Oracle Marketing Cloud: AKA #ModernMarketing

The Oracle Marketing / Social Cloud 

If I had to sum it up in one sentence, I’d say what Oracle wanted to get across in this event is that while being customer-centric, with an enterprise ready solution, Oracle wants to make the Marketer’s life easier.

 The ideas of the Marketing / Social Cloud are that your company would be able to:

  • Unify Data
  • Engage Audiences
  • Analyze Performance and
  • Extend the Ecosystem.

 Shifts Happen: CIO and CMO Side-By-Side

The idea of a long awaited shift perhaps, has come. CIO’s and CMOs side-by-side, making decisions including people, process and technology. It’s not a new concept, but it’s one that has been needed and wanted, but few software companies or those that buy the software (vendor clients) have delivered on it because it takes a lot of emphasis on the people and process than often the technology. And that means that the CEO needs to believe it and lead  the way. As I always say, “Fish always stinks most at the head.” MY POV: If your CEO doesn’t believe this, you are in for a fall. This shift they called: #M0dernMarketing (that was the event’s hash tag)

What is Modern Marketing?









Oracle’s Focus on the CMO as the Purchaser of Technology

The Marketing Cloud / Social Cloud Event at the Art and Design Museum was by design orchestrated there to  redesign Oracle’s focus on not only what modern marketing is, but also that Oracle’s clear intention to acknowledge and serve the role of the CMO as a main buyer of technology.

Museum Of Art & Design

Museum Of Art & Design

In listening to the various executives, Mark Hurd, Kevin Akeroyd, Andrea Ward, Erica Brooks, Reggie Bradford Carolyn Love, Chris Lynch (I’m sure I missed a couple of people and I apologize) and the whole AR Staff (AR = Analyst Relations) – Brenda Conner and Christine Wan…  You could not only hear it in the words they were saying, but you saw it in their unspoken body language that they see the CMO as playing a large part in the decision of the technology budget as well as the importance of closing the gap between CIOs and CMOs.

Oracle is making a bet on the CMO and they are probably correct. The budget for technology is going there.  The question is who will get the bulk of the marketing / social budget? Agencies, Consulting Firms or Software Companies? What’s so– is that to do this kind of marketing at — scale for large enterprises, technology is needed. How many agencies are really ready to have an IT consulting arm? How many consulting firms can get out of their own way and stop thinking that their main product is systems integration? It’s strategy to make all this tech result in a bottonm-line, measurable result.

What’s a CIO to do?

Traditional software sales used to be directed to the CTO or the CIO. But the lack of common goals between the IT and the functional business areas (CMOs) often made it difficult to come to a common decision. As a system integrator and analyst, I was often the facilitator of such discussions. It was never pretty; often uncomfortable and seemed oddly obvious to me that they needed to agree or  agree to disagree and make concessions- a necessary component, yet fiefdom behavior was tolerated, the norm or encouraged. What’s a CIO to do? focus on the business not maintenance or easy upgrades. The tech business changed and it has to serve the lines of business. Not saying that maintenance is not important, but maybe the business results should come first?

I once calculated the hours we spent – weeks and months on a project trying to get people to “get on the same page.” The value of salaries of the FTE’s involved in such discussions was a large, negative ROI. Yet it kept happening. It’s part of what made systems integrators so rich in years past. People inside organizations couldn’t get along, so they’d have other people try to help with the conflict resolution.

I always thought politics in corporate America should be considered a white-collar crime – at least a waste of shareholder dollars. The hours people spent on maneuvering to get what they “wanted” to happen – was— and is an incredible waste of time and money.

Honest, genuine, authentic collaboration is much more effective and efficient. And the only this that will change it would require a different type of leadership and capabilities – old patterns broken; new behaviors created and rewarded. Perhaps it could only happen in a dream. It feels like I am saying the same thing I said 20 year ago. Maybe that was a dream? Or maybe the technology just was not able to deliver on the promise? (The later I know is true)

The Marketing and IT Divide Is Preventing Progress

One of the slides in the presentation showed that the #1 thing the CMO wants is not the same as what the CIO wants. Somehow I wasn’t surprised. After doing many value selling / personas selling workshops with CMOs, CIOs, CEOs, Customer Service Professionals – what keeps each of them up at night is very different and what you– and you a as a sales person, might sell them as is very different—that is if you were lucky enough to be given solution peronsa selling training somewhere along your career. These findings from the slide are from Accenture.

The CIO & CMO Divide

  • CMO #1 ask is: Deploy better marketing execution and platforms (#6 for CIOs)
  • CIO #1 ask is: Better marketing measurement and campaign optimization (#8 for CMOs)

I must be a hybrid of a CIO and CMO because they were both in my top capabilities for marketing in my marketing optimization paper. (Sees like the time for divisions are over – whether its government or software companies. That’s where you get my interest. Start collaborating already. Didn’t you watch the movie A Beautiful Mind? Forgot about the sad parts — but when its a win – win, we all win. And when it’s a win-loose, we all loose. Look at Washington DC. Come on already.

