to the right person. Yet this is insufficient to live up to the expectations of today’s consumer. In addition to the right content to the right person, distribution capabilities must also include delivery on the right channel and at the right time. With Responsys’s advanced content distribution capabilities, marketers can create hyper-targeted, consumer-centric, digital orchestrations for any consumer across any device in real-time.  Marketers are facing real challenges today in scaling up their personalization, delivering better, richer experiences for their customers while creating higher ROI for themselves. The 3D framework provided by the HBR can provide a useful approach to understanding how to tackle the key areas which may be limiting your ability to scale personalization today. Oracle’s solutions can help in each of these critical path areas, providing better data inputs, more advanced and automated decision making, and seamless engagement across channels.  To find out how Oracle Responsys can deliver the right experience for you, click here.

It’s become common knowledge among marketers that personalized marketing provides higher ROI and directly benefits consumers in the form of better engagement and more personal brand relationships....

Data-Driven Marketing

The World of Data Management According to Paul Sonderreger

Get the lowdown on the new European data privacy regulations—which by the way reverberate far beyond the European Union—on this edition of the OracleNext podcast. Data expert Paul Sonderegger riffs on how the data handling framework, rolling out this year, could impact consumers—whose information is being collected—and the companies wanting to parse that information. Sonderegger, Oracle’s chief data strategist, who is interviewed by veteran journalists  Michael Hickins and Barbara Darrow, also talks about: How the move to cloud computing is complicating how data is collected, stored, and managed. How the F. Scott Fitzgerald test might be a better gauge of true artificial intelligence (AI) than the more commonly applied Turing test.  And how the aforementioned GDPR regulations, now rolling out in Europe, could shift the balance of power between the people whose behavior is being observed and the companies that are observing that behavior. It’s a great chat, so sit back and enjoy. And please tune back in to hear more from Hickins, Darrow, and their guests on the OracleNext Iconoclasts series. For more from Sonderreger, check out his Quartz story on the F. Scott Fitzgerald test as well as his blog post about common misconceptions about data disruption.

Get the lowdown on the new European data privacy regulations—which by the way reverberate far beyond the European Union—on this edition of the OracleNext podcast. Data expert Paul Sonderegger riffs on...

Interactive Content Marketing: Taking Personalized Marketing to the Next Level

Dear marketer, let me ask you a simple question: Which CTA would compel you to click? I’m sure you said you’d click on the right side of the page, just like we would. If so, why does your webpage still look like the image on the left? Nearly 74 percent of online consumers get frustrated with websites when the content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) has nothing to do with their interests. Even if the content adds value, it lacks a personal touch and gets lost in the vast arena of content available on the internet. You surely understand personalization, but don’t know how to correctly leverage it and stand out from the competition. Well, you’re not alone. Sixty percent of marketers struggle to personalize content in real time, yet 77 percent believe real-time personalization is crucial. The solution? Inbound marketing coupled with personalization is the way to go. Why? We'll elaborate. To begin with let’s talk about something that everyone does. A consumer visits an ecommerce website, searches for a product, and looks at the options. Based on their shopping history, the site automatically serves up highly personalized product recommendations. But, do they click? And do they buy more products than they would have if they’d been left to their own devices? Yes. According to the data, ecommerce websites that have a product recommendation feature saw a 4.6x increase in conversion rate, 24 percent add-to-cart rate increase, a 26 percent lift in revenue share and average order value increase of 10.3 percent. That’s the power of personalized marketing. Now imagine another scenario. Your visitors come to your site and see a quick quiz that asks, “Which Jeans are the Best Match for your Personality?” or one that says, “Which Quirky Shirt Should you Buy Today?” In under 90 seconds, the quiz will recommend a product from your website – it’s like talking to your visitors about their needs without actually having to talk to them. Now, that’s the power of interactive content marketing. And why does this work, you may ask? Well, interactive content takes personalization to the next level as it asks visitors to self-identify relevant information. This makes them believe your brand cares and makes them less reluctant to part with their email address. Thus, interactive content also makes for a great lead generation tool. In fact, some brands have generated upwards of 50K leads through a single interactive marketing campaign! What’s more? Since interactive experiences present the shoppers with a definitive answer and instant gratification, they’re more likely to come back and do business with you. This increases brand loyalty. Use Cases Let’s understand the various forms of interactive content you can use to make your marketing campaigns more personalized. Quizzes — Imagine there are two real estate firms - A and B. Firm A’s website talks about their services, offers customer testimonials, and provides contact details. Firm B’s website has an embedded quiz.   This quiz seems highly personalized as it asks visitors the most relevant questions (e.g., how important is it that you live in a specific neighborhood? etc) while engaging them and saving them the trouble of doing lengthy research work. Based on the responses, it recommends whether they should buy a house or rent one. Which real estate firm do you think will get more leads? We say, Firm B. Quizzes are known to get you up to 4X more leads. Brooklyn Bicycle Co.’s quiz “Which bike is right for me?” asks shoppers three simple questions, has a lead generation form right before the results, and gives its own product recommendations as outcomes. With the outcome, it adds a CTA to shop that product. Pro Tip: You can create effective quizzes for any industry or product line. Travel agency – What exotic destinations are top bucket-list locales for you (i.e. newlyweds, young professionals, Virgos, etc.)? Fitness trainer or gym – Yoga or extreme fitness: What exercise format will get you in top form? Low carbs or low fat: What diet best suits your lifestyle? University or educational institution – What major will have the greatest impact on your financial health? This idea spreadsheet can help you get started with generating quiz ideas for your business. Calculators — Just like they did with the quiz, Firm B could also embed a calculator on their website.    Their calculator gives detailed estimates backed by logic and shows a graphical representation of the results. Calculators are a great way to crunch numbers for your clients and add a quantitative value to generic questions. When you do that, we’ve seen click through rates go up to 66 percent.  Pro tip: Again, you can make a calculator for any industry and any purpose. For instance, create a calculator to help prospective students budget for college; help digital marketers plan spend levels for advertising; or help businesses estimate the cost of legal services. Polls and Surveys — Polls and surveys make participants feel like their opinions matter. If you can capture this psychological hack, you can pave the way to a goldmine of leads. They also help you get insights into the demographics of your prospects. Pro tip: Make a poll that connects your brand to trending topics. This results in higher engagement rates. For instance, this poll was one of The New York Times’ most successful stories in 2016. Make a survey for getting a product feedback or create one before launching a new product line or feature to find out more about the requirements of your audience. Getting the Drift? Interactive content is like talking to your visitors about their needs. Ask yourself. When you visit a website, would you like something like this or would you like to be slapped with random offers? I rest my case. 

Dear marketer, let me ask you a simple question: Which CTA would compel you to click? I’m sure you said you’d click on the right side of the page, just like we would. If so, why does your webpage still...

Cross Channel Marketing

To Successfully Personalize Marketing Communications Across Mobile Devices, Brands Need To Do This

Today, more than 2 billion smartphones are in use globally and continue to become an integral part of people’s daily life. The proliferation of mobile devices that consumers use on a daily basis creates an enormous challenge for marketers trying to orchestrate a seamless cross-channel customer experience. When consumers reach out, marketers need to be adaptive and create the best possible experience. Winning and retaining the customer is a challenging puzzle that brands are trying to solve. In a perfect world, marketers could have a 360-degree profile that accounts for a full spectrum of customer behaviors and data. Conversations with customers would be influenced by the context of all previous conversations, allowing for the best possible customer experience.   However, to accomplish this type of high-value customer relationship from a technology perspective, brands need to marry anonymous with known customer profiles and make sure they are consistent across each touch point.  Connect Identities Across Disparate Marketing Channels Mobile can fit seamlessly within the broader overall marketing strategy through a connected approach.  In order to successfully personalize marketing communications across mobile devices, brands need to target the customer and device through device identifiers and a large data network.  Marketers have valuable data inside of their CRM, email marketing and marketing automation tools from their proprietary marketing platform that they can pull together to connect identities across disparate marketing channels and devices to one customer. This is done by seamlessly pulling together the many IDs across marketing channels and devices that comprise of a given person, enabling marketers to tie their interactions to an actionable customer profile.   Get Better Cross-Channel Orchestration Mobile can no longer be considered as a separate platform, but rather as the glue that ties other parts of the customer experience together. Mobile marketing needs to have a foundation in unified data and behavior. By having a consolidated view of their customers, marketers can access all of their marketing data to build and refine key target audiences for numerous campaign scenarios. Through integrations with media providers, marketers can deliver paid media, search, social and display advertising to those customers that’s more aligned with the emails sent to those customers. Marketers need an adaptive marketing platform that recognizes customer behavior, preferences and interests that evolves instantly based on those factors. This is done through marketing orchestration.  When done correctly, experiences are not only determined based on binary forks in the road, such as whether someone purchased a product or opened a push notification. The experience adapts based on the totality of behaviors the customer might perform, such as engagement with specific content or activities that happen offline.  Join us at Mobile World Congress to hear about how the Oracle Marketing Cloud powers the customer experience for global brands. Swing by our booth to speak with one of our marketing experts and see how marketers can easily create engagement, connect relevant data, and orchestrate individual experiences with the Oracle Marketing Cloud. 

