Tuesday Oct 14, 2014

The Things You Hear When You’re an Oracle Social Customer

Oracle Social CloudWe mostly explore topics and trends around social marketing in this space.  (It’s not best practice to always write about your product.) That said, since readers aren’t privy to the emails Oracle Social Cloud customers often get announcing new features and capabilities, we wanted to put you in their shoes and summarize some they’ve gotten so far this year.

One actually was blogworthy, the rollout of Social Station, a customizable user experience workspace within the Oracle Social Relationship Management (SRM) platform. Customers can set up their work environments with drag and drop modules like Custom Analytics and an Enhanced Calendar so it works best for them. Meanwhile, our developers get to play and build new modules.

Engage is the part of the product where you watch and respond to activity on your channels and Listen topics. Our customers can now take action on multiple messages by doing some box checking then clicking an action in a dropdown. And they can now take public interactions private by initiating Twitter direct messages within Engage.

Listen & Analyze is the section of SRM where customers monitor what’s being said about them across social and the web. Lately they’ve gotten some good integration with Engage in that they can choose which topics they want fed to Engage right from their Listen & Analyze topics list. If it’s deleted in one, it’s deleted in the other. And topics show in the same bundle in Engage as they do in Listen & Analyze. All synced up. Plus 3 new languages (Swedish, Finnish and Norwegian) have been added to the Topic Creation language dropdown, and there’s a customizable dashboard chart picker.

The Publish component got some new toys too. Customers can upload their pre-planned content calendars via CSV, and those posts will be populated into Publish ready to go! We even give them the CSV sample file to fill out. The calendar is more interactive too. Click on a post in it and a sidebar opens showing them the posts for that day plus a short preview of each. Click a preview and they get even more details. From here they can edit or remove a post then go right back to the calendar.

You might know that Facebook lets you create Lookalike Audiences. It takes targeting data from a custom audience you created and makes a new audience based on it. We fixed it so customers can create Lookalike Audience within the SRM. They can also opt out their fans from Facebook custom audiences. Upload the fan list to the Media Account for the custom audience, and Facebook won’t include them in future custom audiences. Lastly, our customers have an updated pie chart on each custom audience's Detail page showing the percentage of their custom audience made from each source used to make that audience.

We hope that our customers love getting these regular emails telling them about our additions and improvements to the Oracle SRM platform as much as we love…well, adding and improving stuff.

@mikestiles @oraclesocial
Photo: freeimages.com

Friday Oct 03, 2014

What We Saw and Did at Oracle OpenWorld: Thursday

Oracle OpenWorldAll good things must come to an end, although innovations in the Oracle Cloud and Oracle Social Cloud never end and are always an ongoing process. After all, we want to have great stories to tell and great announcements to make at Oracle OpenWorld 2015. Believe it or not, after a great night at Treasure Island with Aerosmith and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, attendees still made it in for one final day of discussions.

In the wrap-up of CX Central (which by itself had over 2000 participants and over 300 sessions) Meg Bear and GM’s Rebecca Harris were talking about the importance of Latent Semantic Analysis in social listening. For instance, Rebecca pointed out that “good morning” is often shortened to ‘GM’ on Twitter…a problem for their monitoring, as is the fact that “Chevrolet” is in the lyrics of almost 2000 songs.

Meg said we’re well past discussions of whether social is a fad and are now hearing more stories about product innovations coming through and from brand social channels. Orgs can turn that into strategic value. Rebecca said every department touches social in some way, with each department believing they’re doing what’s right. But there must be an integrated strategy through the customer lens, which involves stakeholder meetings that aren’t always pleasant.

Oracle’s Rahim Fazal and Mike Ballard led a great session on how governments and utilities can effectively use social before and during disasters/ emergencies. From its very beginnings in Rome, government was intended to be local, instant, personal and social. So governments must consider all channels to serve all constituents of all ages in all socio-economic groups, wherever they are. At its peak, Instagram users uploaded Sandy-related pictures at a rate of 10/second. Facebook mentions of Sandy and Frankenstorm were up 1 million percent!

