Adrian Chang, Director of Customer Programs at Oracle Marketing Cloud on Trends to Watch for 2017

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Adrian Chang is a Senior Marketing Consultant at Oracle Eloqua. He is also the 2012 Eloquan of the Year. He is passionate about customer success, driving organizations to try new techniques to engage their customers and sharing stories. When Adrian is not on the clock, he can be found on a tennis court somewhere in the world and his camera is likely with him.

John Wall

John Wall

John J. Wall speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology. He is the producer of Marketing Over Coffee, a weekly audio program that discusses marketing and technology with his co-host Christopher S. Penn, and has been featured on iTunes.

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Adrian Chang, Director of Customer Programs at Oracle Marketing Cloud on Trends to Watch for 2017 including Personalization, Machine Based Learning, Account Based Marketing, Attribution, Advocacy and more!

  • What You Need Before You Can Take Advantage of Machine Learning
  • How the Data Connects Attribution to Content and Personas
  • The Truths Bared in The Content Marketing Confessional
  • What Most Marketers Get Wrong with Advocacy Marketing
John Wall

John Wall

John J. Wall speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology. He is the producer of Marketing Over Coffee, a weekly audio program that discusses marketing and technology with his co-host Christopher S. Penn, and has been featured on iTunes.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterLinkedIn

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John Wall: Hello and welcome to Stack and Flow. I’m John Wall.

Sean Zinsmeister: And I’m Sean Zinsmeister.

John: Today’s guest is Adrian Chang, the director of customer programs at Oracle. Adrian, thank you for joining us.

Adrian Chang: Thank you for having me.

John: Sean, you had the Gartner Hype Cycle at the top of the list. This is their annual report on everything that is going on in digital marketing, and where it is as far as press and opinions on it. What are you looking to dig into today?

Sean: I thought about our audience that we were really lucky to grab Adrian, who has about nine- Adrian remind me again, nine years since you’ve been at Eloqua, you have seen quite a bit. Is nine or you are going on ten, remind me again.

Adrian: I am going on ten. We were acquired by Oracle in 2012. A number of other industry leading marketing companies have come together to form the Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Sean: With Adrian’s vast years of experience and with me, someone who is no short of an opinion. I figured that we could go through the Gartner Hype Cycle, especially in their digital marketing and advertising 2016. Talk about some of the things that are on the rise, because I am sure that it would be an interesting way to structure the conversation.

The way that they break up the report, and we will define each of the sections before dive in, but they start with what is on the rise. What is really catching heat. The way that they are measuring this is all buy investments from business. There were three that caught my eye. One I have to just, already I am going to sort of pitch this to Adrian, is customer data platforms. This is something that more businesses are starting to invest in. What is your take from what you are seeing with some of the businesses that you are starting to look at? Is this been an evolution? Was this something that when Eloqua first started out wasn’t as popular? Is this trend pretty common?

Adrian: The trend is pretty common. I would say that it has more to do with the marketer evolving the channels that are used to talk to their customers. When I started at Eloqua we primarily focused on optimizing that two way dialogue with forms and email, and then adding in some trigger programs and moments when the customer showed signs of life on the website. I would say that over the past nine years you have seen other media channels, mobile, search, other digital means rise. You have seen data rise. The standard market automation platforming system, now must consume not just what the customer is doing on items that are historically tracked, but they need to get intelligence from other systems.

What you are starting to see here is the marketing organizations are continuing to expand and invest in technologies. These technologies are designed to help the marketer understand where is the customer having a conversation about the brand, and how can the marketer deliver the best of the brand with the customer data. That is why you are seeing such a huge rise. Data has grown and marketers are just trying to catch up.

Sean: The other thing that I am seeing from the businesses that we work with on the Infer side is the ownership of data is becoming more important, where somebody might even look at something like I have this re-targeting system in place but what happens if one day I want to actually move to another system. Or our business grows in such a way where this technology doesn’t scale as well with our stack, we have to switch for something else but then you cannot carry that data with you because it is owned essentially by the technology provider versus you. Are you seeing, is mobility also another reason that you are starting to see this as well, Adrian?

