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Oracle's Mark Hurd Reveals 5 Keys to Marketing Success

By Jennifer LeClaire
April 16, 2014 1:56PM

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Marketing has a greater responsibility for customer relationship management than ever before. "It's not so much about pitching and influencing as it is about supporting a great customer experience," says Oracle President Mark Hurd. "Make customers want to connect with you," he advises. "Do right by your customers, and they'll do right by you."

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2. It's All About the Data

Hurd doesn't want to hear that big data is going to somehow solve all your marketing challenges. As he sees it, businesses need solutions that intelligently apply all the information gathered on their customers.

"For example, my cellular provider knows how much I use my phone and where I'm traveling. The provider could offer me location-specific services, or save me money with a better-aligned voice and data plan. I travel a lot," he said. "What if airline partners had their data connected so that they could cross-sell upgrades or hotel and rental-car discounts? That's the kind of service that excites customers."

3. No More IT-Marketing Divide

According to industry research firm Gartner, 88 percent of chief marketing officers say they don't have a real-time view of customer interactions across their company, Hurd noted. That, he said, means they'll have to partner with their IT teams to secure the technology and put in place the business processes required to support this integrated view.

"You're not going to be able to survive in the marketing role without a deep capability in IT, because that's how you reach the customer. Going forward, the two roles might fuse together, because by 2017, Gartner projects, CMOs will spend more on IT than CIOs," Hurd said. "A big driver of the increased spend is digital marketing. Already, 23 percent of CMOs are devoting the majority of their budgets to digital marketing -- a shift that promises to deliver better outcomes for marketers and for businesses."

4. Automation's Transforming Power

Hurd said most traditional marketing people have focused on brand advertising and lead generation. Back in the day, a week-old lead was fresh. That's not true any more. Hence, the value of marketing automation. Hurd is practicing what he's preaching at Oracle via its Eloqua acquisition. He said Oracle has already witnessed 20 times growth in conversion rates from lead to sales opportunity.

"We're able to measure the impact of social communications, both inbound and outbound, as a part of our integrated multichannel marketing campaigns, and we're able to do this throughout our sales process," Hurd said. "And we've doubled the open rate of our customer communications and likewise have seen a doubling of completed registration forms for offers and events." (continued...)

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