People Need to Understand Why They Should Change

As SAS applications have become the norm, the lines of business are now purchasing software, often without the consent, much less the knowledge of the IT group. Perhaps the most significant difference is that Oracle’s Marketing and Social Cloud presentation ( and the group that presented) did acknowledge the organizational change management required to make sure the technology actually delivers on the promise.

I’m not saying Oracle is in the business of organizational change management, but they did acknowledge that the ability of a large organization like theirs (and or others who buy their platform) must larrn to adopt change, to integrate their acquisitions and work collaboratively. This is should be on the top of their mind.

Oracle mentioned using organizational change management when the bought and began integrating their various acquisitions over the past two years. Those acquisitions created quite a 2 year timeline graphic including Vitrue, Involver, Eloqua, Collective Intellect, Compendium, Responsys, BlueKai, and others….

My POV: It’s a smart and necessary move to use organizational change management as part of how you get things to work together- people, process and the technology. After years of experiencing large CRM software projects be put to pasture (projects in the $500M dollar range 20 years ago)– yep they just stopped the project and completely abandoned it, I know first hand it doesn’t matter how fabulous the technology if the the employees don’t adopt it.

But software has not always delivered on that promise; often because the organizational change management piece was down played, ignored or made fun of; I remember seeing projects where it was often crossed off the SOW (State Of Work.)

Mark Hurd made a great point also in saying that when you by point solutions and add it to a solution platform, the more layers you have to add to get the software to talk to each other, the more problems you’ll encounter down the road. And that point alone has had a lot to do with their choice in whom to buy. (Start-up folks who are developing companies to be bought- hear that loud and clear. It’s one of the criteria things they look for — ability to integrate with their current stack.)

WHAT IT MEANS TO YOU as the CMO and CIO: The Marketing and Social Cloud Oracle Groups do understand the value of organizational change management and bring idea that to the companies they are selling software to. Organization may have to develop their own organizational change process or higher a consulting or advisory firm- but at least it’s a topic of conversation that 20 years ago was mute. Now CIO and CMOs must work together.

Moving The Oracle Customer to The Cloud Oracle also announced a customer-to-cloud initiative (customer here meaning Oracle’s customers or businesses; not consumers.) It’s a drive to move Oracle on-prem clients to the cloud. What’s the plan to help on-premise clients move to the cloud based systems? One option is to use the support credits they have not cashed in yet. Being in the cloud seems to be a necessary part of being able to access all the wonderful capabilities the Marketing / Social Cloud offers, so there’s even extra reason to consider it.

Individual customers like Wiley, Verizon and Comcast shared some of their stories and how they had improved various metrics or gotten a return on the investment.

What’s clear is that the leadership at Oracle understands that whether its B2B or B2C, it’s all P2P (people to people) customers of all kinds listen to each other more than they listen to advertising and marketing. It doesn’t mean you stop those activities, but it does change the dynamics between Marketing and Advertising and where the dollars are spent. Advertising, cookies and other options need to create a new future for themselves, and now.

It also means that whatever promises the Marketer’s are making, they company needs to deliver on them. And often where the proof of the delivery of the “promise” is in how the customer is handled in Customer Service.

MY POV: It’s not just Marketing, CIOs, Social, the Cloud, but also Customer Service — all customer facing and non-customer facing departments need to work together to make the best possible experiences for customers. When a company can do that, customer become advocates. Advocates become the driver of word of mouth. Word of mouth trumps advertising (by 78%: From Neilsen) Word of Mouth drives Customer Lifetime Value –> bottom-line revenue, profits and margins. (I did ask about RightKnow – the Customer Service Acquisition. The answer was they are investing in R&D. Let’s hope so.)

BIG DATA Can Turn into Big Results

What I want to see the most? How EXACTLY the Customer Experience is going to drive revenue and advocacy. I get it theoretically and have been teaching it in my classes at UCLA for years now and wrote about it in 2000. I even used the words customer experience and customer advocacy in a white paper I wrote – way before social. What I want to see is how the attribution of each part of the marketing funnel / pretzel is given, how it affects the sale / the advocacy and drives customer lifetime value. When a company can measure that, Modern Marketers will reign.

And all this big data, if used well, can help a mediocre company rise the top to the top. And even become a White Ocean brand. A great company can become an even better Blue Ocean company . But will it happen? That’s what the next 2 years are about.

There’s lot’s of acquisitions of software companies happening right and left. But acquisitions alone won’t work. Integration of the acquisition, along side a truly focused, customer-centric culture, top-to-bottom is critical. No lip service allowed. It’s gotta be real. It’s gotta be measurable and the executives have to understand it and understand how its measured and how that metrics an be terms of ROI. Wall Street’s quarterly meetings should require it.(My POV)

Mark  showed us how Oracle is using the marketing and being a modern marketer:
marketing at oracle










Who will win? It’s the big software company that can actually execute contentiously and consistently with an integrate system that gets business results that will emerge the winner.

I’m on pins and needles. Stayed tuned!


Look forward to connecting
Dr. Natalie Petouhoff 

Dr. Natalie: voted Top 20 In Social Media HuffPo
Voice:  +1.310.919.8467  | Twitter: @drnatalie 
Skype: drnatalie007 | LinkedIn | Google+

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• Upcoming book series: “7 Steps To Digital Customer Experience Mastery” (working title) 

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