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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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5. It's a Team Effort

Hurd isn't expecting the CMO to handle this all alone. No one leader has all these skill sets. But the CMO can support these initiatives from the top down. Hurd closed his column with a real-world example of how this kind of marketing can make a difference.

"About a year ago, when I was on a long trip from New York to Abu Dhabi and Australia, I ran out of clothes. I called my wife, who was planning to meet me in Australia, and asked her to bring shirts. When I got to the hotel, the shirts were waiting, straight from a local retailer in Melbourne," Hurd said.

As it turns out, his wife had accessed a retailer's Web site on her iPhone, and ended up chatting with a personal shopper. The shopper got his size, gathered the shirts from a retailer in Melbourne and had them shipped to Hurd's hotel. The shirts weren't even from the retailer's own stock. They got them from a competitor just to get the job done.

"I've told this story many times, because it's so shocking to me that a company would be able to pivot so quickly, and go outside of their own catalog -- to another retailer! -- to solve my problem. It's a whole new level of differentiated service, and I haven't forgotten it," Hurd said.

"That's the kind of experience that makes me a firm believer in the value of customer-obsessed marketing. It shows how marketing, in becoming an advocate for your customer, becomes an effective advocate for your company, too."

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