During a crisis, don’t try to control the conversation. Let people vent. Your job is to provide actionable info. Mike said 624 million customers worldwide are expected to engage with utilities by the end of 2017. You won’t have much trust if you create a social presence when a major issue happens. It has to already be there and ready. Even if a utility is doing a great job in a disaster, nobody will know without steady communication. Mike suggests developing a social engagement and resource strategy, then stress test it to make sure it’ll work during the real deal.

Altimeter Group’s Andrew Jones had a nice chat with us about the importance of social identities. Limited insight will only lead to messages and ads that lack context and make no sense. 57% of consumers are fine with providing personal info if they benefit and it’s used responsibly. 77% would trust business more if they explained how they’re using personal info to improve their online experience.

The benefits of compiling social identities include richer customer profiles, cross-channel engagements, efficiencies of marketing budgets, and social media ROI. It also lets you leverage influencers, identify prospects, reach custom audiences, find lookalike audiences, nurture leads, personalize products, gain real time insight, retain and reactivate, reward loyalty, and tap advocates. Gee, is that all?

Oracle OpenWorld WizardThen it was on to Rahim’s super-casual chat about social data with BlueKai’s Molly Parr and Marriott Rewards’ Michelle Lapierre. Disparate data creates marketing complexity and lost revenue. If they can’t pull together all their data, marketers fail to target the right customers. Yet 82% of enterprise marketers have NO synchronized view of customer data. 58% say social data is important but 52% collect little to none of it.

Molly says data is fine, but the ability to activate on data is finer. Most data is tied to specific execution, but today it must be “unchained,” with focus shifting from campaigns to customers. Can multiple small vendors deliver that kind of unchained, actionable data across the enterprise? Michelle said that’s a tough way to go. It’s putting functionalities under one umbrella that makes more sense.

Thanks to all who attended our social and CX Central sessions at this year’s Oracle OpenWorld and for those who have virtually attended through this blog and @oraclesocial. But don’t leave now. Keep your eyes on these space as we continue to build the power of social listening and data into the newly upgraded Oracle Cloud.

@mikestiles @oraclesocial

Friday Feb 28, 2014

Oracle Social Ready to Rock SXSW for Attendees and Followers

Social Marketing, the social enterprise, and the social cloud will be well represented by the Oracle Social team at this year’s SXSW in Austin. If you’re going, great! We’ll see you there. But even if you’re unable to attend, follow @oraclesocial like a hawk and you’ll get all the takeaways you need, right in the comfort of wherever you are.

Here’s what we’re doing:


You can meet and get your picture made with some of the crew that snagged victory from the jaws of defeat, winning the America’s Cup in the “Miracle on the Bay.” Members of Oracle Team USA like grinder Shannon Falcone will be at our Oracle Discovery Lounge at the Waller Creek Boathouse March 8 and 9 from 4-5p.


And speaking of the Discovery Lounge, that will be Oracle’s headquarters at SXSW. Immerse yourself in innovation around the Social Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and the Internet of Things. These are the innovations rapidly changing today’s enterprise. The networking, food, music, happy hours, and demos run March 8-10, 11a-7p. Come find out just how social we can be!


Mar 8, 1p - The Right POEM Equation in Today’s Shifting Social Landscape.

Oracle Group VP Meg Bear, Kenshoo Social GM Sivan Metzger, Nanigan’s SVP Ben Tregoe, and SHIFT CEO James Borow cover the rising importance of social advertising to target and amplify content for higher engagement. Find out how to leverage paid, owned and earned.

Mar 8, 3p - Setting the Record Straight; Say Goodbye to Social ROI Myths

Oracle VP Erika Brookes, LEGO Director Lars Silberbauer, and Pernod Ricard’s Jeremie Moritz bust myths about social ROI and show how it can be approached in a unified, structured way. Also learn how to align social KPIs with business objectives.

