How Oracle accelerated its internal marketing segmentation with Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform

November 15, 2021 | 5 minute read
Pramoda Vyasarao
Director, Customer Data Platform, Oracle Marketing Technology
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Oracle Unity Customer Data PlatformPersonalization is an increasingly popular buzzword in the world of the modern marketer. But there’s a good reason why this concept is at the forefront of successful organizations—customers expect it.

A recent study by Oracle found that 68% of consumers say personalized experiences are important to them. However, only 15% expect companies to actually deliver.

At the root of successful personalized experiences is customer data, and not only collecting it, but leveraging it effectively and at scale with a customer data platform. So, when 84% of organizations say they lack the right data platform, according to a report by Accenture, it’s no surprise that customers feel many organizations are falling short of personalization expectations.

At Oracle, we thrive on providing our customers with powerful technology to help them serve their own customers better through exceptional data-driven experiences. And to serve our customers in the best way possible, we too turn the lens on our own internal processes to assess our effectiveness and areas of improvement. We call this philosophy and practice Oracle@Oracle.

We recently evaluated our internal customer data technology and processes, notably our marketing segmentation tools, and decided it was time to evolve.

Let me share with you how we transformed our internal customer data and marketing segmentation by migrating to the Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform, including the challenges and ultimate success in the quest to become a better data-driven marketing organization. Transitioning to Oracle Unity for marketing segmentation is just the first step. In subsequent phases of this transition, Oracle Marketing will leverage rich and extensive data management features available in the Oracle Unity SaaS platform to provide a connected view of customer data via real-time data ingestion and predictive intelligence capabilities.

Oracle customer data platform (CDP) migration summary

Timeframe: Approximately seven months

Challenge: Migrate from an on-premises segmentation tool, which required custom integration and burdensome administration, to a more efficient cloud technology.

Previous technology: On-premises segmentation tool built on top of Oracle Endeca

Upgraded to: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) and Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform

Outcome: Access to customer data for segmentation within minutes vs. days, same-day segmentation activation vs. three to four business days, less administrative burden, and more productive marketing and martech teams

Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform

Before the upgrade: the team, tools, and challenges

The Oracle martech team spearheads the technology stack and implementation of internal marketing systems. The team is responsible for unifying customer data across digital, physical, and third-party sources, as well as making it available for more than 1,000 internal marketing users for segmentation and audience analysis. We use several products from the Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience suite to power data-driven marketing at scale and provide a holistic customer view to make informed decisions.

In late 2020, we decided to replace our on-premises segmentation tool, which was built on top of Oracle Endeca. Over time, the management of custom integrations, data ingestion, and indexing became a Herculean task. We needed an alternative that would require less administrative burden for the martech team and meet the marketing team’s business need for robust customer segmentation.

Enter Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform.

The solution: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform

In early 2021, The martech team began migrating all marketing systems and applications to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Unity.

Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform gathers customer signals and applies them to the customer profile in real time, providing marketers with the most up-to-date information about customers at every moment. It has a powerful and intuitive user interface that enables marketers to quickly build target segments and analyze the audience reach for upcoming campaigns.

Oracle Unity’s extensible data model opened new possibilities connect data from disparate sources—like marketing, sales, finance, machine learning intent signals, and third-party purchased data—into one unified data platform. It also includes pre-built native integration with Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience products, and there’s no custom code required, as these SaaS applications connect via out-of-the-box REST APIs.

To kick off the migration project, we first set up a 90-day proof of concept with two business units. From January to March 2021, we selected users from our marketing demand center to test Oracle segmentation features. Partnering with Oracle Unity product management teams accelerated this journey, and we added new features that are typically required for B2B use cases. We also involved regional marketing managers to gather their feedback on the user experience, including the customer segment activation flow.

Lessons learned and results

More than 600 users are already on the Oracle Unity platform, building target segments and activating them for programmatic ABM advertising and email campaigns.

Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform has provided marketers with access to customer data for segmentation in a few minutes vs. a few days, as well as same-day segment activation vs. 3-4 business days. Additionally, our martech team’s resources are now freed from the administrative burden of infrastructure overhead and custom integration.

The migration to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform allows our internal teams to be more productive and serve our customers better, and we’re looking forward to more to come!

Benefits for the martech team

  • With a SaaS product, there’s no infrastructure overhead
  • No custom integration development effort
  • Ease of data ingestion and consolidation

Benefits for marketers

  • Faster access to customer data for segmentation (a few minutes vs. days)
  • Segment activation (same day vs. three-to-four business days)
  • Well-documented resources and helpful training videos

This is just the beginning of a transformational journey using our own Oracle technology. In subsequent phases of this transition, we’re looking forward to connecting external data sources to Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform using real-time streaming capability, as well as leveraging rich and extensive data management features in the Oracle Unity SaaS platform to provide a connected view of customer data via real-time data ingestion and predictive intelligence capabilities.

Get to know Oracle Marketing suite of solutions

Learn more about how we’re using Oracle Marketing and other Oracle technologies to improve the customer experience with these resources:

To learn more about Oracle Unity Customer Data Platform:

Pramoda Vyasarao

Director, Customer Data Platform, Oracle Marketing Technology

Pramoda Vyasarao leads the data architecture and integration strategy for the Marketing Technology group at Oracle.


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