Today, more than 2 billion smartphones are in use globally and continue to become an integral part of people’s daily life. The proliferation of mobile devices that consumers use on a daily basis...

Email Marketing

A Tale of Two Sweaters: Why Segmentation Alone Isn’t Enough

Every retailer knows that customer segmentation makes campaigns more effective. When you classify customers according to their interests and desires, it’s much easier to deliver content that speaks to them personally, creating a connection that builds long-term loyalty. On paper, segmentation looks like a straightforward way to turn subscribers into delighted customers. But segmentation does have its limits. When you’re dealing with one-time purchasers, market segments don’t tell you what customers will purchase next. They don’t make accurate predictions and can’t tell you why customers purchase certain items together. To understand those aspects of your customers’ preferences, you’ve got to look beyond segmentation, and implement advanced techniques. The Sweater Experiment Imagine you’re a clothing retailer and want to promote two new red sweaters this season – a men’s and a women’s. You’ve got an email list of 25,000 men and 25,000 women. Do you segment your next email campaign? If so, how? At first glance, the answer might seem obvious: If you don’t segment your list, and instead send a promo for the women’s sweater to all 50,000 subscribers, hypothetically you might only get about 50 percent opens, 50 percent clicks, and 50 percent purchases. If you send a promo for the women’s sweater only to female subscribers, on the other hand, you’ll get a significant boost: a potential 100 percent opens, clicks, and purchases. While this might look like a major improvement, it comes with risks. Some of your male subscribers might’ve been interested in buying the women’s sweater for their girlfriends and sisters, but you’ve missed your chance to sell to them. And what about your female subscribers who already bought that sweater? You sent an unengaging email to them, when you could’ve shown a new item they might actually have been interested in. For all these reasons, segmentation alone isn’t enough for effective email personalization. Stepping Beyond Segmentation As our sweater scenario demonstrates, the core limitation of segmentation is that its improvements are often just smoke and mirrors. A metric like a “50 percent lift in clicks” sounds concrete and comforting – but it doesn’t tell you anything about missed opportunities for even more lucrative cross-sells and upsells, or about which products your customers might want to buy next. Segmentation has its advantages, of course. It’s helpful for personalizing emails, which protects your emails from getting sent to spam. Email content aligned with each subscriber’s interests also helps safeguard against unsubscribes, reducing subscriber churn. But to really connect with your customers, you’ve got to look beyond segments. Even within a given customer segment, each customer is on their own personal journey, interacting with your brand across a unique sequence of touchpoints — email included. That means to really connect with your customers where they are, you’ve got to start mapping those journeys and addressing each stage with tailored content. When you understand where each customer is on their individual journey, and which products will meet them where they are, you’ll be able to predict what a customer wants even before they know it themselves. And by guiding customers through a personalized series of product discoveries, you can lead them to new areas of interest that can significantly raise your margins, while driving stronger customer loyalty.

Every retailer knows that customer segmentation makes campaigns more effective. When you classify customers according to their interests and desires, it’s much easier to deliver content that speaks to...

Cross Channel Marketing

How to Speed up Your Cart Recovery, Increase Sales & Revenue

Getting a visitor to add a product to their shopping cart isn’t enough. Statistically, 77 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before the sale is completed. Savvy marketers don’t count those sales as an immediate loss because they know it is now possible to recoup 10 percent to 30 percent of those sales. But why are carts abandoned? Are there common practices for re-engaging those customers? How can you improve your current practices and increase sales and ROI? Reasons for Abandonment Respondents to a recent survey shared their reasons for abandoning a transaction before purchase: Shipping and handling costs were too high (54%). I was not ready to purchase the product (40%). I wanted to compare prices on other sites (38%). No free shipping (39%). Slow shipping (26%). Long checkout process (21%). Bad site navigation (16%). All these sales could have been saved if the companies visited were using re-engagement campaigns, also known as retargeting or remarketing. Remarketing takes several forms, such as internal remarketing ads, external ads, and triggered follow-up email from systems, such as Oracle Eloqua or Oracle Responsys. Why Speed Matters Typically, data integrations sync every four to 24 hours. Waiting hours to send a cart recovery email is less effective than taking immediate action. Also, when a prospect is on your website, and you can’t leverage the data within your analytics and marketing automation solutions to make a better experience, you’re missing out on an opportunity to connect with your prospect. In a recent A/B test, two groups were sent identical cart or application recovery emails. One group received the email immediately upon abandonment, while the other was sent 24 hours later. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of immediate action. The email sent right away saw a 46 percent increase in open rates and a 30 percent increase in recovered cart sales. A Better and Faster Way After five years of working on Adobe Analytics, Eloqua and Responsys integrations (formerly Omniture Genesis) that synced data every 24 hours, Enautics was approached by Oracle to build the official replacement for their slower integrations. The first thing we addressed with the Adobe and Oracle engineering teams was speed. To solve the problem of cart abandonment, we created SegmentSync, a web application that bi-directionally syncs data between Adobe Analytics and Eloqua or Responsys as often as every 30 minutes. That means that abandoned cart reminder emails will land in the abandoner inbox within 30 minutes of an incomplete application or shopping cart purchase, greatly increasing the chances of recovering the sale. Let’s Look at the Math If a B2B online purchase has an average order size of $1,000 and 10 people start a purchase per day, your company could expect at least seven cart abandonments a day (remembering that 77 percent abandonment statistic). That’s about 210 abandoners per month. By emailing them 24 hours after they abandon, you can expect up to 20 percent to be recovered. 210 x 20% = 42 x $1,000 will generate $42,000 in recovered orders. Sending a recovery email to the prospects within 30 minutes could mean saving 30% of the 210 abandoners. This will increase overall sales to $63,000 per month (210 x 30% = 63 x $1,000). You would be generating an additional $21,000 per month by sending the recovery email much faster. Speed = Sales It’s clear from the data that the key to recovered sales from cart or application abandonment is speed. Without doubt, prospects in the solution comparison or product consideration stage are more likely to purchase when reminded of their abandonment within 30 minutes. Click here to learn more about integrating Adobe Analytics and Eloqua or Responsys. And read this guide to discover Five Ways Marketing Can Drive Higher Online Commerce Revenue.  

Getting a visitor to add a product to their shopping cart isn’t enough. Statistically, 77 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before the sale is completed. Savvy marketers don’t count...