Adrian: Absolutely. The marketer wants to own the customer’s experience. Ownership of the data, trying to look at identities versus just impressions, trying to get through some of the walled gardens. All of that is important. Especially when you look at it from the CMO’s perspective, there is discipline in how people spend. You no longer have the web team, the traditional marketing organization, and the media team spending separately. They have to be focused. The concept of data not being accessible, that is just not going to fly, next year, the next five years, not in the age that we are in right now, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, and all of that. People want the data, they want to take action on the data. That is going to guide how people spend in the next few years.

Sean: One thing that sort of defined terms for people who might not be familiar with this. I think that we always get lost in all of this jargon, when it comes to sales and marketing technology. DMP’s. Data management platforms. Are these the future of these customer data platforms? Are they the same thing? Is that just nomenclature? Or are they two separate things, Adrian?

Adrian: I think that when you look at a DMP, the data management platform, it is separate in the sense that it is allowing you to connect disparaged types of data. You’re dating your CRM, you can also connect first and third party data. For you to get a sense of how can you look at the audience and pair pieces of information together to make informed decisions about how you follow up on what channels you use. You could pull in data points that help you understand the demographics of your audience, to do better re-targeting. You can also use this information to understand are there pockets of your audience that you should focus on more, based on data that you collect. It is hugely strategic and we are seeing tremendous growth in this area, and a lot of customers who have traditionally only done multi channel marketing through web and email, are starting to brace the data management platforms to do more around media.

John: Adrian, let’s step back a little bit too, as we get into this now. Tell us about what you do and what you are responsible for at Oracle, and so how you fit in to the whole customer data thing.

Adrian: Sure. Within the marketing cloud we have a philosophy that when you are focused on the customer, you are either for love or for money. And I am on the love side. I am responsible for our community and our customer marketing programs to help customers get value from all of the technologies that we offer from Oracle. I am really the customer’s champion to help them get the most value, to help them become successful, and one of the things that I have also led and maintained is the Markies tradition that came to Oracle through the Eloqua acquisition, and now honors excellence in data driven modern marketing across all of the marketing products and application at Oracle. I am really the journeyman to understand what it actually takes to do great marketing and do it well.

Sean: That is awesome. Getting back to the other things that are on the rise with that introduction in play. Is general purpose machine intelligence starting to become a new thing? I know there are a lot of Oracle Marketing Cloud customers that are starting to use predictive analytics, and are starting to explore different use cases there. Machine learning, is this something that as customers come to you and talk about this, is this a topic du jour, is this really a top of mind, and what are some of the strategies that they are thinking about when it comes to machine learning?

Adrian: It is absolutely top of mind. I would say that for those who are still new to the automation space, I think getting consistency on how they create campaigns, how they, from a B2B perspective, how they architect their sales and customer journey across the funnel. They have to get discipline there before they can get into the learning. I think that the customers that have successfully been able to get marketing and sales aligned and create a system that will allow them to make the connection to revenue. Those are the ones that are now going into the machine learning opportunities and trying to figure out if I have an opportunity to drive revenue, where do I focus.

Sean: Do you think that, it is because you get a chance to work with both mid market, non traditional enterprises, and then true enterprises, is there any friction in bringing some of these new technologies in, or do you find one segment over the other is more willing to accept? Just curious from a vertical standpoint.

Adrian: Great question. I would say for the mid market, in the mid market space, I don’t think that there is as much friction or reservation about bringing some of the data into the marketing automation system, using the reporting and attribution technologies there. I think when you get to enterprise, it then gets a little bit different. What starts to happen is, there is a need to have a centralized brain that lives outside all of the systems. Part of it is because their sales team, their go-to market channels, their product set, is likely more complex for them to bring into anyone’s system.

Not just automation or CRM, you need a separate intelligence engine to help you produce the kinds of insights that pockets of your organization needs. I have customers that sell different versions of products in regions and so you get more meta as you go upstream in an enterprise, and they have more needs to determine on how they are going to go back and make the connection to revenue.

John: That is a lot to unpack there. The thought is that as you go up to the enterprise level … Well I just like having that idea, having the outside machine intelligence. You just have to take all of that data off site, and let it get worked and straightened out, and give you guidance back, as opposed to integrating along everywhere and having data feed in. Is this an enterprise only thing, that little to mid market, lower end, cannot even get access to this kind of stuff because it is just too complicated a job?