Mar 8, 5p - Slamming Social Into High Gear; a GM Case Study on Social

GM Director of Social Media Communications Mary Henige, GM Social Center of Expertise lead Rebecca Harris, and Digiday’s John McDermont talk about how GM uses social to establish relationships before, during and after the sale. Hear about the new vehicle tech landscape, including self-driving cars, wearable tech, and infotainment.

Plus see modern marketing in action with Oracle Eloqua, and see how Java empowers and navigates the Internet of Things.


The startup #IdeaRally is a physical & virtual gathering of entrepreneurs, technologists, media, industry leaders and startup buffs brainstorming around one of Chevrolet’s guiding principals, technology. What new possibilities do YOU think auto tech and things like Chevrolet’s new 4G connected cars present? Submit your ideas and RT the best ideas by following #IdeaRally March 10 starting at 6p.


Beyond the Oracle Discovery Lounge, Oracle is proud to sponsor the Accelerator program, March 8-9 at the Startup Village. New, cutting edge technologies will be pitched to a live audience as well as a panel of judges, including Oracle Social Cloud’s Rahim Fazal. Which startups will emerge as the biggest thinkers of our time?

And somewhere in there we’ll try to grab a rib or brisket. Don’t forget, even if you aren’t going to SXSW, follow @oraclesocial and we’ll be your eyes and ears in Austin.

SXSW Oracle Social invite


Tuesday Apr 16, 2013

The Value of Enterprise Specific “Social Data” - Social Data within Social Customer Relationship Management (Social CRM)

This is the first in a series of guest posts from Don Springer, VP Product Development for Oracle Social and Pat Ma, Principal Product Marketing Director for CX and CRM on the value of leveraging social data across your enterprise.

shopperLately, we have been meeting with marketing, sales, services and IT executives at very large Financial Services, Consumer Products, Retail and Technology companies. They have all made significant progress in deploying social customer relationship management (Social CRM) capabilities, but are looking for more automated and powerful ways to socially enable their external customer facing functions. In essence, they want to do more with their Social Data. With enterprise data growth expected to continue at 40% through 2020, driven by consumer generated content, getting value from this data is becoming increasingly and strategically important.

In this post, we’ll cover the basics of first implementing a Social CRM approach, and the value your enterprise specific social data. In a future blog post, we will cover more advanced “next” steps in how to leverage social data within your enterprise’s Big Data Analytics, Business Intelligence and Customer Experience Management deployed applications and systems.

Below is a diagram that highlights a general process for leveraging Social Data as part of an overall Social CRM approach. Think of this as a process that tracks your social efforts across your customers’ life-cycles, starting with listening and point-to-point engagement to more broadcast communications efforts in a repeatable and flexible fashion.

Social CRM Process


1. Listen.  The enterprise wants to listen to what people (customers, prospects, and influencers) are saying about their brand on social media channels.

  • Your customers are talking about your brand on social media channels. They are posting, tweeting, commenting, sharing, complaining and liking your brand.
  • Through Social Listening, the enterprise should figure out what their constituents are saying en mass, analyze sentiment, hear what they like and don’t like about your product, and know if they intend to purchase your product or not.
  • Your social listening approach needs to be accurate and filter out the irrelevant “noise”, to get to pure customer signal for analytics and engagement.

2. Engagement (1-on-1) The enterprise wants to engage with relevant social signals to interact with their customers, and determine how those 1-on-1 engagements perform. 

  • This can be done by asking your customers various questions, responding to their posts and comments, and creating engagement applications like contests and polls. 
  • Your social engagement should be used to listen and respond to social posts. Social posts should be automatically categorized by your Listen engine and flow from multiple social networks into one “inbox” designed to make managing your community easy and efficient, within your appropriate business function (sales, marketing and support).