Customer Experience

Picking Up the Pieces: How Companies Rebuild Brands Post-Crisis

Every company makes mistakes every now and then. It’s inevitable. Whether it’s a marketing campaign that falls flat and generates backlash, a serious collapse in services or a faulty product, it’s bound to happen sometime. Careful vigilance will prevent many of these disasters before they explode, but eventually one will get through and everything will go wrong. And once crisis strikes, no matter how you’ve defined and cultivated your image over time, confidence in the brand is going to take a hit. It doesn’t last forever, however, and it’s certainly possible for a brand to fully recover from such a crisis. Being able to recover from a brand crisis or a public relations disaster requires distinct actions in three phases. It helps to have an active reputation management system working before the crisis itself, it requires a measured response in the immediate aftermath of a crisis, and it depends on a longer-term strategy afterward for the recovery. You should take the crisis seriously and make an effort to honestly and transparently listen to customers and respond. For the long-term strategy after the crisis you need to be patient and careful about going back to marketing-as-usual, and you need to take real action in the long-term to prevent similar crises. Some companies even consider re-branding entirely, although this may look suspicious to consumers if it attracts attention, and it has the potential to backfire.  It might help to look at a few examples of how companies have handled this recovery for better or for worse. Takata Airbags and Automakers When something serious goes wrong with one brand, it can have dramatic effects not just on confidence in that brand but on all brands that are linked to it. The Takata airbag recall is the biggest car recall in U.S. history, and it involves airbags in vehicles from 19 different automakers. These airbags have the potential to malfunction in the event of a collision and explode upon inflation, shooting deadly shrapnel around the inside of the vehicle. In the United States at least 15 deaths have been linked to Takata airbags as well as hundreds of injuries. The recall is still ongoing, meaning that many of these cars are still on the road. The problem is that there are so many airbags that Takata and automakers are not able to rapidly provide fixes. For car companies including GM, Mazda, Toyota, Fiat Chrysler and more, however, this is a dangerous brand crisis that came about through no obvious fault of their own. But compared to these auto-makers, Takata is a relatively unknown brand that consumers will rarely interact with directly. Takata may have a long way to go to win back confidence from car manufacturers, but those car manufacturers will also have their hands full rebuilding their brands with upset consumers. In a crisis like an automotive recall, the recovery from the brand crisis depends a lot on the immediate response. Some automakers are getting little to no press attention on their brand and have had few or no reported accidents so far that can be linked to them. For them, dealing quietly and effectively with the recall and then waiting for the media coverage to pass is the best thing they can do. For the car companies getting more attention, however, their image depends on the quality and speed of the recall and their service to affected customers. This isn’t going well so far for many of the car companies, which may make for a long recovery and a drop in sales and loyalty, at least among affected customers. Chipotle and the E. Coli Outbreak Popular Tex-Mex restaurant chain was hit by a serious string of E. coli and norovirus outbreaks in 2015 in locations across the United States, producing a serious drop in confidence in the brand. After many locations closed and customers in seven states reported getting sick after eating Chipotle, Chipotle’s sales dropped 14.6 percent and its income dropped 44 percent in the final quarter of 2015. This outbreak became a serious issue for the Chipotle brand because of how widespread media coverage of the issue was, and because the problem seemed to clash so directly with Chipotle’s existing brand identity. The quality and integrity of the ingredients of their food has always been one of the core values in Chipotle’s marketing, from the ethical sourcing to the way the food is prepared. This led to an even greater drop in consumer confidence after the crisis, and it created more media interest and thus widespread coverage. In the wake of the crisis, Chipotle temporarily closed many restaurants and put some operations on hold. They returned to business as usual by December 2015, but largely kept their heads down in marketing and public statements. Several months after it was over, they closed Chipotles across the country for a morning of training and planning. That event, plus an open letter to the public from the CEO, marked Chipotle’s attempt to begin moving forward and leaving the crisis behind them. Not only did the letter accept responsibility for the food safety failure, but it promised a wide range of specific measures they were taking to improve food safety. After these statements and actions addressing the crisis, Chipotle almost immediately started a new marketing blitz to encourage customers to return to Chipotle, including promotions for free entrees. Several years after the crisis, Chipotle has now fully recovered and restored their brand to what it was before without falling into another disaster since. Restoring brand reputation starts with rebuilding trust. There is nothing more important than creating exceptional customer experience to help rebuild trust and build a strong brand reputation. Download Customer Experience Simplified: Deliver The Experience Your Customers Want to learn how to craft an outstanding experience for your customers​.  

Every company makes mistakes every now and then. It’s inevitable. Whether it’s a marketing campaign that falls flat and generates backlash, a serious collapse in services or a faulty product, it’s...

Customer Experience

Great Customer Experiences Rely on Robust Identity Management

This is article is part of our series on customer experience where we focus on topics relating to connecting data, intelligence and experiences. Further reading: Segmentation Must Be Connected to the Data and Technology Stack. With an ever-growing demand from consumers for personalized engagement, it is becoming increasingly important that marketers and customer experience professionals appreciate the importance of identity management as a piece of bedrock infrastructure. Knowing who your customers are is an essential part of ensuring they are provided with highly personalized and appropriate messaging in a way that works best for them. Put simply, without effective identity management, there is no people-based marketing. In fact identity management is the foundational component of concepts like cross-device identification, multi and omnichannel marketing, and the all-important single customer view. These days customer management, marketing and advertising technologies rely on successful identity management to enable application integration and power segmentation. But What is Identity Management? It is a descriptive term that means the ability to link identifiers to a single person or household. Those identifiers could be a customer ID, marketing channel, a database key or a device ID such as mobile phone or web browser. For brands to execute a consistent customer experience strategy, they need technology that understands and measures how consumers interact with their messaging. For instance, they need to identify that a customer has visited their website, opened an email, had a service incident or gone into the store. And to deliver personalized experiences across any channel, brands need technology that can uniquely identify each user and their personal profile. In these use cases, professionals will be well served if they have some technical understanding of the issues. Targeting and Suppression There are two key improvements for a brand when they implement effective identity and access: better targeting and better suppression. Better targeting increases the ability to convert prospects because the brand can communicate with the person in more channels, such as connected digital direct channels including email and display retargeting. This ability to reach a person across more channels with the same brand message increases the opportunity to convert and capture a greater share of wallet. Conversely, the ability to suppress customers from acquisition strategies is a premise on which data management platform return on investment cases are built. Implementation of identity and access in paid media channels allows a brand to stop messaging to loyal customers or hot leads. So what might create identity and access management concerns at a technical level? Start With Your Technology Infrastructure Software-as-a-Service based marketing and advertising technology has revolutionized customer experience. However, often companies have multiple suppliers providing technology on-premise as well as in the cloud. Identities and access needs to be federated across all these environments within a trust fabric or you risk creating data ghettos housed inside isolated silos. Siddhartha Agarwal Vice President, Product Management & Strategy at Oracle, says, “Applications come with their own identities. It needs to be seamless and a very fast integration from one application to another (SaaS on on-premise).” To address this problem, Oracle created an integrated portfolio that provides the ability to drag and drop without coding. “This means companies can do things like build federated integrations between a CRM and a marketing application," says Agarwal. "This makes it very easy to do these integrations so that now you have your identities and access, federated in a consistent manner across the on-premise and cloud divide.” The problem - in terms of the customer's experience is that as each of these applications comes with their own identity, brand and risk offering, resulting in a disjointed experience as they do not have the full picture of the client relationship.  “Getting insight into user behavior is an important consideration and also needs to be connected to security systems. So if I see an inappropriate behavior I can step up authentication or turn off access via Multi Factor Authentication and User Entity Behavior Analytics. The outcome is a reduction in the time to detect and time to respond.” The reality is that information systems are complex. For the customer, this needs to be quick, easy and seamless. Therefore brands would have to manage identities across applications from multiple and often competing suppliers within a Unified Identity Trust Fabric. Want more? Download our free Guide to Advertising Accountability to learn how consistent identity management can help you improve marketing accountability, cut costs by reducing waste, and dramatically improve your ROI.

This is article is part of our series on customer experience where we focus on topics relating to connecting data, intelligence and experiences. Further reading: Segmentation Must Be Connected to the...

Content Marketing

Is Content Marketing Still Relevant In Today’s Marketing World?

