A New Point Of Integration: Oracle Officiates Marriage Between BlueKai And Eloqua

john stetic oracleWhile marketing clouds push the promise of technological integration, the fact that every major cloud was built through acquisition means it’s fair to question the extent to which the components are truly unified.

Getting applications within a cloud to communicate is ultimately an iterative process and Oracle, on Tuesday, unveiled its latest development within its Marketing Cloud suite: linking its data-management platform (DMP), which it inherited from its BlueKai acquisition in February, with the B2B marketing automation solution it acquired from Eloqua in 2012.

Certainly, Oracle’s ambitions for the BlueKai DMP and data exchange extend beyond marketing. BlueKai’s former CEO, Omar Tawakol, is now GM of Oracle Data Cloud, an initiative to provide data-driven services across Oracle’s other enterprise offerings.

For Oracle’s marketing software specifically, however, integrating the DMP with Eloqua essentially eases the data flow between the two, improving the Marketing Cloud’s out-of-the-box functionality. In the words of Oracle Marketing Cloud group VP John Stetic, the company removed “friction areas.”

“Previously, if you had data in Eloqua, you could export it out and ingest it into BlueKai, but it was much more cumbersome,” he said. Clients would have to put BlueKai tags into the Eloqua system for instance or embed JavaScript code.

“Now, we have an app-style integration,” Stetic said. Eloqua has app plug-ins – built either by Eloqua itself or third-party developers – designed to enhance functionality of the core technology. Oracle simply built a BlueKai plugin.

From a functionality standpoint, the integration is designed to make it easier for clients to target messaging to customers or prospects across multiple channels.

“Let’s say I’m doing a multistage nurture campaign, which is common for Eloqua,” Stetic said. “I’ve got guided content I want to deliver to customers based on certain parameters.”

In theory, clients using Eloqua and the DMP together can retarget members of that audience based on factors like behavior or previous engagement with curated content.

“If I send [prospects] two email touches, but they haven’t engaged or clicked through the content, I can’t reach them through the email channel,” Stetic said. A solution might be to retarget via display ads.

So why did Oracle focus on merging the DMP with a B2B solution like Eloqua instead of a B2C solution like Responsys? Stetic described the Eloqua-BlueKai union as “an interesting opportunity to do something new here.” Essentially, Oracle wanted to prove the value of combining the DMP with B2B marketing automation.

Stetic pointed to the overlap between Eloqua and BlueKai users that existed even before the integration. While he wouldn’t specify the number of clients that use both, Stetic said most are in the high-tech vertical with both commercial and consumer lines of business.

“What we found out is that the consumer side used BlueKai as a DMP while the commercial side was interested in using it,” he said.

Building a plug-in to simplify integration between BlueKai and Eloqua, Stetic said, would hopefully catalyze action from that interest.

But what of Responsys? On this point, Stetic was mum. He declined to comment on integrations beyond the immediate announcement around BlueKai and Eloqua. Still, Oracle clearly has ambitions with Responsys.

In May, at an event in New York City to debut the Oracle Marketing Cloud, SVP and GM of Marketing Cloud Kevin Akeroyd told a panel of journalists, “Right now, I just gotta make Responsys work really well. Then my baby step after that will be to get all that DMP data into my Responsys marketing automation engine. Then I’ll need to go from just email [messaging] into display, social and mobile-driven responses.”

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