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Oracle Releases New Marketing Automation Apps

Oracle Marketing builds on the vendor's existing package with new analytics tools, a scripting feature, and new content-management features.
Oracle wants its customers to build supply chains around their customers. At least that's the philosophy driving its latest applications releases, which include a new marketing-automation application suite coming out Wednesday.

As part of Oracle's E-business suite, Oracle Marketing builds on the vendor's existing marketing-automation package with three key new features. New analytics tools are now available directly to marketing managers, rather than being controlled by IT departments or specialized data analysts, so that the managers can easily set predictive models for customer behavior and deliver more targeted marketing campaigns. A new scripting feature feeds scripts to any touch point that may be contacted by a customer in response to a promotion. So if a customer calls into a call center in response to a specific offer on a specific flyer, that call-center agent has a script readily available to guide the interaction so that the customer is receiving personalized service. Finally, a new version of Oracle Content Manager lets marketing managers create a single source of content to build all campaigns while facilitating regionalized offers, translations for international businesses, and the approval process. The idea is that a single source for all campaigns will eliminate duplicated marketing efforts.

All of these features are designed to link marketing directly to other areas of customer contact, such as sales and support. "Marketing needs to be more a part of a sales process rather than separate endeavor," says Robb Eklund, VP of CRM marketing at Oracle. "The supply chain around the customer starts with a marketing interaction, and the more that we drive that interaction into sales then the better and more profitable the relationship with the customer is going to be."

Earlier this month, Oracle released new versions of its sales applications that put tools into the hands of the sales organization rather than sales managers and automated business processes across all sales and customer-interaction channels.

Eklund says that both releases are part of Oracle's overall strategy to turn these applications into revenue generators. "It's important to see the different approach that is more aligned to our customer's sensitivity to ROI," he says. "How can I be successful in CRM? It's not about making the contacts, it's about driving revenue, it's about making the sales force more effective and enabled to close the deal and marketing products that people are looking for."

The new version of Oracle Marketing is available immediately. Oracle lists pricing for all its applications at http://www.oracle.com.