Editor’s note: Tom Lee is the Head of Sales & Operations for Fliptop.
Hot on the heels of a partnership with Dun & Bradstreet, the announcement of the Datalogix acquisition marks an aggressive move on Oracle’s part — an attempt to prove to the market that it’s getting serious about data-driven marketing. Salesforce added Datalogix to its marketing cloud back in April 2014. This Oracle acquisition will probably be making some Salesforce folks feel like they got a lump of coal in their stocking this year.
The past year has seen much fanfare surrounding marketing cloud solutions, integrated software promising to help maximize and measure marketing impact across all activities. Oracle’s Data Cloud is the latest part of the company’s answer to this growing category, and Adobe, Marketo, Salesforce, SAP, and IBM all have their own take on the one-stop enterprise solutions. In developing its own cloud platform, Oracle has been highly acquisitive in recent years — scooping up Eloqua, Responsys, BlueKai and Compendium — among others.
Not many people predicted that Oracle would buy Datalogix; in fact many thought that Facebook might scoop them up. Despite all the data Facebook has on consumers, they are a customer of Datalogix. It clearly signals a shift in direction for Oracle and draws some comparisons to LinkedIn’s acquisition of Bizo. Companies are looking for ways to combine targeting and attribution with data being the common component and the marketing cloud suites are seeking ways to address this.
Attribution is hard. Prospects and customers engage with brands across so many touchpoints along the path-to-purchase, and marketers struggle with effectively assigning influence to their various investments. Marketing cloud solutions like Oracle’s Data Cloud promise to help alleviate this pain, but it remains to be seen how well data will flow between traditionally siloed systems, and the value that marketers will gain.
Still, in the wake of all the marketing clouds touted the past year, specialized solutions continue to emerge. Whether this is indicative of the fact that the big players aren’t yet living up to their one-size-fits-all promise is unclear.
In order to deliver a marketing cloud that’s more than just lip service, companies need to truly connect the dots between all customer identities — cookies, emails, URLs, IP addresses, social handles, mobile, and so on — bridge between marketing application silos, and add real insights on top of it all. Data is a key component to this, and Oracle would seem to have made a savvy move. Expect Salesforce to reply soon.