Reimagining Startup and Enterprise Innovation

Duel Named Cool Vendor in Gartner Retail Marketing Report

Amy Sorrells
Global Communications, Oracle for Startups

Being cool is a moniker that everyone desires, but for a startup, we think being named a cool vendor by analyst firm Gartner takes the cake. We are super excited that our startup partner, Duel, has been named as a cool vendor in Gartner’s recent report, “Cool Vendors in Retail Merchandising and Marketing”. Duel delivers a super smart technology that can greatly benefit brands and retailers. It’s a key reason why they were selected as part of our inaugural cohort for our Bristol program.

In a recent blog, the analyst firm discusses the importance of retailers exploring new technology vendors to differentiate their customer experience solutions.

We agree with that line of thinking. That’s a big reason behind our Oracle Global Startup Ecosystem program—collaboration with cutting-edge innovators like Duel to build next-generation solutions for our global customers to expand the customer experience.

So how does Duel work its magic? Duel is a Customer Advocacy Marketing platform that helps brands and retailers sell more by turning their customers into advocates.  This advocacy builds emotional connection and makes every element of their marketing, advertising, and ecommerce more effective.

One of the key findings of the Gartner report states, “Intelligently engaging brand advocates through analysis and automation will lay the groundwork to forge on-going, collaborative relationships with customers.” And we whole-heartedly agree, as do the B2C brand and retail customers who we have introduced to Duel.  It seems like their message and mission resonates with them loud and clear.

Paul Archer, Cofounder and CEO of Duel, thinks a major step change is needed. And he wants to lead the charge.

“Selling online has become exceptionally hard.  As the digital noise increases, marketing becomes less and less effective, and these problems are amplified within highly controlled and pay-to-play social networks and search engines.  Without a differentiated customer experience, consumers focus on prices – pushing great companies into a race to the bottom that leaves only the cheapest options standing. The best brands and retailers in the world intuitively know that they only exist because of their passionate customers and advocates’ love for them. But they cannot maintain a quality product or service by being the cheapest. The current climate makes building these relationships even more difficult. Brands have been forced into treating each customer as a target; wasting their time, and insulting their intellect.  Intrusiveness is becoming the adtech differentiator, and sacrificing customer experience is the result.  We think that is just plain wrong and we aim to help find a better way, a better solution.”

Duel has become integrated across our Oracle Customer Experience Cloud, including our marketing and commerce solutions.  We also have several POCs with our retail customers and expect more to come.

Paul cites their relationship with Oracle as key to their success: “We built Duel to help our clients entirely rethink their relationship with their customers from someone you broadcast to, to someone you collaborate with. It’s a return to a purer, more authentic approach based on happy and passionate customers acting as a decentralised sales and marketing team. We can only hope to make this change by partnering with someone with the might of Oracle. We believe the fact that Gartner has recognised us as a Cool Vendor is the first major step to make this change.”

Oracle gets applications from thousands of interesting startups wanting to be part of our global startup program. We go through a rigorous selection process to ensure we are working with the best and brightest. Duel clearly is that. And an excellent example of startup ingenuity and the type of company that can scale globally, innovate for the CX space, and help complement Oracle’s cloud solutions. Together with companies like Duel we are able to deliver on our vision of supporting global entrepreneurism, rethink the startup and enterprise relationship, and help create ecosystems of collaboration, co-development and co-innovation where we can all win—the startups, our customers, and Oracle.

Congratulations, Duel! We look forward to a long-lasting partnership and many more successes.

NOTE: 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.



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