Adrian: Great question. I think that it is important for everybody. For enterprise, they accept that they may need to put a little more horsepower in being disciplined, in tracking, what the seller is able to sell, but the customer’s actually looking for. If you are looking at it from a mid market or an SMB company selling into enterprise, there are likely more buyers or influencers at the table who they have to talk to. I would say if we are talking about as an enterprise marketer, the challenge, the challenge is likely that you have to cut the pie a hundred different ways to figure out how you are going to accelerate the path to revenue generation.

If you are selling to enterprise, you likely accept that there is a buying committee. And the buying process is not linear. If your influencer is the one that comes really early, you actually have to architect a journey that helps you get to the main person, who nine times out of ten is likely going to accelerate the deal or help you get it closed. I would say that there is a complex approach for how it is that you do it, but I think that even if you are a company of less than five million dollars, you have to sell to an enterprise customer, your process has to be robust enough for you to drive the considered purchase, especially if there is multiple people sitting at the table making the decision.

Sean: The other piece that is on the rise, that I think is really interesting, and this is not brand new news, ad blocking continues to be really popular as more consumers are starting to shut themselves off for being tracking, you have some of this stuff coming out from Mozilla. Adrian, I am curious, what are businesses thinking about in terms of ad blocking? Do yo think that this is going to lead to a decline in mass messaging spends, and just better targeting or is this something that is a natural trend? I am curious what businesses are starting to think about when it comes to the ads just not being seen.

Adrian: I think that the entry of ad blocking came because there has been some abuse. There is more focus on marketing organizations to really think about what are those ads and what are those opportunities that you could use to help engage a buyer in a conversation. One of my favorite stories coming out of the Markies last year was from Lexus, and Team One, who looked at their ability to drive demand for one of their vehicles and they realize that there is a segment of their audience who they could not communicate with through email marketing. With their use of our data cloud information and data, and purchase information from Datalogix, they were able to create an ad strategy that helped them target folks who they knew that they could not engage through email.

With that, they were able to increase conversion. It was a really a great story. Unfortunately another story won but that one sticks out of me because the focus on reaching a customer through that channel, means that if you are not able to reach them through another channel, you as the marketer have to be able to adjust and adjust quickly. I think that you are going to see that the fact that ad blocking exists, it is going to force the marketer to really sharpen their pencil on all the other channels and opportunities to deliver the best of the brand, across other areas.

Sean: Yes. I also think in particular for the B2B marketer, as C-level executives demand more effective the set of marketing programs while keeping budgets flat, these types of rise in ad blocking technologies may also force marketers to look at their advertising budget and their spend, and come up with more sophisticated ways of measuring attribution, as well as ROI. How are we actually getting more of our advertising. I think you are absolutely right. I think part of that is on the intelligence around the targeting as opposed to spreading the net too wide. John, I know that you this is a topic that you were looking at, in your area. I was curious what your thoughts and the ad blocking, what it means for Ad Tech and those innovations there.

John: Adrian hit it on the head. Whitelisting is a key part of this to be able to have lists where you know your message is on target, and you are just staying out the general pool. Especially as we have just seen recently, with explosion in fake news, and fake sites, if you are just spending without having a white list of where all your message is on target, you are just putting your money in a pile and burning it. That is really right where it is at.

The other half of it is just the legality of what is happening with ad blocking, because it does break the business model for the majority of news sites so at some point there has to be some push back on that. Our legal system cannot move fast enough to keep up with the cat and mouse scheme. Eventually something has to break because it does destroy the why some of these sites exist.

Sean: As we move from on the rise, and these are the types of the technologies that we wanted to highlight there for the hype cycle, but next is understanding what is at the peak. Where are we really seeing peak investments. Adrian, the one that really caught my eye here was that they called a marketing talent communities as one of the pieces here. I know that the topliners community was something that was really a spotlight for the Eloqua and now Oracle marketing cloud community. What has been the evolution over there for marketing talent communities? I am sure from maybe both a technological standpoint, and a talent standpoint. I am just curious about what you have seen over the years you have been working on that side.

Adrian: That is a great question. I would say that we have continued to see growth across all of the different products that we support. From suite application perspective, we have seen more folks come in and embrace community, and interact with other marketeers who have also done other things. It’s been fun to see an increase in the amount of cross collaboration that is happening on topliners and I am super excited about it. From the perspective of the role. We actually have a job board. What is interesting is watching the rise on request in other talent roles, that we have not seen traditionally come into marketing. The concept of … I think marketing operations has always been strong, but we are starting to see a request for more marketing operations related talent in B2C and I think that ties into the demand for more people to understand data. But the data science roles are starting to rise.

