Exploring the Marriage of Data and Technology at Oracle OpenWorld 2015

oow_clr_rgb-largeWhen a particularly big initiative or a particularly unwieldy messaging challenge confronts here on the marketing team at Dun & Bradstreet, we often revert back to a key principle: Our primary job is to make the complex simple.

To this end, given that we inhabit the decidedly difficult to decipher world of (ugh) “big data,” we spend a lot of time in search of those perfect, non-hackneyed analogies that will crystallize the role of data in modern business and technology. We talk about analogies so much that we joke about making a This is Spinal TapBest in Show-style video bit mocking our – and our industry’s – efforts to come up with a way to make “real” something as intangible as data. Data as water, fuel, food, chemical elements… You name it, we’ve probably white-boarded it.

Thank goodness, then, for Oracle OpenWorld, which kicks off in earnest today in San Francisco. Dun & Bradstreet is proud to join its partners from Oracle and thousands of other like-minded companies as we mine knowledge from 2,500 sessions featuring more than 3,000 speakers.

With OpenWorld, analogies are still nice to have (don’t they always help to weave together a narrative?), but the clarity they aim for is already evident at the conference: The connection between data and technology is vital. One without the other is like … Oh never mind. Pay attention to the event and you will get it.

For our part, Dun & Bradstreet leaders will explore the data-technology marriage in four spotlighted sessions alongside executives from Oracle, which has embedded Dun & Bradstreet data throughout its Oracle Data Cloud, Oracle Marketing Cloud and Oracle Sales Cloud platforms. The sessions explore how D&B data helps Oracle users target prospects better (Data Cloud), nurture leads better (Marketing Cloud) and close business better (Sales Cloud).

How to target better is the topic today at 11:30 AM PST as Anudit Vikram, Dun & Bradstreet’s SVP and chief product officer of Audience Solutions, highlights our new partnership with Oracle BlueKai. Dun & Bradstreet data is bolstering ad targeting capabilities in the burgeoning programmatic marketplace, and the BlueKai partnership is a key part of the strategy.

Today at 1 pm PST, Dun & Bradstreet SVP of marketing Matt Collins – he is the leading advocate of our “make the complex simple” mantra – joins Kevin Akeroyd, the GM and SVP of the Oracle Marketing Cloud, for a keynote presentation on how data and technology are letting marketers own more of the customer experience than ever before. Along with weaving an analogy of their own to explain the relationship platform concept of data management, Akeroyd and Collins will cover how Dun & Bradstreet’s own embrace of Oracle technology has led to our improved engagement of customers across the buyer’s journey.

Technology and data don’t intermingle for marketing success without outstanding partnership between the CMO and CIO, an important theme we will explore on Wednesday at 10:15 Pacific time. Akeroyd and John Stetic, Oracle’s Group Vice President for Product Development, will join Dun & Bradstreet CMO Rishi Dave at the Intercontinental Hotel (888 Howard Street) for a roundtable discussion on how organizations can better understand their buyer’s digital body language and use timely and targeted messaging more effectively as a result.

Finally, on Thursday at noon Pacific, we take a deep leap into the Oracle Sales Cloud with Niraj Deo, Senior Director of Product Management for Oracle Data Cloud, and Vimal Vel, Dun & Bradstreet’s VP of Partner Solutions Strategy. Together they will sift through the ways data as a service – where a data licensing model is provided through a cloud service – is of particular value for sales teams looking to increase reach, efficiency and opportunity identification.

If all that isn’t enough, swing by the Dun & Bradstreet set-up at Moscone South 425 or visit us in our kiosk at the Big Data Showcase. We’ll take any analogy ideas you’re willing to share.