Over the past 24 months, content marketing has swept over the digital marketing world. Brands have been encouraged to think and act like media companies, pushing out content at a prodigious pace. Content marketing has become the new marketing paradigm, pushing aside former marketing favorites such as search engine optimization (SEO). Understanding paradigm shifts in the marketing world In many ways, the success of content marketing was based on it being able to prove that “inbound marketing” was better than “outbound marketing.” In other words, posting new blog content, creating new podcast content, and developing new video content was a more cost-effective way to attract potential customers than simply covering the Internet with ads. Content marketing offered a fundamental choice of “pull” vs. “push.” Content marketers made the argument that it was more effective to “pull” a customer towards you than to “push” him or her into your arms with a bunch of ads. But something interesting has been going on recently. We may be witnessing another paradigm shift. That’s because the type of content that marketers are creating has shifted almost exclusively to video. Check out what any of the big social media platforms are up to these days, and it almost always involves video. Check out what types of branded content is showing up in your social feeds these days, and it’s usually video content. Of course, you could make the argument that this is still content marketing — it’s just that all the content is video content. From this perspective, it’s not so much that a new paradigm shift is going on, it’s more of an evolutionary step. Video content is better than visual content (i.e. photos), and visual content is better than text content (i.e. blog posts). In the Darwinian jungle of digital marketing, video marketing won the evolutionary battle for survival. Ideas on what comes next for digital marketing So which is it: Is content marketing and “inbound marketing” still relevant in today’s marketing world, or are there signs it is fading and changing in response to the new content environment in social media? One possible answer is that the role of brands in today’s digital world is shifting and evolving in very profound ways. Take the phenomenal success of the Amazon Echo, which is a new way to interact with consumers. First of all, instead of using a keyboard or mobile phone keypad, you’re using your voice. That’s new, right? And secondly, brands are racing to create “skills” for the Amazon Echo, like the ability to order a pizza while watching a baseball game. So maybe this is the new paradigm – brands are more like invisible tools that remain in the background of your daily digital life, waiting to be activated at the sound of your voice. Or, here’s another idea: maybe brands are evolving into a way to enhance your everyday “reality” using virtual reality, augmented reality and other forms of mixed reality. All of the activity around augmented reality would seem to suggest that the most forward-looking brands should be looking for ways to help people live better in reality. For example, shouldn’t big automakers be looking for ways to overlay augmented reality screens on windshields of cars? Shouldn’t big consumer brands be looking to create fun, mind-bending experiences using augmented or virtual reality? (Oh look, honey, there’s a big chocolate tree growing in our backyard! Let’s go buy some candy bars!) One thing is certain – it’s important for digital marketers to keep at least one eye on new trends that are bubbling up in the technology sector. Nothing stays the same for long. Just as adopting a “mobile-first” mentality took some getting used to, so will whatever comes next in the digital marketing world. Oracle’s Content Marketing has solutions to simplify the process of creating, distributing and promoting your content. Visit our website for more information.Also, make sure to read Larry Myler's, How Content Marketing is Evolving Heading into 2018 for top trends in content marketing and tips on how to stay ahead of the curve.  *This article originally appeared on Social Media HQ. 

Over the past 24 months, content marketing has swept over the digital marketing world. Brands have been encouraged to think and act like media companies, pushing out content at a prodigious...

Data-Driven Marketing

Do Marketers Really Want to be Data Scientists?

It is a challenging time to be a marketer. Consumers demand more personalised experiences than ever, and for marketers if feels like the customer's expectations just keep on rising. In such a complex business environment a sophisticated approach to data is the key to success. Increasingly, however, CMOs hear from software vendors, analysts, and the business press that it is not enough to be a great marketer these days. In an era of data-driven marketing, they now need to be a data scientist as well. It is worth asking, whether that is really true or even practical. Look around you at your peers in the marketing department. The reality is that your creative director needs more freedom to create. They don’t really need to program in Python or R. Likewise your field marketers do not need a technical specialist’s deep grasp of algorithmic concepts in order to put a qualified lead into the hands of the sales team. Swings and round-abouts We have been down this road before. Think back a few years when marketing technology really broke into mainstream business conversations. Marketers were told then they needed to be technologists who understood IT almost as well as they understood their own core disciplines. It didn’t happen because marketers and IT specialists started working in a collaborative fashion, each bringing their own unique expertise to the conversation. The IT department provides a robust infrastructure while marketers use the tools to ensure the right messages reach the right customers. And data scientists? They ask questions of the company’s data and run experiments to help Marketing maximise the effectiveness of their campaigns and understand the responsiveness of their audience. Marketers have always known that the better they understood their customers, the more tailored the experience and messaging they could provide. So what is compelling the closer relationship between marketing and data science? Changes in consumer behavior and the competitive landscape demand and technology have enabled, a shift from a waterfall approach to marketing where one campaign starts as another one ends, to a more agile campaigning. These always-on campaigns driven by programmatic technologies let brands adjust on the fly as the data informs them what is working and what is not. (These are the kinds of questions real data scientists are great at asking!). In this new method of marketing, brands look for the data they need to make a difference. That is the only data that should inform their marketing campaigns. Take an everyday example. Think about your favourite barista who sells you your coffee each morning. They may have read studies on the conversion rates with men over women, compared who has an IOS or Android phone, and they may even know your geolocation, your sex, and an estimate your age. But all of that is less relevant than the two most salient data points required to satisfy your needs as a customer -“What’s your name and what type of coffee do they drink!!”. In the rush to prove their data-driven credentials too many CMOs are actually making their own lives harder. Research last year by Capgemini and the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy called “From UX to CX: Rethinking the Digital User Experience as a Collaborative Exchange” clearly suggests that many brands are still trying to hoover up every piece of information they can gather without any regard for how it is used. Capgemini’s Senior Vice President & Global Practice Leader Digital Transformation, Didier Bonnet suggests too many brands are missing an essential point - consumers want simple value exchange - a good product (associated with nice, easy experience) in return for their custom. Marketers today can collect so much data on their audiences but the key is to focus on getting access to data you need. For instance, if you are in retail you don’t need all the transactional data, you may only need the last 5 transactions under 90 days old. Similarly, in financial services you don’t need all the call center data or branch data, you just need the last 3 activities over the past 60 days. So how might this play out in the real world? A financial services institution might, for instance, implement a simple approach with both new and returning customers where they inform them of their last five conversations across all channels.  That way the customer can see the last thing they did on the website, or a call they made to the call center, or what they did on their most recent visit to a branch. If the company can deliver that information in near real-time into the campaign platform for next interaction, or back to the call center or branch staff they will be better placed to meet the customer needs. Likewise, imagine the value to a salesperson in a retail store if they could see the last five interactions the shopper in front of them had with the brand. Marketing is made better and more effective when great data is sensibly applied to meet the needs of consumers. That doesn’t mean the CMO needs to be a data scientist. It just means they need to understand which data help them best understand what really matters to the customer. Download the Data Driven CMO to skillfully learn how to decipher, understand, and leverage the abundance of available data to engage with customers:

It is a challenging time to be a marketer. Consumers demand more personalised experiences than ever, and for marketers if feels like the customer's expectations just keep on rising. In such a complex...

Marketing Automation

Congratulations to the 2018 Markie Award Winners!

