Oracle launches Data Cloud to provide a customer data hub for marketers

At last week’s Interact conference, Oracle Marketing Cloud’s general manager Kevin Akeroyd said Oracle was going to beat the marketing cloud competition on the strength of its superior integration of customer data sources.

Today, it is following through on that statement by launching the Oracle Data Cloud, a data repository that combines its recently purchased data platform BlueKai along with several existing Oracle data services.

By creating a centralized data hub, Oracle is looking to build a comprehensive, easily accessible source of customer data, pulled from a variety of digital sources. This includes social media, email, website forms, personal contacts and third party information, to create a single view of the customer.

The data is then made accessible to several different platforms in the company, such as the marketing automation, social media and the sales teams. It can also be accessed by non-marketing units, such as customer service who can use it for accessing customer history.

This is Oracle’s concept of DaaS or Data as a Service, where the customer data is unbundled from the individual analytics component of each software, and instead placed as a standalone, central resource for all the point solutions to tap into. Instead of a marketer trying to physically build a customer profile by getting their information from separate sources the Data Cloud simply does it on its own.

“Unbundling data from SaaS applications has enhanced a business user’s ability to activate insights gleaned from external data sources, leading to more engaging and personalized customer experiences,” says Omar Tawakol, general manager and group vice president, Oracle Data Cloud. “The Oracle Data Cloud brings together a best-in-class data platform with the world’s largest data marketplace to drive smarter decisions for marketing and social, and it will eventually include other enterprise functions such as sales and service.”

The new Data Cloud has two versions that will serve different categories of marketers, Oracle Data as a Service for Marketing and Oracle Data as a Service for Social.

Oracle DaaS for Marketing will provide unified data from across the enterprise, allowing marketers to target specific customer segments and deliver relevant ad campaigns and content across mobile, web, search and social channels. 

Oracle DaaS for Social provides information gleaned from 700 million social messages daily across more than 40 million social media and news data sites. It provides contextual analysis to the raw text messages being monitored and gives marketers the insights on trending topics, competitors and customer sentiment.

In essence, Oracle is looking to help marketers connect the dots among the many disparate applications they use to communicate with customers. While Oracle’s marketing solutions aren’t as integrated as Adobe’s, it has made a huge leap forward by at least integrating all the data from its individual programs.

This is a crucial step, since Oracle can now get its foot in the door through its data offering. BlueKai was already the go-to-source for many companies running ad campaigns based on its customer data profiles. Now its integration into the Data Cloud gives marketers not only a central place to keep all their proprietary data, they can merge it and match it to BlueKai’s existing audience profiles.

Most enterprises use different point solutions for their digital marketing efforts. But if Oracle can get in by letting those solutions connect to its central data hub, it has the opportunity to become an irreplaceable part of the marketing stack. And that would (theoretically) make it easier to up-sell customer on the entire Oracle Marketing Cloud, which has always been the end goal.

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