Sean: That’s right.

Adrian: More posts where we need this skillset to come into marketing. It really should not surprise anybody. If you look at all of the stats that said CMO will outspend the CTO and the CIO, well at some point the CMO is going to have to prove that there is some real rigor, and please the CFO that the spend was worth it. Seeing these folks come in has been on trend and great to see.

Sean: The other question that I am curious about, the other trend is obviously the ABM mania that is out there right now. I love the simile that I’ll draw here is that when marketing automation really started to get hot, I think that, in correlation drove, a need for talented marketing operations professionals. I think that the adoption of the technology lead to the rise and demand of that particular job role. Are you starting to see more ABM’s specific job roles out there? I see them and I am not a hundred percent sure if that is something … You know you are unsure if that is something that is actually going to stick. Are you seeing any trends there Adrian, at all, or is this something that maybe is a general marketing manager demand gen position?

Adrian: Great question. I have seen ABM roles within our customer base as early as two years ago. And I have seen them at different conferences. There are other organizations that made the leap and said let’s get the discipline in place, let’s get people that understand what it takes to create a loyal customer, and a loyal customer that expands their portfolio. When you bring in those folks, and I would say that you get account based marketers to support the customer, if they were successful in a demand perspective, and understanding the full funnel.

We are starting to see that more customers are putting in account based marketing roles because you need somebody to come in with a holistic view as to what are the patterns and how should you online content, messaging, and interactions, to accelerate and extend that loyalty and drive more revenue within the base. We are seeing it. There are specific roles. I would say that the roles on predictive are focused on revenue generation. I have yet to see, so similar to my statement on the love and the money, there is still a separation, but there is more science in how you get the money and it needs more intelligence. I am starting to see that pattern happen.

John: Sean, then, that sets you straight up for the rise of predictive because we have both predictive analytics and B2B marketing analytics on the list for that. Obviously that tracks with what you have seen, I would imagine?

Sean: Yes. What you are starting to see is more and more players are entering the market. I think that AI is the rebranding of this and I think there is going to be a lot of education especially coming out of the flurry of announcements this summer from Microsoft, Oracle, and of course Dreamforce and their whole thing. I think that what you are really going to start see is the normalization of just proven use cases, where people are starting with predictive, where they are really seeing value. I do think that if I look into early 2017, you are going to start to see this sort of separation between the play makers and the pretenders, a little bit, who are going to be the people who are just too slow to market or could not get the technology to scale. Adrian, in terms of early use cases that you are used to seeing, customers and obviously we talked about the job roles increasing too, I want to flip it over to you, are you starting to see more success and actually tangible success metrics from the Oracle marketing side, how they are adopting predictive analytics?

Adrian: Absolutely. We were a part of the ABM Ignite Tour. For the four stops that happened in New York, San Francisco, Boston, and Chicago, for every stop we had representation from customers sharing where they are on their predictive and ABM journey. I would say that they are some customers, if I were to look at the stages, you are either still mastering your sales automation, you’re mastering your marketing automation, you can have a funnel, you then the next step is you are able to identify how to pull levers on that funnel. I think that the majority of the market is on knowing where to pull levers and then trying to deliver data to do the predictive. I think that after you do the predictive piece, your ability to take action and deliver programs, is then the account based marketing element.

I think there are phases. And I think that we are starting to see the base understand the importance of ABM, understand the discipline that it takes, and I think that there is quite a few, more than last year, there are more customers who are in that modeling phase where they are taking their information, putting it somewhere, and trying to make sense of it. Before they go into full blown account based marketing, they will need to understand whether or not they are consistent about tracking the activities that matter. They will need the data science people to make sure that they do not make the wrong conclusions or assumptions.

Sean: That is right. That is another reason where there is a lot of people who are talking about self service modeling. There is a part of me that is like, maybe that is a trend in the democratization of data science, data science is a service, and things like that. It also sort of worries me a little bit too because this is kind of getting back to the whole thing where it is like, do you really want the frontline marketing rep to be in charge of building those models. What that means, what does that mean for alignment and things like that. The other thing on the list that is quite related to that, they were talking about how multi-dimensional campaign segmentation is a really big investment and at the peak now. My question for you Adrian, segmentation for me is always the unsung hero of marketing. By that I mean it is like the least sexy topic but everybody gets it wrong. Why do so many businesses continue to struggle with what I think one of the foundational parts of marketing? Why is it continuing to be so difficult for so many businesses?

