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Oracle Marketing Cloud [#OMC] / Heinz Marketing 2015 Marketing Operations Roundtable – Dec 4th, 2014

The SLMA was invited to be an attendee at the Oracle Marketing Cloud/Heinz Marketing Operations Round-table. Our thanks to both sponsors, it was a great meeting of the minds.

Columbia CenterVenue:  Columbia Tower, Seattle

The Group

Yesterday we had a group of 30 digital marketing leaders from the Seattle area attend our 2015 Marketing Operations Round-table.  To have this brain trust all in one room was a wonderful experience.  Brian Hansford from Heinz moderated the roundtable and we heard from everyone in the room.

Key Trends and Highlights

Here is a summary of some of the trends and highlights that were brought up during today’s roundtable:

Marketing departments are clearly overwhelmed with the range of “choice” around marketing automation apps available to them.  There are said to be over 936 apps today (talk about distraction) that do a host of things from content to campaigns to lead scoring to analytics. 

There is growing pressure to identify marketing influence or attribution.  At the end of the day in any firm, influence is sourcing and happens well before any BDR, inside sales, rep or opportunity is identified.  Capturing attribution up front is a challenge and a real need.  

There is a distinct feeling there is a nuclear arms race to get as much MA tech in house as possible.  Some firms even have an approach of “see what sticks” before committing full bore and are reorganizing to accommodate.

Examples are as follows:

Big trend to pull inside sales out of sales and put it under a demand gen org or align it tighter to marketing altogether.

Folks are dabbling with up and coming CRM systems such as Full circle CRM who specialize in areas like attribution.

Content content content.  It was mentioned a lot but nobody has really solved the problem.

Social media is also a hot area with lots of buzz around startups such as Hootsuite – social media dashboards are all the rage.

Engagement analysis from firms like Leadspace (Founder from Eloqua) try to understand how folks engage.

Competitive analysis is also red hot, firms like RivalIQ, Ready Pulse are all honing in on the area of competitor analysis.

Data is also top of mind.  Some firms consider themselves purely data driven.  Firms are now looking closely at CMS and CMX with a data lens.  The question that arose from the group are you better off hiring a bunch of data/excel gurus or buying a top end marketing automation solution to do it.  From the outset, purchasing a marketing automation solution can appear expensive, but that pales in comparison to the cost of hiring some excel gurus and the risk when they walk out the door. 

Tools that bring together Data are also very much in focus.  Tableau was mentioned numerous times.

Real time scoring based on content is also a growing area.  New firms such as were mentioned.

Predictive analytics firms had Lattice but found it overly complex and moved to other solutions such as Infer.  Others like Lattice and the ability to score on DBL and behavior.

The Nitty Gritty of Marketing Automation [MA]

Back to the nitty gritty of MA, it was nice to get a taste of reality.  The promise of marketing automation is truly great.  However, what many firms do not realize is a great deal of heavy lifting needs to happen behind the curtain before you can start turning on the value.  Many miss this step.  Some still believe that licensing software and turning it on will result in nirvana but that is far from the truth.

A few marketing nirvana roadblocks:

Simple items that get in the way of achieving Nirvana are as follows:

  • Oftentimes sales and marketing do not see eye to eye.  A potential solution is to have both sales and marketing sit down and agree what a MQL is with specific scoring to achieve MQL status e.g. attending a web conf scores 20 pts, etc. and an MQL needs 100 pts before it can be handed off to sales.
  • Some firms struggle with integration between disparate solutions.
  • Content marketers sometimes get measured off content and not the campaign.
  • Firms still need a proper consolidated view of customer, with basics such as touch points etc. 
  • Sales people don’t read or understand marketing content. 
  • Sales need context around every sales call.  [Shameless plug - Eloqua Prospect Profiler has this with a plug into SFDC]

 Marketing Stack Wish list for 2015

To wrap-up up the session, the roundtable group was asked what was on their Marketing Stack Wish list for 2015.  The result was as follows:  

  1. Single view of the customer [amazing to think it is nearly 2015 and this is still unsolved]
  2. Reliable data
  3. Consolidated analytics
  4. API’s that work
  5. A more perfect lead delivery model
  6. A content strategy that works with sales team.
  7. A nurture program that aligns to buying cycle (one firm is currently doing this with
  8. A wish for some industries to do more – some members from industries such as Financial Services and Chemical felt that were in the dark ages compared to what was discussed by some other companies today.

Wishing you all a great holiday season, and we hope to hold another marketing operations roundtable in 2015.

James Mullarney – Senior Director Oracle Marketing Cloud 


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