Oracle’s Data Cloud Provides Retailers Crucial Insight to Create Precisely Targeted Marketing Campaigns
12.22.16 Business Solutions

Oracle’s Data Cloud Provides Retailers Crucial Insight to Create Precisely Targeted Marketing Campaigns

By: Sean Garrity

The Crunch: Launched in 2014, Oracle Data Cloud helps businesses better target prospective customers thanks to high-accuracy data that personalizes the marketing message. The Data Cloud platform was built upon a union of industry-leading data platforms, including BlueKai, Datalogix, AddThis, and Crosswise. The Data Cloud brings together online, offline, and cross-device matching data. Because the Data Cloud tracks customer interactions, marketers can connect with consumers at various touchpoints in their purchasing journey and measure the effectiveness of marketing campaigns across all channels. Supported by teams of experts focused in different verticals, Oracle’s Data Cloud offers incredible solutions to connect retailers to the consumers they want to reach.

To say marketing in the 21st century is complex would be an understatement. Consumers now have so many avenues to interact with brands, and it’s overwhelming to think of compiling all of the data, figuring out how to use it to target prospective customers, and measuring the efficacy of campaigns.

Trends in contemporary marketing seem to focus on the employment of Data as a Service (DaaS) platforms that push collected data into marketing Software as a Service (SaaS) frameworks. According to a study by Markets and Markets, the DaaS market will be worth $7 billion by 2020, which is big news for the marketing world.

Oracle has led the charge toward the future DaaS market with the development of its Data Cloud, which helps businesses at any level of sophistication simplify complicated marketing processes to directly target potential customers.

How does it work? Oracle’s Data Cloud aggregates and packages first-, second-, and third-party data and pumps it into SaaS platforms running marketing programs. The data then powers marketing tools for website personalization, ad campaign launches, and CRM and email customization.

Marketers gain a comprehensive view of who their customers are through the data and connect this view across channels. Once the data is transferred to SaaS, it can be activated and used to personalize messages to potential customers in their journeys around a brand’s touchpoints.

“An analogy that I tend to use quite often is you can buy a car, but the car doesn’t work unless you put the right gas and oil in it,” said Cory Treffiletti, VP of Marketing and Partner Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud, and former CMO of BlueKai. “SaaS is the car, and DaaS is the gas and the oil. If you buy an expensive car, like a Ferrari, you’re going to put the highest octane, best performance oil and gas in that car. You’re not going to get the 87 octane gas that you’d put into a less expensive car.”

Headshot of Cory Treffiletti and Oracle logo

Cory Treffiletti, VP of Marketing and Partner Solutions, Oracle Data Cloud, helps retailers target customers with the services provided by the Data Cloud.

Cory’s analogy perfectly describes how important Oracle’s Data Cloud can be for businesses. The Oracle Data Cloud, built upon a union of industry-leading data providers, powers marketing campaigns, allowing businesses to target customers by personalizing marketing messages and giving companies the ability to measure results. Supported by vertically-focused teams of experts, Oracle’s Data Cloud offers incredible solutions to connect retailers to consumers.

It’s More Than Data — Oracle’s Expert Team Makes All the Difference

Many data providers offer marketing support services in the retail space, but the experience and passion of Oracle’s team members separate them from the pack.

Oracle’s go-to marketing strategy is very vertically focused around categories like automotive, consumer packaged goods, and retail. This creates the advantage of having teams made up of industry experts.

“The people supporting our retail category are all ex-retailers of some sort,” Cory explained. “They’ve been servicing the retail market for 15 to 25 years and bring an endemic category knowledge to bear. They’re also highly skilled in the data space. That’s a combination that’s hard to find anywhere else.”

Photo of Oracle team members helping clients

Oracle’s team is vertically focused, highly skilled in the data space, and hands on when helping clients understand data.

Though Oracle is not a consultancy, its teams are hands on when working clients through the process of collecting, employing, and activating data. Oracle teams will sit in client offices, spending weeks on site if needed. The point is to ensure that all parties are getting the best out of the relationship.

“It’s an investment of time,” Cory said, “but it’s a very worthwhile investment from a business perspective that we’ve seen pay off time and time again.”

Oracle understands that data is a complicated space, and that’s why its experts are on the front lines, helping clients most effectively utilize its tools.

“It’s not just about the data and the science that we apply,” Cory said. “All of that stuff is nice, but you need the people to make it that much more effective.”

Target, Personalize, and Measure with Data as a Service

Cory told us that the core of Oracle’s data offerings boils down to three things: targeting, personalization, and measurement. Essentially, a marketing campaign is all about identifying a potential customer and targeting them with a personalized message. Oracle Data Cloud allows businesses to do this and measure the results for efficacy.

An essential item in the Oracle data toolbox is its ID Graph. With it, Oracle can recognize consumers in an anonymous fashion across different channels and devices. The ID Graph tells businesses when and how someone is exposed to their message.