3. Content and Apps (within your Enterprise’s Social Assets) The enterprise should leverage the lessons learned from your 1:1 engagements to scale what works within relevant content and apps you create, whether it’s user-generated contests, polls, videos, or other interactive content.

4. Publish (message through your social channels’ communities) The enterprise should continue to build on its learning on all your interactions with your fans and followers to publish and amplify relevant content to multiple social media channels.

  • Create great looking landing pages and publish to multiple social networks or embed on any website. 
  • This should be done specifically within your various channels focused on marketing, sales, service, and commerce.

5. Managed Workflows The enterprise should develop and deploy specific workflows so your assigned business functions (Sales, Marketing, Service and Commerce) are communicating the right message to the right customer at the right place and the right time.  

  • Social media teams are growing and becoming more global. Why take the risk of someone in your organization publishing off-brand information?
  • By using your listening engine to auto-tag customer signals, managed by function appropriate workflows, you can better control your points of communication (1:1, through content, apps and publishing) to improve ROI.

6. Analytics. The enterprise should create a culture that always analyzes your results and metrics to quickly capture lessons learned to establish a continuous improvement process.

  • This will enable you to show ROI on all your social media investments, pre, during & post-campaign across your owned & earned media to improve social performance.
  • This helps you optimize your efforts over time to get more lift and value from your resource and communications spend.

Makes Sense?

Once your enterprise has this Social CRM approach in place and functioning, you can take the broader “next” step to amplify your social value through integration into your other core applications, which we’ll cover in a future post.

To whet your appetite, you can socially enable your enterprise by creating a 360o view of your enterprise customers (both content and profile) to support:

*Business analytics across all forms of structured (customer transactional and behavioral data), semi-structured (enterprise text sources that capture your internal customer conversations via chat, email, call center, etc.), and Social CRM unstructured data for:

  • Big Data insight discovery – finding insights you did not know existed
  • Business Intelligence - developing dynamic, real-time dashboards, reports and alerts for rapid decision-making.
*Customer Experience Management applications already deployed and in use by your enterprise’s Customer Service, Sales and Service/Support functions for near real-time action (customer experience management).

Monday Mar 11, 2013

SXSW Monday – What Oracle Heard, Saw and Did

Oh boy, if you thought days 1-3 of South by Southwest in Austin were full of knowledge, check out day 4’s takeaways below. Oracle was doing what Oracle does best, soaking up the data.

SRM boardFrom “Brands, Bloggers & the Social Commerce Future

-Kickoff question: how can you keep your blog audience's trust when you start *shudder* making money?

-Keep it real. Don't deceive your readers about what you're going to offer them.

-Influencers write objectively about brands. Advocates take the brand's side every time.

-Blog Power! 5 years ago 64% bought based on blogger recommendation. Now it's 87%.

-81% of women trust info on a blog. 87% purchase based on it.

-The power of human connections. Commercial revenue from blogger recommendations outperformed CPM ads by 4-16%.

-Idea time: spiff worthwhile blog participants with little gifts. It will help keep your blog’s quality up.

-BULLETIN! Bloggers should know how to write!

-People who came to eCommerce sites from text links spent 12 minutes there. Those that came from a visual item spent 18 minutes.

-Do you stop in the middle of a blog to go shopping? Well neither do your blog's readers.

-The magic formula for getting revenue from blogs: quality product + trusted advocacy + frictionless sale.

-Brands are impression driven. This session recommended giving them a cost per exposure (engagement) as well as a CPM. Will they go for that?

-Content on blogs? You get what you pay for. You will soon be bidding to get the best writers.

From “Creating Brand Advocates via Employee Engagement”

-If your employees aren’t fans of your brand, your product's in sad shape.

-Yep, they really do have to be told. 68% of employees would share if they knew what to share.

-Even though they're scared to share, employees want recognition when they go to the effort of doing so.