Adrian: This is a heavy question and controversial one for me. We live in a world where there are some marketers who are I would say are measured on the wrong criteria and feel that causation is success. There are times where I will end up going and meeting different organizations to understand how they are excelling with community and other items. They will assume that there is a tipping point or lead creation that happens on a response. There is no concept that your response or participation in this one thing, is not the only isolated thing that your buyer is doing.

People make the wrong assumptions and they either combine things that are unrelated or they’re missing items. The multi-dimensional piece, I think, the people who get it right track everything, and also understand all of the channels, including how the sales and telesales function are impacting that buyer in their conversation. There is a whole bunch of items as to why people get it wrong. People usually get it wrong because they are blind to what it is actually happening.

Sean: I think that you hit the nail on the head. I will also say that as we enter this world of predictive models and the signals behind these models, there is a difference between segmentation and targeting, that you may want to do, the types of signals that are actually truly predictive. There are a lot of businesses that want to run field marketing campaigns on a particular segment, maybe it is a technographic signal that they want to target. That signal may not necessarily be predictive in the model in terms of understanding if it is a good fit for your business, but it might actually have campaign, or something that they want to use for personalization. I think that people have to break the two apart and understand what exactly is the fundamental mission for what they want to accomplish here.

Adrian: Absolutely. And bring in the skills. I think your point earlier on: do you really want to trust the front line marketer who is not operating under assumption, but operated the best with the data they had. I think that is where you need somebody else to come in and inform, there are the leading indicators to drive an ideal customer experience, this is the buying process, et cetera. There’s other dimensions. You have to be able to measure engagement. You also have to measure speed. You also have to measure value.

You also have to be disciplined in how you look at roles. You also have to be disciplined in how you create content for all of the people who are most likely to lead in the sale. Again, it is a different world that we are living in right now but what is exciting is there is quite a bit of science that is coming into marketing. I think that it is really going to send shock waves in terms of how we teach marketing, and teach how is it that you should do marketing in 2020. It is a super exciting time to be a modern marketer right now.

John: Right. That, of course, crosses over to attribution, which is also on the list at the same stage, is itbasically the same thing where you need to have that outside view to create models that work because you cannot count on that from the front line.

Adrian: Absolutely. There are folks that lose sleep over this. I would say do not worry about first or last touch because that is a system driven item. You should look at multiple models and be fluid with your models. It will actually tell you, in the non linear buying cycle, what are the two or three things that are likely going to support successful customer creation. There are some that get really fussy about we only look at one and we only look at this other one. Do what is best for you but make sure you are in a position to create a full picture before you make a decision. I would not live and die by the sword, because that assumes you know everything that every person who is influencing that relationship, is doing. And there is no way. Not with all the channels and not with all the data that is out there. Convince me otherwise.

Sean: I think that the other thing too is that the feedback mechanisms that we have at our disposal now are getting faster. Where you don’t have to wait a full cycle to see the results of your marketing program. This ties really well into the predictive analytics topic, as well, because you are able to actually see the quality of your campaigns and be able to tie them back to the channels, so much easier than you could before. This, to me, is hopefully going to lead more marketers to really driving home that test and invest strategy. I am curious, you have seen the same thing, Adrian?

Adrian: Absolutely. I am one hundred percent seeing the same thing. Where marketers are being very thoughtful around how they do proof of concepts to confirm whether or not a new strategy is going to be part of their culture, and part of their path to delivering the best of their brand and growing revenue.

Sean: One of the final categories, and I love the way that they define this, the title of Gartner is that they are sliding into the trough, the trough of disillusionment, which I just cannot say without giggling just a little bit. I was surprised about some of the things that were on this list. There were others here that I just wasn’t. It is worth going down the list. I will tee up the ones I think that are worth chatting about it. Multi-channeling marketing, event triggered marketing, responsive design, advocacy marketing, data management platforms for advertising, native advertising, content marketing, social marketing, social analytics, in-app advertising, and real time bidding. A couple that pick on the advertising, but let’s group a few to have the discussion. Social analytics, social marketing, content marketing. This is something that I have talked about for a while where I think that there is an evolution in what needs to happen through content marketing and I think that Adrian made a good point about there is so much data at our disposal that it is forcing that profession to think beyond what it was. Adrian, where are you seeing, what really, if you had to look into the magic eight ball, what does the future hold for content marketing about why this is sort of started to be deinvested according to Gartner?