Photo of people using electronic devices

Oracle’s ID Graph recognizes consumers across different channels, telling retailers how they were exposed to an ad.

Cory likens it to finding travelers on paths to their destinations.

“If you’re going to drive from San Francisco to New York, there’s not just one way to get there,” he said. “There are 10,000 different ways to go. But you want to understand where I am in the United States at any given time and know where I’m trying to get.”

In this case, the destination represents the end goal for a retailer — a sale. With the right data connected through the ID Graph, a retailer can identify potential customers, understand where they are on their journeys, and deliver relevant messages to them along their paths regardless of what device and channel they be engaging upon.

“Maybe they’ve done a store locator on your website already, and you know they’ve been tweeting about looking for a specific type of product,” Cory said.” This is all information that you’re going to use to deliver a personalized message to them.”

The Oracle Data Cloud is so effective because it is able to utilize online data, offline transactional data, and cross-device data to tell the complete customer story, from ad exposure to purchase. The data and its effects are measurable, and that provides real value for retailers.

“We’re helping brands understand how a customer exposed to an ad in a digital environment shows up in the store or on their site,” Cory said. “If a person was shown an online ad, through proximity data, we know they showed up in your store two weeks later. We’re not directly attributing that specific ad to walking into the store, but we can say that this person was definitely exposed — this person definitely showed up in your store as a result of your campaign.”

A Data Cloud Built by Collaboration Connects Retailers to Customers

So, where does all of this data come from? Oracle launched the Data Cloud in 2014 after acquiring BlueKai, a large, cloud-based big data platform. As BlueKai’s former head of marketing, Cory knew the acquisition was going to have a huge impact on the way businesses could market their brands.

“The portion of the BlueKai business that was known as the Data Exchange was used to establish the Oracle Data Cloud,” he said. “At that point, we aggregated together about 200 individual data providers and packaged them together to deliver things like in-market data, lifestyle data, and demographic data.”

Once the groundwork to build the Data Cloud was laid, Oracle knew it needed more pieces to complete the picture. The first took the form of a company called Datalogix, which provided an enormous purchase-based offline data set. Coupled with its online data from BlueKai, this gave Oracle the ability to tie the offline transactional data to anonymous cookies.

Oracle knew, however, that it needed deeper, richer behavioral data than could be provided solely with BlueKai’s pixel-based cookie approach. So they brought AddThis onboard. The data from AddThis is based in Javascript, which is embedded in 15 million websites around the world and allows Oracle to amass much more knowledge about customer paths through the web.

“The Oracle Data Cloud, through Datalogix, had built this amazing offline data asset that is very valuable for audience targeting,” said Rich Harris, Oracle Data Cloud’s Group Vice President and former CEO of AddThis. “AddThis brings in online data to layer onto that and makes the Data Cloud’s profile even more robust.”

Headshot of Rich Harris and representation of the Oracle Data Cloud

Rich Harris, Group Vice President, Oracle Data Cloud, and former CEO of AddThis, and his company brought deeper, richer data to the Data Cloud.

With its acquisition of AddThis, Oracle changed the game by expanding the scope and quality of its data collection capabilities. Rich told us just how effective the Data Cloud is because of this expansion.

“When people come to a retailer’s site and interact with it, we get data back from them that tells us what’s going on,” he said. “We have websites all over the world feeding us data simultaneously. We aggregate that data together, and we apply our data science, machine learning, and algorithms to it. It all happens behind the scenes. Marketers simply have to push a button on their dashboards to dictate how, where, and when a message is personalized.”

The final part of the picture came together with the acquisition of Crosswise, which bolsters Oracle’s ID Graph and brings cross-device matching to the Oracle Data Cloud. Online data, offline data, and cross-device data, coupled with a number of data partnerships, has built the Data Cloud up into one of the strongest tools a business can use to learn about their customers and convert sales.

Oracle’s Data and Marketing Services Position Businesses for Growth

Marketing campaigns can be powerful vehicles, like Ferraris, which is why Cory’s analogy likening the Data Cloud to high octane gasoline is apt. The Data Cloud powers businesses’ SaaS platforms so they operate at peak performance.

“Marketers have to ask themselves two questions, ‘Did I expose my message to the right audience, and did that audience react and buy my product or service?’ Cory said. “The first question’s a matter of efficiency; the second, a matter of performance. These are the metrics that determine success.”

Companies grow because their messages reach people in the right ways, and Oracle helps them do just that. The Oracle Data Cloud is a solution built by industry leaders to tackle complex marketing processes, and puts businesses on the path toward better targeted, personalized, and measurable marketing campaigns.

“When we talk to marketers and explain the complicated world of data-driven marketing in a simple manner, that really resonates,” Cory said. “That’s why I think we’re doing so well and why the Data Cloud has helped so many businesses.