D&B Partners with Oracle BlueKai to Deliver Optimized B2B Ad Targeting

marketers-datainWith a focus on driving success for our customers across the enterprise, D&B continues to blaze new trails in the B2B marketing space. Building on our strategic relationship with Oracle’s Data Cloud group, in which D&B is the backbone of the Oracle Data as a Service for Business offering, the two companies have extended the solution by entering into a new digital marketing agreement to deliver commercial audience segmentation data as part of the BlueKai Audience Data Marketplace and Data Management Platform (DMP).

The expansion of this partnership recognizes that marketers are looking to mine, refine and target with precision all prospect and customer touch-points throughout their marketing platforms. This new combined offering helps organize and make available B2B cookie data, so businesses can personalize content and delivery to distinct audience segments.

As a publisher to the BlueKai Audience Data Marketplace, D&B delivers information on 152 audience segments, so enterprise sales and marketing teams using the BlueKai platform can target more granular segments with the right messages and offers. The combined offering delivers on a key value proposition for B2B marketers: using deterministic rather than probabilistic tools that provide the necessary insight to create campaigns and deliver more relevant, targeted offers that resonate – maximizing ROI.

To support and ensure our success in this new space, D&B has formed an Audience Solutions Group. Its task is to discover, evaluate and harmonize new data sources, and leverage technology to tailor the offering specifically around the complexities faced by the B2B marketer. Leveraging over 600 known attributes, D&B Audience Solutions can provide a deep understanding of both role and business behavior within a client company by mining the following types of attributes:

  • Company information, including number of employees, annual revenue and maturity
  • Industry classifications such as SIC and NAICS
  • Functional data for contacts, including area of responsibility, domain expertise and seniority
  • Decision-maker contacts in IT, financial and business roles

This new partnership brings enterprise customers another step closer to true data-driven decision-making. D&B’s vision is to drive value from our immense commercial assets – and to help enterprise customers speed up revenue cycles using the marketing platform of choice.

Reading List

Want to learn more about how BlueKai can help your team turbocharge B2B sales? Here are some resources to get you started.

– Oracle whitepaper: BlueKai DMP Demystified
– Forrester report: Navigating The New Data Market Landscape
– Forrester blog: Regulators Navigate New Data Sources To Better Know Their “Customers”
– Winterberry white paper: Going Global: Programmatic Audience Development around the World

Image credit: Oracle BlueKai

A Race to Own the Digital Marketing Cloud

AdobeReportA busy year in the development of the digital marketing cloud did not end quietly. Right before the Christmas holiday, Oracle announced its plan to acquire Datalogix, a company that crunches consumer spending data and correlates it to ad spend and digital marketing efforts. The acquisition is expected to complement Oracle’s recent purchase of BlueKai to expand its digital marketing suite.

“The addition of Datalogix to the Oracle Data Cloud will provide data-driven marketers the most valuable targeting and measurement solution available,” said Omar Tawakol, Group Vice President and General Manager of Oracle Data Cloud, in a press release. “Oracle will now deliver comprehensive consumer profiles based on connected identities that will power personalization across digital, mobile, offline and TV.”

Oracle and many other companies recognize that the marketing cloud is one of the hot opportunities in the worlds of cloud computing and Big Data. And as if to emphasize that point, just a few days before Oracle announced its deal, Gartner published its first-ever 2014 Magic Quadrant report on digital marketing hubs.

Gartner reiterates the reasons we know digital marketing is becoming more important to businesses. Consumers have more power, thanks to social and mobile technologies. These new channels give brands more opportunities to interact with consumers, but also make those relationships more complex. As a result, companies are giving more authority to their marketing divisions to lead in this changing landscape.

“The past several years have brought a dramatic acceleration in the application of technology and real-time data to marketing,” Gartner says. “As marketing technology budgets increase, leading marketing service and software providers are investing heavily in assembling collections of marketing applications and services — mostly through acquisitions but also through organic development.”

Adobe Systems snagged the coveted spot in the Gartner report. It’s positioned furthest to the right in terms of “completeness of vision,” and at about the same level as Oracle for “ability to execute.” Overall, that gives Adobe a slight edge in terms of being a “leader” by Gartner’s measure of digital marketing hub over Oracle and Salesforce.com, the only other company to land in the leadership quadrant.