Celebrating a Magical Night Honoring Old and New Marketing and Commerce Legends Last week at Modern Customer Experience, we celebrated our 12th Annual Markie Awards. This year marked a significant turn in our awards ceremony, as we welcomed our Oracle Commerce customers to participate in the Markie Awards submissions and celebrate the successes of their peers across both commerce and marketing. It was a night to remember. Magician and performer Nigel Mead hosted the evening with fun and entertaining magical tricks and even turned our audience members into legendary magicians! Past Markie Award winners were also brought on stage to present awards along with Oracle executives.  And now…congratulations to our 2018 Markie Award winners: Account Based Marketing Team of the Year These teams have embraced an end-to-end view across the entire buyer journey and across all channels. They know their buyer profile, have created targeted campaigns that drive engagement and ROI and have created visibility into which accounts have the greatest propensity to buy and have implemented Account-Based Marketing (ABM) to target the right individuals and accounts to deliver personally relevant and well-timed messaging.   Best B2B Commerce Experience These data-driven Modern Commerce or Marketing professionals have proven ways to deliver personalized buying experiences for every B2B customer. They have provided their customers with relevant content, merchandising, personalized search, customized marketing programs, and tailored websites across all channels. At the same time, they enable self-service with custom catalogs, custom pricing and account-specific experiences. Best B2C Commerce Experience These data-driven Modern Commerce or Marketing professionals are delivering personalized buying experiences for every B2C customer, connecting the online experience to the in-store experience by exposing inventory availability and offering click and collect. This award recognizes the supremely enlightened organization that truly gets the power of personally engaging consistently delightful, and seamlessly integrated experiences where the customer runs the show. Best Digital Marketing Ecosystem These organizations are taking advantage of digital marketing integration to enhance processes or improve analytics. They have created an integrated ecosystem with CRM, third-party cloud apps, or other applications to automate, streamline, and enhance your marketing efforts and are often using APIs in interesting ways.   Best Email Marketing Campaign Email can be extraordinary. In fact, there are some email communications that are so well written, so masterfully designed, that it's only a question of when people will respond, not if. Achieving extraordinary response rates isn't luck – it's the result of great targeting, content, personalization and timing.     Best Emerging Company Marketing Campaign Doing more with less? These fast-growing, emerging companies of $100M in revenue or less have lean, mean, marketing teams that have executed masterful marketing campaigns using marketing automation to do the work of ten people. Best Integrated Mobile Experience For these organizations, mobile is the platform of choice for the majority of their ideal customers. As such they have created personalized experiences with messages and promotions optimized for mobile.     Best International Campaign The Best International Campaign award goes to a company with a successful marketing campaign outside the United States - in multiple countries in multiple languages, modification of a program originally created in the U.S. and re-launched in another country, or any variation in between.     Best Lead Management Program Winners in this category have a sophisticated lead management program that delivered measurable results. They demonstrate the use of lead scoring and deliver compelling results. In this award, people, process and technology all come into play.     Best Omni-Channel Marketing Program Winners in this category create personalized experiences with messages and promotions across web, social, mobile, email, display, or other digital channels to attract or retain their ideal customers.     Best Overall Customer Experience Every company says they are customer focused. But few actually deliver. This winner has created a customer retention or loyalty program that has successfully transformed their customers into fiercely loyal brand advocates. They have shifted their culture from consumer transactions to customer relationships to drive loyalty.     Best Social Campaign In this category, Social Media is more than just a buzz word. Winners have found creative ways to utilize both new and traditional social mediums in order to build sustained dialogs with customers and prospects, and have seized the opportunities available through social media to generate proven results.     Best Testing and Optimization These Marketers have optimized the online customer experience with testing, insights, and personalization. They have maximized revenue potential across web, mobile, social, apps, and other digital channels as a result and have taken the leap to multivariate sophistication. Nominees for this award have incorporated testing and optimization of their campaigns and programs to mitigate risk, drive better decisions, increase revenue, and improve the customer experience.     Best Use of Data The data-driven Modern Marketer targets and engages their ideal audience for specific business initiatives These finalists are successfully using data to target, personalize, measure and win. They are using data in innovative and strategic ways, and have seen their efforts pay off with improved customer experiences and ROI.     Best Use of Insights and ROI These Marketers are interpreting data for actionable recommendations that improve business results and customer experience. This award recognizes an organization that has moved beyond reporting (old methods of organizing data into informational summaries to monitor performance) towards analysis (new data and meaningful insights that improve performance).     Modern Marketing Leader of the Year Just as great people are the foundation for successful businesses, innovators are often the driving force behind exceptional marketing. These nominees are the passionate senior people that push their teams to succeed, lead decisive change, set the vision for the entire marketing organization and introduce innovative concepts.     Most Creative Marketing Campaign Sometimes all of the pieces align to create a fantastic marketing campaign – the perfect idea, the right target, the memorable artwork, the personalized follow-up, and of course, the measurable results.     Rapid Transformation Enabling a high-performance marketing culture isn’t always easy. For most organizations, it can take time to master the intricate blend of messaging, segmentation, data orchestration, organizational alignment and other disciplines. The Rapid Transformation award honors those who have successfully implemented any Oracle Marketing Cloud technology in the past year, for their superb planning, execution, and results.       People's Choice - Best Video This award honors the best video submission with a people’s choice award voted on by your peers. Winners in this category showed exceptional videos enhanced by creativity, humor or human-interest touches.   Congratulations to all our finalists, winners and thank you to everyone who submitted. Here is a highlight video capturing the magical night: We look forward to seeing you next year!

Celebrating a Magical Night Honoring Old and New Marketing and Commerce Legends Last week at Modern Customer Experience, we celebrated our 12th Annual Markie Awards. This year marked a significant turn...

Day Three From Oracle Modern Customer Experience

The final Day of Modern Customer Experience has come to a close, but not without an energy all its own. On this day, the keynotes focused on what happens when customer experience works: customer advocacy. “What are you going to do to turn them into raving fans?”- Catherine Blackmore First, Shashi Seth sat down with the CEO of Duel, Paul Archer, who talked about how trying to break world records with his friends turned into a lesson in customer advocacy and brand loyalty. Archer literally drove a cab from London to Australia (and further) to break the record for the longest taxi ride (of course). Along the journey, he picked up friends, fans, and sponsorship, that inspired him to create a company that mobilizes customer loyalty as a marketing engine. “Our dream is to reframe the way the people think about their customer and for every CMO to create a customer advocacy budget in every brand,” says Archer with an infectious passion for marketing and customer advocacy. Next, Oracle’s GVP of Customer Success, Catherine Blackmore, took to the stage to discuss the psychology of fandom and how that relates to customer advocacy. She brought up Fanatics’ VP of Fan Experience, Carolyne Matseshe-Crawford, who addressed how rethinking their brand and their customer experience has made fans out of fans. Since coming to the company in the summer of 2017, Matseshe-Crawford has driven a massive effort in creating brand loyalty and customer service that is something to talk about. “Fans are passionate about our brand, fans become a part of our team,” said Matseche-Crawford of Fanatics loyal customers.    To close the final keynotes, journalist and author of How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, an Epic Race, and the Birth of a Private Spaceflight, Julian Guthrie, took to the stage to share the story of a few men and women that laughed in the face of “impossible”. These brave trailblazers did “what you can’t” and built the first reusable rocket ship, pioneering the path to galactic tourism. Guthrie instilled a sense of possibility that marketers could take with them on the final day of Modern CX. Final sessions Oracle’s Austin Miller and Tony Castiglione hosted a B2C general session that focused on what AI technologies will allow marketers to master in this sector. “The goal at Oracle is to create data-driven, individualized CX,” said Castiglione, emphasizing that better data fuels improved CX in a cyclical manner. Ryan Deutsch from Oracle’s partner, Persado, discussed how his company is using machine learning to derive content that befits the individual customer. Deutsch then introduced, Justin Kurt and Sandra Taylor from Sears to chat about how they have implemented Oracle solutions at the company to activate “data-driven emotional responses”. Back in the Smarter CX theater in the Exhibition Hall, influencer and self-proclaimed millennial, Brian Fanzo hosted a session that touched on the “Millennial Mindset” and how generational collaboration will pave the path to future success. “It is not about the year you were born, but your ability to embrace change,” says Fanzo. An apt way to end a conference that has whole-heartedly delved into the evolving role of the marketer in the age of technology and exponentially rising customer expectations. We want to thank all the attendees, partners, sponsors, and Oracle employees who helped make this conference a #ModernCX to remember, we could not have done it without you. Can’t wait to see you all again next year! Day three keynote session is now available for you to view at your leisure. 

The final Day of Modern Customer Experience has come to a close, but not without an energy all its own. On this day, the keynotes focused on what happens when customer experience works:...

Day One from Oracle Modern Customer Experience 2018

Modern Customer Experience 2018 is officially underway in the great city of Chicago, home to the Cubs, deep-dish pizza and chilling winds sweeping across the Great Lakes (even in April!). Luckily for ModernCX attendees, the conference is taking place inside the expansive McCormick Place event center, so no down-jackets necessary. Day One of the conference was marked with a sense of determination and possibility. Starting with Head of CX Evangelism, Des Cahill’s keynote speech, which brought us a refreshingly candid take on the challenges marketers face, “We’re on a quest to break through the customer experience wall,” highlighting potential obstacles as chances for innovation. The keynote host, ever-charismatic influencer, Jay Baer, sat down with Comcast’s Charlie Herrin to discuss how he reimagined the telecommunication company’s experience environment positioning the customer at the center. Finally, YouTube sensation, Casey Neistat shared his unique journey that, dappled with its various obstacles and failures, taught him how to create his own success even in the face of “can’t”. His unorthodox marketing techniques can be summed up as such, “It was about selling the idea, not the product,” Each speaker brought their own brand of excitement, invention and forward-thinking to the stage. Following a well-attended opening reception, the Exhibit Experience space buzzed with energy as partner and sponsor booths came alive with opportunities for networking, product demos, prizes and fun. Everywhere one looked people were interacting with brands, from getting their photo taken with a Mack Truck to trying on VR goggles to connecting with representatives about their products. While the education sessions actually began yesterday, the widely attended General Sessions began today with The Evolving Role of B2B Marketing and The Transformation of Roles for CX Sales. The B2B Marketing session featured speakers from Cisco, Certain, LookbookHQ and Lattice, along with Oracle’s David Johnson and Pierre Custeau. The session focused on what technology and tactics B2B marketers can use to boost SQL’s, improve engagement and create health sales and marketing alignment. They also touched on how the proper and respectful use of data will create a closer bond with a customer. As the day’s hustle and bustle drew to a close, marketers from around the world and across industries dawned their red carpet attire for an evening of glitz and glam at the 12th Annual Markie Awards Ceremony. Over a decade old, the Markies were created to celebrate those whom have blazed a trail of excellence in data-driven marketing using Oracle solutions. Hosted by world-renowned magician, Nigel Mead, the evening glimmered with the astonishing and the miraculous both in marketing and slight-of-hand. The race for the coveted, golden Markie was tougher than ever this year, out of 266 outstanding submissions, 19 spectacularly, innovative stand-outs had to be painstakingly selected for Markie Awards. With Davide Alemani of Pirelli taking the top prize of Marketing Leader of the Year, other winners included: Morningstar, Covance and Cisco. Check out all the winners here. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists, your drive to push the boundaries of digital marketing is truly inspirational. And that was just Day One! Check back tomorrow for more exciting updates on this year’s Modern Customer Experience!  Day one keynote session is now available for you to view at your leisure.

