As a first-timer at Oracle OpenWorld, I’ve been quite impressed by the sheer number of people thronging Howard Street, Moscone Center and the local San Francisco area in business-suits and professional attire. As tech conferences go, I have certain friends that might refer to such an event as “SalarymanCon.” Keynote presentations on Cloud, SaaS, Mobile, Big Data, CRM, HCM and more continue to herald “disruptive innovation to empower enterprise collaboration.” Is it really that disruptive though? Don’t I hear the same thing year after year about better, faster, cheaper? But that’s irrelevant. Although it might be a similar story, the story gets richer and more vibrant each year. Gaps are filled and new industries are born; technology continues to bring us all closer together.
I was invited to Oracle OpenWorld by the data company, Dun & Bradstreet to attend a speaker session featuring Craig MacDonald, Managing Director at Accenture, Inc., Kevin Akeroyd, GM & SVP of Oracle Marketing Cloud and their own Matthew Collins, SVP of Global Marketing.
Now nearly every conversation about marketing starts with growth. And yet I learned that in 2013/2014, only 24% of companies had real growth. That means that despite being a multi-billion industry to drive sales, fewer than 30% met their growth objectives. Apparently, the key to growth is the relationships that you may have with customers and suppliers. But how do you build and manage those relationships? Traditionally, this has been through handshakes over cocktails but “social sharing” is changing the game. Nearly all of us carry around a tiny computer in our pockets that is able to track and publicly share where we go, what we eat and just about anything we do. Why aren’t more companies capturing this kind of information to deliver a more personalized experience to their customers and/or prospects?
Kevin Akeroyd of Oracle spoke about the three X’s when interacting with customers: Customer Expectation, Customer Experience, and finally Customer Expression. A company’s marketing team creates an image of the product or service and thus builds an expectation for its customers. Hopefully, the customer has a positive experience and either way, we can now hear them share about it or express their feelings across the various social channels. Indeed, one may notice a much quicker customer service response from a frustrated tweet rather than one from cradling a phone while on hold with a support line to vent.
And this is where data and analytics can play a crucial role in empowering marketing teams to thoughtfully manage and curate customers, prospects and supplier data. Tools like Oracle’s Eloqua can be used to harness this data that can enable any company to manage relationship at any stage and grow it, based on customers’ need.
More than simple segmentation, the creation of a data foundation can pre-emptively address customer concerns and assist in moving them further along the sales cycle. This is how Dun & Bradstreet’s commercial data becomes invaluable. As an Oracle partner, Dun & Bradstreet’s content is being natively embedded in the Oracle Data cloud. This means that Oracle customers have access and can deliver a much more significant impact to their bottom-line when this information can help increase the conversion of prospects to leads and increase conversion of leads to customers (closing the deal).
“Working with Oracle our goal is to help transform the way marketers effectively use the right data to scale their ability to manage and grow relationships based on greater knowledge of their customers’ needs, interests, etc. Knowing which data to focus on will be a game changer to marketers.” ~Matt Collins, SVP, Global Marketing, Dun & Bradstreet.