“We believe being recognized as a leader positioned furthest for completeness of vision is validation of Adobe’s unique offering in the market,” said Suresh Vittal, vice president of strategy for Adobe’s Digital Marketing in a press release. “The deep integration of our Marketing Cloud solutions allows brands to connect with customers through highly personalized content across all digital touch points.”

Of course, the magic quadrant was published before Oracle’s bid for Datalogix, so that positioning may have already been a bit scrambled. And in any case, Gartner cautions that no one company is anywhere near achieving a dominant position.

“The market for digital marketing hubs is still nascent and is characterized by customer confusion (sometimes bordering on frustration),” Gartner says. “It features a fragmented and heterogeneous collection of competitors from different backgrounds that approach the problem and its solution in different ways, only adding to the confusion.”

Going forward, we can be sure of one thing: Competition and investment in the digital marketing cloud will remain fierce.


D&B and Oracle Team Up to Enrich Cloud-based Business Apps

the_aucitronD&B is taking its new “outside-in” approach seriously, signing a strategic partnership agreement with Oracle that makes D&B data available to sales and marketing professionals through Oracle’s cloud-based Data as a Service for Business (Oracle DaaS for Business).

The combined solution is designed to create an ‘intelligent data layer’ — a way to add rich sources of third-party data, including D&B’s commercial business data, social media and professional contact information, to Oracle’s cloud-based applications.

The pre-integrated solution places the power directly in the hands of end users, enabling them to access data in native formats and to view high-quality data and insights within their application ecosystem. Using Oracle DaaS for Business with D&B data, companies can make headway on key strategic initiatives such as:

  • Data-driven decision-making
  • Omni-channel marketing
  • Gaining a 360-degree view of the customer
  • Sales optimization
  • Social media marketing
  • Global data management

The combined solution will be offered first to Sales and Marketing Cloud customers and then will be extended to the full suite of Oracle DaaS applications.

Check out today’s press release to find out more about the strategic partnership between Oracle and D&B. If you’re heading to Oracle OpenWorld, stop by the D&B booth for a sneak peak of the new capabilities in Oracle DaaS for Business.

Image credit: Theaucitron


Oracle’s Take on the Data Revolution

Storm for Oracle postI’ve been reading a lot of 2014 predictions posts lately, and one that  struck me recently is the latest from Mark Hurd, president at Oracle.

He touches on three of the most critical factors impacting every aspect of business today:

  • The explosive growth of data (Hurd estimates data is growing by 40% each year)
  • The influx of a younger, tech-dependent workforce
  • The new devices that are changing how and where work

Some people may call these trends, rather than factors, but the more important consideration is when these trends converge to create a tipping point, where data strategy becomes a top corporate priority.

The volatility and volume of data has always been a persistent problem – and is only getting worse. Companies are constantly trying to understand what data matters most, how to find and incorporate it into the systems already in use and most importantly how to keep it current, updated and usable. Marketing, sales, operations and the supply chain all face the same challenge.

While this may be considered old news, the most successful businesses are finally treating data for what it truly is: the backbone of any company.  That’s why Mark Hurd is asking CEOs to become champions for data:

“The necessary changes go right to the heart of the economics of IT strategy and traditions and will require sweeping new approaches; and, this new type of approach will require fresh and decisive thinking about viewing data as a highly valuable raw material that can be shaped into products and services that customers want and need.”

Hurd challenges the CEO to address these factors head-on, but it trickles down to every level and department of a business, too.  “Revolution” is a big word, after all – and change is never easy.  What new roles, process and priorities will be created to support this new world order remains to be seen.

But Oracle, SAP and Microsoft are leading the charge, helping businesses to rethink their systems and processes so they can excel in this new normal – one step at a time.

Photo credit katgrigg