Move Over, Feelings. Data’s in Charge Here.

by Tara Swords

May 2016

Over the last few years, marketing professionals have been living through a major revolution, forced to accept something that runs counter to what has driven marketing for decades: Thanks to big data, it’s not about feelings anymore.



Western Union Business Solutions

Headquarters: Englewood, Colorado

Employees: 7,000

Industry: Financial services

Revenue: US$5.5 billion in 2015

Oracle products: Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Eloqua solutions, Oracle BlueKai solutions, Oracle Content Marketing Cloud Service, Oracle Financials, Oracle Business Intelligence solutions

Nick Cerise

Chief Marketing Officer

Length of tenure: 10 years

Education: MBA, Loyola University Chicago


“Your feelings can be wrong, but data can’t,” says Cerise. “That’s why I work with our team to put data and advanced analytics at the center of all our decisions. Creating a culture where it is OK to fail, but fail fast, iterate and improve, let the data be your guide. This is at the heart of agile marketing, which is the operating model that our team leverages.”

Western Union Business Solutions

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It’s not an easy change, but Cerise says it’s gotten easier now that Oracle Marketing Cloud can provide marketers with more and more data on which to base decisions. Still, though, Cerise says data can be scary because marketers may be worried about misinterpreting a customer’s digital body language and losing relevance. He also makes sure to provide his team with data-based evidence when things work and when they don’t, helping them to build confidence in data-driven marketing. He gives them a constant stream of interesting challenges, internal recognition when things go well, and the freedom to fail and learn from their failures. “But data continues to enhance both the efficiency and effectiveness of everything we do, enabling actual revenue attribution—which is what we all are driving towards. This is truly the best time ever to be in marketing.”

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