-Employee sharing = short path to plenty of earned media. Are you leaving that on the table?

smacFrom “Why Social Ads Work. Ignore Facebook Naysayers

-Over 60% of media buyers will spend more on social this year, but still aren't sure how to measure it.

-Social is a means of getting customers to interact with your brand, not just notice it.

-Use analytics to see when customers are talking about what you do or offer, then surface ads accordingly.

-One voice does not fit all. Wendy's has 3 Pages with 3 distinct personalities.

-Promos & giveaways get you followers, but not necessarily consistent engagers.

-It's why your targeting platform is so critical. To drive an action, target people who want to hear about what you’re saying.

-Wendy's measures social advertising ROI with time on landing sites, check-ins, and coupon sales.

-Promoted posts work, but (surprise surprise) mostly if they're creative and you’re not making people jump through hoops.

-How many do YOU have? Wendy's & their agency have 10-11 working on content at any given time.

From “The Sweet Science of Virality: You Are Bad At It”

-Take a cue from the New York Post, headlines can make or break you.

-If anyone guarantees you something will go viral, run, don't walk, away from them.

-Better find writers who can do lots of content. There's a 95% engagement fail rate.

-You HAVE to tap an emotion to get a share. Anger & happiness result in the most sharing.

-Sharing comes from being conversational and from framing what you have to say properly.

-Your fans already like you. You're trying to win their friends over with your content.

-This is also the secret to talk radio's success…say what people are thinking but can't express on their own.

-Going viral is not a strategy. Crafting the kind of content that gets shared is.


Sunday Mar 10, 2013

SXSW Sunday – What Oracle Heard, Saw and Did

Day 3 of South by Southwest in Austin, and Oracle is still at it, racing around, squeezing into crowded sessions and foregoing finding the best barbecue so we can present the best takeaways and you can learn from afar.

From “Data, Storytelling and Breaking Through the Noise”

-You need to take risks with social. Sometimes you should ask for forgiveness instead of permission.

-The ability to take risk is a competitive advantage.

-Creative humans still required: "You're never going to get an algorithm to create a great story."

-Engagement with content is a chance to get consumer data to inform future content, so pay attention.

-Many brands miss the opportunity to use content to help drive search.

-Great content requires great talents. Tweaking an algorithm isn't enough.

-Brands aren't getting it. People are hungry as ever for great content. They're not hungry for ads.

-Do you even have a story? Success in social is telling your story, not selling your stuff.

From “Social Circles vs. Social Media”

-Everyone talks about privacy. But transparency about how data is used will win you more trust.

-Watch what people are doing, then figure out how you can help them do it better.

-What's better, shallow relationships with the masses or deep relationships with a loyal, sincere following?

-Apps are either to hold your attention or to make your life easier with a utility.

-The challenge is to fuse online activities with offline to enhance virtual social groupings with *gasp* real-world elements.

Photos: Rich Schwerin

Saturday Mar 09, 2013

SXSW Saturday – What Oracle Heard, Saw and Did

Day 2 of South by Southwest in Austin, and Oracle is doing everything it can to be everywhere. Lots of sessions and takeaways today so let’s get to it.

Grab Bag

-Oracle SRM is showcasing listening capabilities at SXSW. Check it out.

From “How Twitter Has Changed How We Watch TV.”

-1 in 3 Twitter users tweet about TV at some point.

-People still like to watch TV "with" people. Of those who tweet about TV, 76% do it while watching TV live.

-The shows that really get Twitter buzzing have elements of real-time unpredictability (sports, reality, awards)

-Think it's catching on? There were 14 million Super Bowl tweets last year. This year it was 24 million.

-The "House of Cards" dilemma: will such all-at-once series releases challenge the TV tweeting experience?

-Tweet or die. If a show is getting no Twitter buzz, it's taken as a sign the show isn't going to work.

-Twitter's the new water cooler. Existing fans are used to recruit new viewers, and it's working.

-Tweeting as characters from the show drives higher interaction. Who's tweeting for YOUR brand?