Modern Customer Experience 2018 is officially underway in the great city of Chicago, home to the Cubs, deep-dish pizza and chilling winds sweeping across the Great Lakes (even in April!). Luckily for...

Data-Driven Marketing

Apply Big Data to Create Irresistible Customer Experiences

In 2013, research by Walker predicted that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the main differentiator. While most organizations and marketers have prioritized customer experience as top business priority for a few years now, they don’t always know how to get customer experience right. Marketers who are delivering optimal customer experience know that data is king. To truly understand your customer requires collecting, analyzing, understanding and using customer data to help deliver that personalized experiences to win customer loyalty. While big data and data analytics are a part of almost everything we as marketers do today, both are still overhyped and misunderstood. In our hyper-connected world, it’s amazing how disconnected our approaches to serving our customers has become. Many organizations have still not figured out how to create clean, powerful linked data assets. But big data alone does not solve problems. Rather, you need to have a problem to solve first. That is why so much data goes unused. You can’t just pick up the phone and buy big data analytics. That’s just not how it works. At Oracle, we’re leveraging big data technologies to enable marketers to use data more effectively to solve the challenges they have with improving the customer experience. We’ve leveraged the Hadoop ecosystem and built a platform specifically for the purposes of digital analytics and optimization. We call this marketing analytics platform Oracle Infinity™. Our new eBook, “Irresistible Customer Experiences” digs into how Oracle Infinity™ helps digital marketers leverage data to optimize customer experience in terms of these six key areas: Real time, All the Time: To satisfy the agile needs of the business, all data must be available in real time by default. Unlimited Scale and Flexibility: An analytics solution must be built from the ground up with big data technologies to handle the inevitable scale that Internet of Things (IoT) will demand. Individual Level intelligence: Oracle Infinity provides a unified and intuitive user experience to support completely different tasks, roles and people – making it easy to learn and manage. Accuracy at Scale: Analytics data must advance beyond approximate trends to an accurate source of digital performance that is trusted by the business for decision making Cross-Channel Insights: Collect and connect all customer brand engagement regardless of any connected device.  The ability to collect and connect all customer engagement data is key in transforming your marketing from a series of independent interactions with a “visitor” to a single conversation with an “individual.” Data activation and Openness: Analytics data should be open and available for easy extraction and integration into your marketing ecosystem. The eBook explains each of the above 6 areas in detail, providing relevant use cases for marketers and analysts, the current challenges with today’s technologies and how Oracle Infinity™ solves them. We’ve also outlined a set of questions that you may want to consider when researching digital analytics vendors. Click here to download your copy of the eBook “Irresistible Customer Experiences.” Want to learn more about how Oracle Infinity works? Join us at Modern Customer Experience 2018. Hear from Steve Earl and other Oracle executives and thought leaders at ModernCX. Here are all the Infinity Breakout Sessions at ModernCX: Optimizing Oracle Responsys Campaigns with Oracle Infinity Connect B2B Customer Experiences with Oracle Eloqua and Oracle Infinity An Introduction to Oracle Infinity: The Next-Gen Digital Analytics Solution Oracle Infinity In Action: How to Measure Your Marketing Performance The Top Questions every Marketer should ask their Analytics Team Oracle Infinity Live in Action Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018 here.

In 2013, research by Walker predicted that by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the main differentiator. While most organizations and marketers have prioritized customer...

Marketing Automation

How To Win The Markie Award

Honoring excellence in marketing since 2007, Oracle’s Markie Award is a recognized global pillar of success. Companies of all sizes share their most innovative and successful campaigns in Omni-Channel Marketing, Content Marketing, Social Marketing, Data Management & Advertising, Web Optimization, Marketing Innovation and Analytics. With over 600 entries each year, becoming a Markie finalist or winner isn’t easy. The Markie Awards recognize only the most innovative and successful marketing campaigns. Submissions take time and focus to prepare and competition is fierce. Each of the past 10 years, at least one of our clients consistently advance to the finals of the Markie Awards, and many have gone on to win. How do these award-winning companies design their Markie caliber projects? Here is the four step process we use to help our clients architect Markie award winning projects. 1. Defining Challenging Goals First, we spend time understanding exactly what our clients are striving for. We do this with the mutual understanding that a “challenger mindset” must be used to allow the team to come up with new innovations. We have found that in order to become a finalist and a winner, you have to go over and beyond the basics to be considered innovative and to get the judge’s attention. Basic or easy-to-achieve goals will not accomplish that. Setting a measurable, challenging goal is key to marketing success, which leads to an innovative Markie submission. Some of the challenging goals we’ve used recently are: Increasing mobile engagement by 5x Increasing new account acquisition by 50% Reducing unknown to known visitor ratios 500% Reducing customer effort Our Markie-winning client campaigns all start with a specific challenging goal that’s well beyond a simple sales increase, which can be clearly documented as genuinely innovative. 2. Defining Key Data Points Next, we help our clients define the data points needed to support the project and help achieve the goals established in step 1. We define the key data points. Then we ask, are these data points accessible within Eloqua or Responsys? Or do we need to conduct an integration within the customer’s TechStack to sync the data? In order to achieve challenging goals, we have found the need to sync data with the web analytics platform and Eloqua or Responsys. Doing so, properly, will open opportunities to build Markie caliber campaigns much easier. For example, we used our insights with Oracle and Adobe to share a data point that’s in Adobe but wasn’t in Eloqua. This now allows our customers to support a challenging goal of real-time, 1-to-1 website personalization that compliments an Eloqua email campaign. Knowing what data is available isn’t enough. Knowing how it supports the project is key. 3. Experience Making - Knock Their Socks Off! Now that the client has key data points to support their goals, the next step we use is a concept called “Experience Making”. Experience Making is the ability to design customer experiences in a predictable manner by leveraging a harmonious integration between Oracle Marketing Cloud, the web analytics solution, and the tag manager. We have seen customer experiences go from needs improvement to exceptional. Having the right data gives clients the ability to craft better experiences and becoming Experience Makers. Our approach is to help the client put themselves in the prospect or customer’s shoes and look for Deal Breakers. Deal Breakers are experiences that slow down or kill engagement and ultimately, deals. This is an essential step in effective Experience Making. Markie finalist and winners seek to build campaigns that are making things easier for the prospect or customer. 4. Measuring Impact - Before and After Documenting the results for a Markie submission is key. One example of this is how we helped a client reduce cart abandonment, increase campaign performance clarity and mobile engagement. We take a snapshot of the baselines of how things performed before the project. We include metrics such as, opens, clicks, emails sent, downloads, video engagement, webinar engagement, leads, orders, average order size, KPI conversion rates, etc. This is so we can clearly show, in the Markie submission, what impact the new project has had by doing a Before and After side-by-side comparison. Our successful Markie submissions have come from companies that set challenging goals, identify key data points, become experience makers, and clearly measure the impact of their efforts. Follow this proven model and maybe you too will win a Markie. Good luck! ---- Dion Jones, is VP, Consulting & Multi-Solution Architect at Enautics, and knows exactly what it takes. Enautics is a specialist integration partner with Oracle Marketing Cloud and Adobe Experience Cloud. They have developed a suite of solutions to harness and expand the “Experience Maker” capability of Oracle and Adobe Marketing Cloud. Along with their products, Enautics provides consulting solutions for marketers striving for innovative success.   The Markie Awards will take place on Tuesday April 10th at the Modern Customer Experience event. Make sure to check out the complete list of finalists for this year’s Markie Awards on the Markie website and also on this blog. Still have not registered for ModernCX? There is still time. Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018 here.

