customer experience, Oracle Recognizes Integration Challenges in Marketing Cloud

Oracle and President Mark Hurd began to build hype for the company's new marketing cloud at a company event in New York City yesterday.

But it was neither Hurd, his colleagues or their customers who spoke the most telling words.

An audience member asked Hurd if Oracle will actually be able to integrate technologies like Responsys, Eloqua, BlueKai and Compendium.

And Hurd responded to the audience at the Museum of Arts and Design on Columbus Circle open and honestly. Anyone that ever tells you “everything works perfectly together” is “pulling your leg,” he said.

'We Will Execute’

So Oracle admits: integrating the acquired technologies is challenging. Hurd even cited a Responsys customer who expressed concerns that promises would not be kept after Oracle bought that company in December.

Integration has been a hot button issue around the latest marketing software acquisitions. Sure, these acquisition headlines look cool, and everyone buzzes about them for a few days. Companies are spending millions scooping up the latest hot marketing tech.

But integration is the industry’s buzz kill. Company X requires Company Y. Now show me how they get it done.

Oracle isn't the only company that has been questioned on integration. Earlier this month, it was IBM, which recently acquired email provider Silverpop. An Adobe executive said the deal “could turn into an integration nightmare for customers.”

customer experience, Oracle Recognizes Integration Challenges in Marketing Cloud

Oracle ultimately plans to sleep well as it deploys its own marketing cloud. Hurd vowed Oracle “will execute” the integration process for its marketing cloud.

Kevin Akeroyd, general manager and senior vice president of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, was quick to second that when he spoke after Hurd.

“We can all buy (companies),” Akeroyd said in reference to other heavy hitters in the marketing software space. "But it’s who integrates the best” that ultimately wins.

“We can integrate,” he said. “We are integrating.”

We’re Going to be Big

Hurd and Oracle are so confident in the marketing cloud that they are “committed to lead and drive this space.”

“We think it will be one of, if not the, hottest spaces,” Hurd added. “I won’t promise you we are going to buy more companies, per se, but what we will do is spend time integrating the capabilities we’ve got, adding more capabilities, developing best practices and really focus on leading this space.”

But can an IT company succeed catering to marketers? In a $2 trillion IT space, Oracle owns about 5 percent of market share, Hurd said. CMOs are impacting technology, something Oracle realizes. Connecting with CMOs is Oracle's priority, he said.

“We’re good with IT,” he said, “but we don’t have a great relationship with the chief marketing officer.”

Solving Silo Problems

Akeroyd said the Oracle Marketing Cloud will help organizations target relevant customer data and piece transactions together. Too many organizations fail to deliver consistent messages across multiple channels, he added.

Some marketers are still campaign oriented. Email campaigns. A lead-nurturing campaign. They use KPIs. They keep the campaigns in silos. They neglect to incorporate behavioral metrics.

The Oracle Marketing Cloud unifies the right subset of data and helps marketers create the universal customer profile. It also avoids the problem, Akeroyd said, of dozens of disparate marketing software systems trying to cross technology barriers.

Oracle’s grab of data management platform BlueKai ties into the marketing cloud perfectly, he added.

“Unification and activation,” Akeroyd said. “Get it up in the cloud enabling you to talk to customers in real time.”