-Fans like to be tribal. 51% tweet about TV to feel connected to other show fans.

-3 out of 10 people check out a show because they heard about it on Twitter. Think things are any different for your brand?

-It's a data thing. Live shows like American Idol do Twitter polls for real-time feedback that's then incorporated into the show

-Take the incoming with a grain of salt. Twitter TV audiences are younger and generally more negative.

-Conversations around TV are going beyond Twitter and onto other platforms, like Tumblr, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, etc.

-79% of TV viewers visit Facebook while watching TV. That's no small number.

-When branded content is right for the channel, it will spread. WAY too much of it is not right…and are ads, not content

-Live tweeting encourages live viewing vs. on-demand, and live viewing means they'll see the ads.

-Big question: how much do viewers want to influence TV plots? How much do your fans want to influence your product?

From “Brand Fans, the New Brand Marketers”

-It's about crowdsourcing the voice of your fans and making it your marketing voice.

-We humans are all brands, and we’re all marketers.

-The more “360-degrees” and the more screens your campaign is executed across, the more successful and relevant it will be today.

-The fan is becoming a partner in the marketing process. That’s what’s new.

-Crowdsourcing gives you insights your traditional marketing research can’t provide.

-Don't go into social defensive and nervous. Trust your brand and your fans.

-The strongest agencies are the ones who understand creativity has changed and embrace that change to innovate.

-The agencies that embrace the community side of brands have a better understanding of what creative to deliver.

From “Going Social: You Got the Tux, but Can You Dance?”

-Shame shame, social teams respond to complaints ASAP while too many physical businesses still hide from customers.

-Quick...who at your brand responds to social communications? Do they know where to route problems?

-The Holy Grail is connecting customer ID to social ID. Wow, then keep your eye on Oracle.

From “Less is More: Why 5 Comments Beat 5000 Likes”

-Everybody likes "Likes," but they're deceptive. They take no effort and require no investment.

-Comments take effort, genuine care, and start conversations. Likes don't necessarily convert to money

-Comments increase time spent on a site by 23%. Comments increase the average number of Pages viewed by 13%.

-It's great you're getting comments on your Page but...are you participating and commenting on other Pages?

From “Real Talk: The Social Customer Service Shift”

-Get your wooing skills on. Customers need to be romanced.

-One of our fave themes: social isn't a silo - it extends into customer service and beyond.

-Your regular customer care team should own social customer service & it should be integrated with other departments.

-Ha. Which is worse: your competitors knowing your plan or your employees not knowing your plan?

-CX expectations have changed. You don't have the luxury of putting customers last.

-If you don't trust them, you better train them. Your employees are your social brand ambassadors.

-Smart. Chase pulled product experts from divisions and trained them on brand, social and CX.

-Marketing makes promises to customers that must be upheld by customer service or it's a huge fail.

-It's called mirroring, and it works. Look at what customers write, and respond in the same context.

-Suggested model: all employees get social training and select employees get a certification.

-The benefits of listening: data from social at Chase is being used to inform social marketing strategy

-Super true, and pick the right vendor. Every brand should have an active listening program.

-Want social ROI? How about all the customer data social customer service can provide?

-Predictive analytics will help you know your customer.

-Does the emperor have clothes? Social will quickly expose all your support inefficiencies.

Friday Mar 08, 2013

SXSW Friday - What Oracle Heard, Saw and Did

The center of the known interactive universe is in Austin, TX for the annual South by Southwest confab. Oracle is there, soaking in the info and posting/tweeting on our channels so those who couldn’t make it don’t miss out. Feel free to take in these takeaways from Friday along with a couple of pics from the Oracle SXSW Survival Party at Fado.

Grab Bag

-10 Types of People You'll Definitely See at SXSW from Mashable

-Where should attendees eat at SXSW? The Oracle SRM is watching, and here are the results.

-It's in the bag. Here's what attendees are getting when they check in at SXSW.

