“Every function in the front-office has to move faster than they ever have before,” said Rob Tarkoff, EVP of Oracle CX Cloud and Oracle Data Cloud.

Marketers are trying to do more with less even though the imperative nature to be customer-centric becomes ever stronger. Tarkoff was delivering the keynote at the virtual Oracle Cloud CX summit.

“It’s time to think differently,” he said, in a time when consumer spending is down, the future is uncertain, and digital engagement is of ever-increasing importance. What elevates Oracle’s customer-centricity capabilities above its competitors, said Tarkoff, was the concept of “guided intelligence”: leading the individual consumer, hand-by-hand, through each step of their journey. The ability to do this is powered by Oracle CX Unity, the customer intelligence platform launched last fall.

Customers approach brands differently. In conversation, Shashi Seth, SVP of Oracle Marketing Cloud confirmed Tarkoff’s observations. “We have seen a movement which started some time in 2018. Brands found their end users asking a lot of different questions of them. I’ve always spoken about micro-moments, but now, if you’re not doing personalization for customers, you’re going to lose them.”

We took the opportunity to ask him about Oracle’s current CX roadmap. “We’ve made a bunch of acquisitions,” he said, “but also built a bunch of new products. Now we’re joining the dots and making sure data flows smoothly across them.” The aim, he said, is to help customers accomplish more with fewer resources and less time.

The big picture. Oracle’s offering for marketers has been reconfigured since the launch of Unity, its customer intelligence platform. “A few years ago, Eloqua and Responsys would have been at the heart of the diagram,” said Seth. “Now it’s Unity, Infinity and DMP.” Unity is the continually updated repository for customer data from across the Oracle suite. Infinity provides streaming data to deliver intelligence at scale and in real time. DMP, formerly known as Blue Kai, provides unified data management.

Connected to this core are the B2B and B2C marketing automation solutions, Eloqua and Responsys, as well the content and audience management tools (CX Content and CX Audience), as well as Maxymiser and CrowdTwist.

Personalization and loyalty. Maxymiser, acquired by Oracle in 2015, has evolved from an A/B Testing solution to offer optimized personalization and product recommendations. CrowdTwist is a loyalty solution based on personal engagement.

With 20 to 30% bringing 70 to 80% of value, loyalty investments will continue to increase, said Seth, but it’s not just a matter of collecting rewards points. The customer is asking: “How well do you know and understand me?” CrowdTwist offers personalized loyalty programs. One example from Tarkoff: TOMS Shoes, which encourages customers to turn rewards points into donations to causes in its Points for Progress program.

Greater simplicity. One new priority for the Oracle Cloud, Seth said, is ease-of-use, with a much greater emphasis on a simplified UX. Given the scale and complexity of Oracle’s offering, which Seth acknowledged, is it really a suite just for large enterprises?

“Our sweet spot, ” he said, “is large organizations with multiple marketing teams, global, perhaps multi-brand. I would have said Fortune 500 or 1000, but increasingly we’re seeing more and more upper mid-size companies which need scale and performance not available from other tiers of marketing automation.”

Why we care. Sometimes the big players in the martech space are following in the footsteps of smaller vendors (the swift commitment to developing CDPs, for example), but often they lead the way. It’s important to track their progress.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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