Honoring excellence in marketing since 2007, Oracle’s Markie Award is a recognized global pillar of success. Companies of all sizes share their most innovative and successful campaigns in Omni-Channel...

Email Marketing

How to Convert Consumers into Loyal Customers

Customers are a business’ most valuable asset, which is why they spend a lot of money to acquire new ones and work hard to retain the ones they have. This is especially true in the saturated retail industry where there is lots of competition to capture consumer’s attention. Here is where email marketing comes into play. This marketing tactic has an ROI of 3800 percent, making it a top method for retailers to improve customer conversion. Retailers work relentlessly for that initial purchase, with carefully timed emails, curated content and maintaining the right frequency of communication, but what happens after the retailer succeeds and that customer makes that long-awaited first purchase? How are retailers working to retain customers and maintain a loyal customer base? With these questions in mind, we decided to find out how top retailers are performing when it comes to email, and start mapping out industry best practices. Our new “2018 Email Marketing Study: How 100 of the Top Retailers Engage Shoppers in the First 45 Days and Beyond” study evaluated 100 retailers from the Internet Retailer Top 500 list and acquired every email each of these retailers sent to email subscribers who have never purchased a product from July to December 2017. For this study, purchases were made from every retailer and every email sent was collected, as first-time buyers, for the first 45 days after a purchase was made, from November to December 2017. The resulting report analyzes communication tactics between a “purchaser” and a “non-purchaser” email received during this time to determine how retailers interacted with the two audiences. The report also looked at how retailers were performing in other key areas such as Email Frequency, Content and Catalog Exposure. Below are a few key insights from our report: 62 percent of the time, retailers sent the exact same email on the same day to the purchaser and non-purchaser, and only 26 percent of all emails were unique to the purchaser, despite having clickstream and purchase data to leverage. Wayfair scored highest among all retailers because they personalized a majority of their email, with 71 percent of the emails sent to the purchaser being unique to them. When it comes to the Purchaser Experience, Levi’s was the exception, with more than 75 percent of the emails sent to the purchaser being unique. Only 8 percent of the emails matched a non-purchaser email sent on the same day. Of the 100 retailers evaluated, Williams-Sonoma had the highest average email sends per day at 3.14. Pottery Barn, The Shopping Channel and Victoria's Secret sent two emails a day more than 90 percent of the time. With more than 60 percent of respondents sending the same exact email to a purchaser and non-purchaser, it’s clear that retailers are not engaging customers through throughout their journey, but instead, providing a generic, one-size-fits-all experience. In order to not only acquire, but retain a loyalty customer base, brands need to offer personalized content in their emails, whether it’s the first time or the tenth time they’ve engaged with your brand. To learn more about personalization trends in the retail industry, check out Get Personal and Keep Them Coming Back guide to find out why 68 percent of retailers agree that investment in driving personalized experiences is a priority. 

Customers are a business’ most valuable asset, which is why they spend a lot of money to acquire new ones and work hard to retain the ones they have. This is especially true in the saturated...

Marketing Automation

Forget The Hype And Really Understand What AI Can Do For You

  Technology is transforming marketing faster than ever before. Add AI to the mix and marketers experience another layer of complexity. But according to the latest research, marketers who successfully adopt and adapt artificial intelligence into their digital marketing strategy will most certainly rise above the rest. eMarketer recently published a report, Artificial Intelligence for Marketers in 2018: Finding Value Beyond the Hype. Their research highlights benefits of brands who have already implemented AI. But before looking at the data, let's look at what falls under the umbrella of artificial intelligence. Consulting firm McKinsey & Company defines AI under eight categories: Natural Language Processing (NLP) Natural Language Generation (NLG) Speech Recognition Machine Learning Decision Management Virtual Agents (chatbots, etc.) Robotics Process Automation Computer Vision So what kind of advantages have organizations experienced since implementing AI? eMarketer reports: The overall benefits are encouraging. To dive even further into real-world applications of AI, eMarketer found that retail marketers are using this technology to craft a better customer experience across the board. While this data is promising for organizations to see, the question some grapple with is, where do we start? eMarketer shares some solid advice to those looking to incorporate AI into their business efforts. I think the best advice the research revealed is to forget the "hype" and really understand what AI can do for your brand. Allen Nance, Global CMO of Emarsys, suggests asking questions like: What data sets can we use to inform AI systems? Who will develop the algorithm? Will we have on-staff data scientists? Show me how it will change my role and my organization? While AI is in a growth stage, it is clear to see it will be one of the most important investments marketers can make for the future. And as you can see from the data, many have already started down that path. Is your organization ready? For practical tips on how to bring AI into your marketing, don't miss Adaptive Intelligence: Practical Tips for Bringing AI into Your Marketing from David Gutelius, CEO of Motiva AI, a machine learning company dedicated to adaptive customer experience and an Oracle partner. Also, don't miss Bloomberg Daybreak Asia's podcast: AI Can be Harnessed to Change World of Marketing featuring Shashi Seth, our Senior VP of Products, Oracle Marketing Cloud.  

  Technology is transforming marketing faster than ever before. Add AI to the mix and marketers experience another layer of complexity. But according to the latest research, marketers who successfully...

Modern Marketing Resources

Tips for the Right Marketer Mindset in 2018

The new media environment is here. Or really, it’s been here long enough already that we should be used to it by now. The one constant in the marketing world of the 21st century, however, is change. In this rapidly changing technological and social environment there are new pitfalls and problems appearing every day to challenge us and force us to rethink the way we do marketing. If you’re not careful you can slip into a certain way of thinking that will lead you into some serious misstep. Follow these keys for your marketing plan and approach this year and make a difference for your brand. Learn to be Objective, Listen to Others As you cultivate your marketing mindset this year and start to brainstorm ideas for your 2018 plan, hold yourself accountable and make sure you listen to others around you. We all like to think we’re objective and that we know best how to deal with our field, our product and our audience. The truth is that everyone is fallible, and often our irrational love for our own ideas doesn’t necessarily prove the quality of those ideas. In this constantly changing media environment, a little bit of humility and careful consideration before moving forward with an idea goes a long way. Every week or two another ad campaign majorly flops or inspires significant negative publicity, and in hindsight, the problems are so clear! One example from last year was the Pepsi ad that tried to comment on political divisions and Black Lives Matter protests. Failures like these could be avoided by simply making time to vet projects more extensively, opening them up to criticism before they’re aired to the public. The brainchild project you’re so proud of isn’t always going to be perfect – but you won’t know that unless you listen to people around you. And in what some call the “post-truth” era, there’s more and more distrust and questioning of statements and claims out there. Think twice before you stretch the truth, and set yourself apart as a brand by seeking objectivity. Invest in Training and Skill Development “Every day there’s something new that changes the whole field,” says Rich Newsome, attorney and co-founder of Newsome Melton Law. “If you don’t have someone already working on figuring out how to use it, you’re behind.” New technologies and practices are being developed every day to match the proliferation of new media platforms and avenues for marketing. It’s your job as a marketer to stay on top of these developments, to be a “change manager.” That means not only being aware of latest advances in the field, but investing the time and staff to be able to take advantage of them. A Capgemini Consulting study in 2017 revealed that 70% of companies in the U.S. and 55% worldwide observed a widening talent gap when it comes to new digital technologies and the ability to take advantage of them. Continuing education for you and your staff to close that gap has to be a priority. Make time for developing new skills. Your brand will suffer if you don’t. Let Your Brand Be Genuine Customers buying into brands today need their brand to have a personality, to represent something. One large study in 2015 showed that 91% of consumers internationally expect businesses to act responsibly and keep external interests in mind. A full 84% say they choose products from responsible, pro-social companies when possible. Gone is the era where brands could stay out of all public conversations and get by with nothing but silly, gimmicky ads. People have values and beliefs and they want to see that your company has those too. It doesn’t need to be anything controversial, and it’s safer if it’s not, but you have to somehow humanize your brand. The most important thing to keep in mind here, however, is the importance of sincerity. If your attempt to show some sort of value or corporate responsibility is just empty posturing, audiences will see right through it and it will backfire. Let the social values of your brand come from the brand and the company itself. Smart consumers will pick up on that authenticity, and that will draw them in to your brand better than anything else. Time to Multi-Task If you really want to connect to your customers in 2018, you need to engage them at multiple levels. Effective marketing now means you have no choice but to work across many platforms at once. Don’t neglect your social media presence, but also don’t forget the value of video advertising across platforms like YouTube and Netflix. And that doesn’t mean you can ignore more traditional advertising media either. The most important thing is to know your audience. Know who your potential customers are and be able to effectively target them. Follow their lead and go where they go. You have to be consistent and disciplined in your multi-platform approach so that customers don’t drop through the cracks. For more tips, tools, and hacks to make your life as a marketer easier- join us at Modern Customer Experience 2018. ModernCX’s Modern Marketing track offers more than 200 expert-led sessions geared to equip you with new skills you can immediately apply to your work. Register for Modern Customer Experience 2018 here.