-The buzz keeps coming around Oracle's newly announced integrated social tools.

-Watch the SXSW live stream and catch some keynotes with your own eyes and ears, brought to you by Oracle.

-3 great social startups integrate, a major step toward Oracle's social-enabled enterprise vision.

From “Is Mobile Really a Branding Vehicle?”

-Consumers don't see marketing "buckets," so don't act that way.

-Get friction out of your process so you can convert. Don't ask for someone’s city when you've already asked for their zip.

-Consumers are ahead of you marketers. They use multiple screens at once. Do your campaigns reflect that?

-Smile! 14% of mobile social networkers upload a photo taken from a mobile device.

-People don't watch the web, they participate in it. Mobile drives and facilitates that.

-Do you look like everybody else? Then you lose! Find your brand's unique personality.

-Consumers are the ones creating amazing things out there on mobile, not brands & agencies.

-When it comes to mobile, "collect all the data you can." (Oracle knows a little something about that).

-Gut Check! Behind on mobile now? You'll be light years behind in 6 months. Tough to catch up to the speed of change.

-Yes! Walgreens says big brands need to be more like SXSW entrepreneurs, constantly innovating.

-Walgreens learned a better CX is the path to increased sales. 40% use their app in the store.

-$ in the bank. Customers with the Walgreens mobile app spend 6x more than those without it.

-Learn what people will pay for. Removing the paid portion of the Oscars Backstage Pass app led to a 1000% increase in downloads the following year.

From “What Marketers Should Ask Themselves About Social”

-No more bullhorn? People don't trust marketing messages anymore. They trust each other.

-REAL advocates are key. Partners, vendors shareholders, customers can all make better marketers than you.

-Jeff Dachis thinks brands will move from ads to engagement at scale this year. Is that what you're seeing?

-Are brands entering "The Relationship Era"? Maybe, but old habits sure do die hard.

-The public will decide what your image is now, based on your actions.

-Listen to customers at every touch point and act on the data. You've got the tools to do that…right?

-You are not "directing at an audience." You're "sharing with a community."

From “Marketing Implications of Facebook’s Graph Search.”

-Not exactly glowing raves for Facebook Graph Search in this panel. The future promise all seems to be in Facebook's colossal data.

-One thing Graph Search has to overcome is the ingrained user search behaviors around Google.

-For Graph Search to reach top potential, users must lower privacy concerns and be forthcoming with their data.

-News Feed is not out of sight, out of mind. Graph Search mines activities you thought were long gone.

-Some ask: is Graph Search valid if data is tainted by misleading profiles?

-Amen. "Lazy marketers don't support a community, they buy likes."

Tomorrow’s Recommended Panel

Don’t miss Frito-Lays’ brand fan panel with @ShivSingh, @KevinJKnight & @ToddWasserman at 11am.

Social Startups Integrate Within Oracle

Guest Blog today from Oracle Sr. Director Product Management John Nolt

SRMHello Everybody
Tuesday, Reggie Bradford outlined in this space the essentials of a social-enabled enterprise foundation. This week we’re proudly announcing the integrated Oracle Social Relationship Management suite. It’s the culmination of often maddening, but extremely rewarding work combining forces with our former startup brethren to bring you a new interface with the best of what we offer, plus a platform for further innovation in our toolset and your social aspirations.

Social success depends on well-laid plans and nimble reactions. Our suite lets you accomplish both with aplomb.

Social Ain't Peanuts
Social’s no longer a niche, and no longer limited to marketing. Social is the way people are, not just a new way of communicating. Over a billion people interact on a daily basis via the many social networks. It's in the digital air we breathe.

Who Is This Guy?
It's my privilege to lead a team of product managers working on Oracle's social solutions. Last summer I was working my tail off as part of a small company called Vitrue, building cutting-edge and industry-leading social solutions for major brands.

We were a rag-tag group, ~35 when I joined, and ~185 as of last summer when we learned our company was to be acquired by Oracle. "Oracle?" we said. "The database company?"

