Oracle's ambitions for the Oracle Data Cloud extend beyond marketing, but for now it's focused on growing its share of chief marketing officer spend. That much was clear at last week's Oracle Cloud Data Summit in New York, where all the announcements and panel discussions were geared to marketing and media types.
The biggest announcement at the Summit was a partnership with Pinterest through which advertisers on the social network will be able measure the effectiveness of promoted "Pins" in terms of influence the offline buying behavior. Oracle Data Cloud is doing the anonymous matching of Pinterest visitors to their offline buying behavior. It also creates control populations, so it can accurately measure the lift (sales increase) generated by Pinterest campaigns. Measurement services will start in the consumer packaged goods category and will eventually extend to retailers.
Interviewed on stage at the Summit, Pinterest President Tim Kendall said users of the social network spend more than half of their time on the site shopping. He added that Oracle Data Cloud measures of CPG campaigns on Pinterest demonstrated significant lift in earned media and in-store sales. Oracle already has similar ad-measurement programs in place with Facebook, among others.
What Is Oracle Data Cloud?
Oracle started building its Data Cloud more than two years ago with the acquisition of the BlueKai marketing data management platform. In early 2015 Oracle added data broker Datalogix, which gave it data from more than 1,500 CPG and specialty retailers across 110 Million US Households. AddThis, acquired early this year, tracks and build behavior profiles on more than 2 billion unique visitors per month across more than 15 million Websites. A key driver of the deal was the company's strong presence in international markets, where Oracle is seeking to build its data footprint.
The latest addition to the Oracle Data Cloud arsenal is Crosswise, acquired in April for its machine-learning based ability to track consumer behavior across platforms including mobile devices. Mobile is the only growing category in media, according to a slide shared by Oracle (see chart below), yet it's very difficult to track mobile activity. If the same person visits the same website using two different desktop browsers, a tablet and a smartphone, the site will see four unique visitors. Crosswise can make the connections among all those cookies and device IDs to help marketers see that it's one-and-the-same prospect or customer.
The cross-channel tracking and profiling capabilities of Crosswise and AddThis are now a part of Oracle ID Graph, a capability of Oracle Data Cloud that helps marketers understand consumer behavior across channels so they can improve targeting, personalization and campaign effectiveness.
MyPOV on Oracle Data Cloud
I'm impressed by the growing capabilities and breadth of data available in the Oracle Data Cloud, but we have yet to see deep synergies with the rest of Oracle. Thomas Kurian, Oracle's president, earlier this year hinted at opportunities such as data-enrichment for better sales initiatives and better customer service. But for now it's all Oracle Data Cloud executives can do to keep up with the needs of marketers; they have their hands full integrating AddThis and Crosswise and plotting further expansion into international markets.
A more immediate synergy between Oracle and Oracle Data Cloud might be a content personalization play, hinted Eric Roza, senior VP of Oracle Data Cloud. This effort would bring ID Graph and data-enrichment capabilities together with Oracle content and customer experience technologies to deliver the right content to the right people in the right context.
The blurring of the tech and data worlds has been a long time coming. I covered the direct marketing business back in the mid 1990s, so I was somewhat surprised to discover that some of the "giants" that I covered back then remain comparatively small. As measured by 2015 revenues, Experian is a $4.8 billion company, Equifax $2.6 billion, Dun & Bradstreet $1.6 billion and Acxiom $1.0 billion.
By contrast, Oracle is a $38 billion company, and others in the tech-meets-data game include IBM ($81 billion) and Adobe ($4.7 billion). For now, Oracle might seems like a deep-pocketed parent with a data side business. But I have no doubt that synergies with sales, service and the end-to-end customer experience will create a more holistic appeal across the C-suite for Oracle customers.