The new media environment is here. Or really, it’s been here long enough already that we should be used to it by now. The one constant in the marketing world of the 21st century, however, is change....

Marketing Automation

Building the Foundation of Digital Marketing Success

Welcome to the first installment of Makers of Modern Marketing at Oracle! A brand new blog series featuring interviews with the creators, architects and risk-takers behind marketing at Oracle. This series gives readers a peek into how marketers inside Oracle are applying our own products (“drinking our own champagne” as some might say) to drive innovation and build the future of digital marketing. We are starting off with a bang as we sit down with Patrick McGavock, Senior Director- Marketing Systems of Global Marketing Operations to chat about the constantly evolving sphere of marketing automation, the current and future states of data and what it takes to be a powerful modern marketer. McGavock came to Oracle about 14 years ago with the PeopleSoft acquisition in 2004 (though it doesn’t seem so long, he admits). Since then, he has been instrumental in building out the infrastructure and very foundation upon which much of Oracle Marketing Cloud operates. McGavock spends his days managing business analysts and marketing ops specialists around the world to maintain, advance and improve the capabilities that allow his team to oversee the systems that support thousands of events and tens of thousands of digital campaigns globally each year. And, on top of all that, this lifelong drummer (and former member of the PeopleSoft house band The Raving Daves) is teaching his two young daughters to play the drums like his favorite drummer John Bonham, or at least, as well as Dad. Convenient Acquisitions In late fall of 2012, McGavock and his team were looking into third-party marketing automation and began evaluating Eloqua and Marketo as prime candidates. “Eloqua came out way ahead for our use cases and for our set-up,” says McGavock, but then, “right in the middle of that was when they announced the acquisition!” With the tricky negotiations out of the way, McGavock and team immediately set about the construction of an entirely new marketing automation ecosystem, laying the foundational infrastructure for the tool we know today. The team worked at remarkable speed and pushed out the first campaign in just three months, unheard of in a corporation the size of Oracle. In the following years this foundation was intricately fleshed out, “it works well today and it allows us to do what we need to do…We're always tweaking it and there's always room for improvement,” says McGavock.    Garbage In, Garbage Out Data is at the root of everything we do, but not all data is created equal. At Oracle, we like to say that “data is in our DNA,” but what does that really mean? For McGavock, it means creating a well thought-out marketing automation ecosystem that has been optimally designed to support set business goals, “making sure you have the processes in place to be able to collect and manage the data efficiently and effectively.” He cites an age old marketing adage, “garbage in, garbage out”, that rings just as true today when applied to machine learning as it did in the early days of direct marketing. Machines will only learn what we provide for them, so marketers must set up an environment of success from the start or else what gets processed will never yield quality results, “if you feed the machine garbage, the result is more garbage,” says McGavock. Marketers must be cognizant of the quality of the data that they use, “It’s understanding the right KPI’s to focus on, with so much data available, sometimes people lose sight of the basics.” In the end, no matter how much fancy, new technology you have access to, nor how many incredibly minute data points you can measure, the success of your technology investment hinges on foundational marketing automation that is directed, digestible and actionable.    This is ever more relevant with the rise of real-time decision making and dynamic lead scoring across channels. From the internal data warehouse to 3rd party providers, there are a number of different real-time data sources to digest/manage, “we want to make sure we are able to understand and act, as people are researching or looking into particular subjects or solutions, that we want to take advantage of and make sure that the prospects have the information they need.” At the same time, however, Oracle adheres to strict data privacy and security protocols that vary across globe, going above and beyond to treat customers with the utmost respect when it comes to how their data is leveraged. “If you're worried about losing your job because of machine learning, then you're just not thinking about it right.” Machine Learning and Job Security AI and machine learning are at the forefront of every marketer’s mind these days. On one hand, it opens up an array of possibilities and offers a glimpse into what the future holds, but on the other hand, many of us are left with the creeping feeling that our jobs might be filled by computers. Perhaps McGavock can offer us some piece of mind with his admittedly “jaded” perspective on the robotic take-over: “If you're worried about losing your job because of machine learning, then you're just not thinking about it right…there should be plenty of other things that you need to be participating in or could be driving around the systems, processes and data necessary to support machine learning programs… There's still a lot of heavy lifting that has to happen.” This does not discredit the importance of machine learning, however. McGavock explains that nearly all Oracle lead scoring these days is being run by machine learning globally. And many more use cases are being built as we speak, “I think it's probably going to become more of a commodity where people will be able to use machine learning tactics without having a super deep knowledge of statistics.” There are seemingly boundless possibilities, so prioritization is crucial to investing time and capital into the technologies that will prove most beneficial to ROI. McGavock again emphasizes the need for data scientists, there needs to be someone who can look at data critically and on an individualized basis to pull the story from data, that is where the bottom line lies.    Be Inquisitive, Tenacious and Accountable Despite his many accomplishments as a marketer within and without Oracle, McGavock remains humble in his knowledge of the marketing space, “I kind of get a little nervous if somebody comes in and they are like, ‘I've got all the answers,’ because I have been doing this for a while and I learn something new every day.” In any organization, but especially one the size of Oracle, one must be self-driven and go after the solutions oneself, “It's a big company, trying to get something accomplished. Nobody is going to really care about it if you don't care about it.” And finally, harkening back to his own humble nature, McGavock says, “It's hard sometimes to say ‘oh we screwed up’ or ‘we could have done that better,’ but it's also kind of empowering because you don't get a lot of that.” The ability to own up to one’s mistakes, then to turn around and begin the search for the right solution on one’s own, is what brings all these qualities together to create an honest, effective, driven digital marketer.  “We don't lack for tools, essentially, so that makes it exciting!” Drinking Our Own Champagne Other than being able to ride his bike to work every day, one of McGavock’s favorite aspects about working with Oracle is that his marketing team actually gets to utilize “all the great tools we have in our toolbox”. From Oracle Marketing Cloud products, as well as, Oracle Data Cloud and everything else under the Oracle umbrella, marketers at Oracle are not constrained in terms of “access to that software, hardware technology… we don't lack for tools, essentially, so that makes it kind of exciting!” This means that Oracle marketers know the technology inside and out—they know how to wield it for unique needs, maximize on all capabilities, predict challenges and solve issues with greater agility. On a personal level, this means McGavock gets to work with products, like Oracle Eloqua, that he helped cultivate from its earliest stages at Oracle. He gets the unique joy of watching the fruits of his labor grow and challenge him in new ways—sipping on a healthy draught of his own champagne. Looking to structure your digital marketing environment?  Download our free eGuide Transforming Marketing Technology. We partnered with Digital Doughnut to bring you a new framework to guide you through a successful deployment of your marketing technology.  

Welcome to the first installment of Makers of Modern Marketing at Oracle! A brand new blog series featuring interviews with the creators, architects and risk-takers behind marketing at Oracle. This...

Oracle

Integrated Cloud Applications & Platform Services