Turns out, Oracle has what some may call "a robust portfolio" of products, including solutions that lead the pack in CRM. Customer Relationship Management is a close cousin to what we've been doing for the last couple of years - social relationship management. Joining forces started to make a lot of sense.

SRMgraphicStrange Bedfellows
The three social companies Oracle acquired last summer: A social technology company, Involver, and Vitrue, had similarities but also significant differences. Regionally, CI is from Boulder, CO while Involver grew up in San Francisco and Vitrue sprang like a panther from the dirty south - Atlanta, GA.

Involver and Vitrue were direct competitors. Imagine what that's like, suddenly being on a team with people you were at odds with a week ago. And imagine what it's like to finally peek behind the curtain into the other team's operation. We were shocked at how many similarities we had and how many similar decisions we’d made in the pursuit of solving the business needs of our customers.

The Long, Often-Aggravating Trip
Working inside Oracle is a far cry from a startup. It's bigger than any organization I've ever been a part of. It has more employees than my hometown of Harrisburg PA has citizens. So it took some getting used to.

Our job is to manage the change our group is undergoing and make progress. I believe we’re doing that, and this week's launch is exemplary of it.

It takes the best of Oracle SRM, blends them together into one experience, and paves the way into the future with clever (if I do say so myself) positioning of elements and sections within the interface to indicate not only what's there now, but what's coming.

Look Out World
I thought we worked hard when we were a startup. We’re working twice as hard now, but the stakes are greater and the potential so much larger. With my former competitors (now colleagues), we’ve taken a big step, but only the first step, toward reaching the potential of our combined team and products. The launch of Oracle's Social Relationship Management suite is a cannon shot indicating the start of our next Great Campaign.

Friday Feb 15, 2013

Oracle and Eloqua

Oracle EloquaWe’ve often written in this space about how CX is quickly becoming the focal point of enterprise strategy, fueled by the empowerment of the consumer by social.  The below is a combined post from Joe Payne, CEO of Eloqua, and Steve Miranda, EVP Application Development, Oracle.

As of last Friday, February 8, 2013, Oracle completed the acquisition of Eloqua, and Eloqua’s products will become a core component of the Oracle Marketing Cloud. The combination of our companies will accelerate the pace of the Modern Marketing revolution and enable Oracle and Eloqua customers to offer exceptional customer experiences. Read the whole press release announcing the acquisition.

This is an exciting milestone not just for our companies and employees, but more importantly, we’ll be able to deliver a variety of key benefits to our customers. By adding Eloqua’s best-in-class Modern Marketing platform to Oracle’s Customer Experience suite, marketers will be able to play a critical role in delivering an integrated and highly personalized customer experience.

Eloqua’s management and employees will join Oracle to help ensure continuity of Eloqua’s product development and customer relationships, and as we move forward, we plan to stay true to our conviction of driving successful revenue strategies for today’s leading businesses. Additionally, the open Eloqua platform will continue to support multiple CRM systems. Users will be able to maintain existing integrations without disruption, and keep business running as usual.

Oracle’s commitment to advancing its leadership in sales and marketing automation is expected to accelerate product development and an expanded Eloqua product suite. Oracle’s Big Data and Business Intelligence technology assets will deliver enhanced value to Eloqua’s product line. And by leveraging Oracle’s global footprint, this combination extends Eloqua’s reach to nearly every country in the world, all major vertical markets, and each of the Fortune 100 companies.

Oracle’s customers will benefit from having Eloqua’s leading marketing cloud solution as a part of the Oracle Cloud. By adding key modern marketing capabilities that will automate complex marketing processes across multiple channels, we expect Oracle customers will improve their business processes by more effectively targeting and nurturing prospects, yielding highly qualified sales leads at a lower cost.

The combination of Eloqua with Oracle is the beginning of a great new opportunity for prevailing businesses.


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