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The Big and Small ‘T’ In Digital Marketing Transformation

Much is said and written about digital marketing transformation by marketers, technologists, analysts and organizations of varying shapes and sizes. Multiple definitions exist of the term such as that given by Altimeter Group:

The re-alignment of, or new investment in, technology and business models to more effectively engage digital consumers at every touchpoint in the customer experience lifecycle.

Or “Smart Insights who defined it as:

A staged programme of business improvements to People, Process and Tools used for integrated digital marketing to maximize the potential business contribution of digital technology and media.

Whilst definitions vary there is consistency in them addressing the factors of change: people, processes, data and technology. Often discussion on this topic focuses on what we call the big ‘T’ in Digital Transformation which relates to the more established domain of business transformation but in the context of the pace of digital change. Less has been written on what we call the small ‘t’ in digital marketing transformation which I define as the, “incremental improvements in an organization’s digital marketing efforts driven by the adoption of particular technologies that significantly impact the achievement of its goals.”

The key term of differentiation in this definition is "adoption of particular technologies." After advising over one hundred and fifty customers of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, it is clear that simply investing in a particular technology that has transformative potential is not enough. It often requires a change in the organizational model, a rethinking of processes and the up-skilling, hiring or outsourcing of the necessary people centered around the new capabilities that the technology unlocks. So rather than the generic considerations of business transformation, those who are successful in organizations to drive adoption and achieving ROI focus on these capabilities.

Examples include:

  • The enhanced personalization and relationship marketing at Vodafone Global Enterprise driven by the integration of social relationship management and marketing automation. Mike Cozens, Digital Experience Lead at Vodafone describes the increase in the quality of the data, marketing generated and influenced leads as well as 80% growth in social following.
  • The transition to persona based marketing enabled by reading customers ‘Digital Body Language’ at Kenya Airways. Chris Diaz, CMO of Kenya Airways at the time described how they engaged with Oracle Marketing Cloud Consultants, “to rationalize its marketing organization, and define modern skills, roles, and business requirements—all while cutting costs and learning how to go to market faster.” The implementation of Oracle Marketing, Sales and Service Clouds required increased organizational alignment, “The benefits of this newfound alignment abound in so many ways that we both wonder how we could bear behaving in silos for so long,” Harriet Luyai, the airlines Marketing Automation Lead commented. The digital marketing transformation at Kenya Airways was a key factor in its CMO to be awarded the 2017 Markie for Modern Marketing Leader of the Year.
  • The transformation of B2C and B2B marketing at Royal Philips with its focus on customer obsession facilitated by marketing automation. Marta Federici, Global Head of CRM described their journey over the last three years at a keynote presentation during this year’s Oracle Modern Customer Experience event. She highlighted their use of Oracle Eloqua and her partnership with the Oracle Marketing Cloud team in their strategy and planning efforts leading to 80% increase in B2C consumer engagement and 60% increase for B2B customer engagement. She also cites particular successes such as a 400% YoY revenue increase from their Black Friday campaign(.pdf)

As with the big ‘T’ transformation, the small ‘t’ is not static. Modern Marketing leaders need to keep up to date with the evolution of new capabilities in the technologies they invest in to ensure their exploitation to achieve their goals. A good example of this is the Oracle Eloqua AppCloud Developer Framework that now enables our customers to build Feeder Apps that can query and pull relevant pieces of data into Oracle Eloqua from external systems such as Data Warehouses without the need to hold that data within Eloqua. This enhances the ability of our customers to develop advanced segmentation for their campaigns. The Developer Framework also allows for a variety of Apps to be built with different functions such as the ability to trigger actions in external systems.

An example from our Oracle Responsys platform is the development of Oracle Adaptive Intelligence Apps such as ‘AI Offers’ that enables displaying targeted recommendations to customers in Emails powered by machine learning based on their individual buying history and preferences. This new capability has the potential to drive customer loyalty and sales.

With the pace of digital change not showing any signs of slowing down, marketers must learn and adapt in order to keep up. Just as with physical training, working with a coach helps and significantly improves ones chances to stay ahead of the competition and not lag behind.


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