Adrian: It is a great question. You are going to see more focus on innovations around social and figuring out how you can take an interaction in social, tie it to capture, and tie it to ongoing activities and focus. You can have this very fluid dialogue with your buyer. The social interactions are going to inform the content marketing strategy so I actually do not think that they are going to go away. I think what it is going to do is going to force the marketer to partner with organizations that have an open philosophy around integration, and figuring out how do these interactions drive the creation of the ideal customer. I do not see them being deprioritized at all.

I think that getting your content marketing game in order is hard if you do not have discipline on who you are trying to talk to and you currently only create content for one persona. I actually think that it takes a while to get mature on the content marketing piece because it assumes that you are tailoring your messaging. I cannot tell you how many marketers pull me aside and say, “I am not doing this.” They look me in the eye, and I do not think that, I would like to think that I have a warm welcoming persona, but apparently I do not. The number one thing that people say when they are in my confessional is that they have not done content marketing.

Sean: One of the things, my theory here is, and I wonder how accurate I am, I think it is a form before function thing as well where we have seen the rise of a lot of shiny objects for tools that can help you do content marketing and social media marketing, without actually having the team think about what the message they want to craft and how that actually is then mapped to the customer journey, as well, which I think speaks to that confessional.

I also think that there is part in the social media world, in particular, where there is so much noise. And I think that we are going to need better tools to figure out how to de-noise that piece as well. Is that the kind of stuff that you are seeing on your side, maybe it is both noise but also maybe it is marketers need to sharpen their skills before they actually start to look towards technology?

Adrian: Yes. I think what I am also talking to is that these things likely may have been de-prioritized is that we are not coordinated within some of these modern organizations in thinking about social and content together, and in some cases there are different technologies. We have customers at last years Markie awards, and again, I look at the success that Mack Trucks has had with both our social cloud and marketing cloud, they have mastered being able to take a conversation in social and pull that into a considered purchase conversation and had tremendous results.

I would say that not every organization is there in terms of thinking how can you coordinate social and the automation piece together. I think if you are not there, that is where you are going to struggle, in trying to figure out how do I sit and sits them together. I think that is where the intelligence comes from by being able to look at the value of each of the channels and make a logical connection.

John: I think another thing too is so much of the social channel, what has been bundled under marketing, that so much of it is customer service, too, the listening functions and things like that.

Adrian: Absolutely. I would agree with that.

John: To wrap up the rest of the list, when we look at advocacy marketing, Adrian, what do you see on that front? Did that have promise that did not deliver or was it never there in the first place? What do you think?

Adrian: There are some companies out there that still think that the message from them matters versus the message from those who are actually getting value from the service they are offering. The reality is that there are very few organizations that have staffed their customer organizations in ways to figure out the moments of truth. We still have the majority of our customers trying to figure out demand and then loyalty and advocacy is something that you get to once you get a large enough customer base. From there, that is really the richness in terms of how it is you go and create that next customer. People do not want to hear from you, they want to hear from your customers. This is where they are going to make that decision. Can you make it real for me beyond all of the noise, et cetera.

I really look at the way in which the Marketing Cloud has marketed and looked at programs like the Markies, take in those customers, and put them at the forefront. If you go to the Marching Cloud website, you will see that there are tons of stories and rich case studies about customers. And we are using the customer story in all of our content. You have to get to a point where you look at your customer base, and then think about putting real programs to keep the customer, and then from there, highlight them as the hero. Once organizations start to embrace that, then I think you will see advocacy marketing on the rise again.

Sean: That is very well said. Moving to the final category. The “Climbing the Slope”. These are the early winners of what they are starting to see. Personalization. This is something that a lot of people talk about. I think that the word gets abused quite a bit, where I think that people are actually after relevancy when they say personalization and what personalization really means. Adrian, I know that this is something that you get asked a lot about. What are you hearing from businesses right now? What are they really after and then what are some of the best practices or advice you are offering businesses when it comes to personalization and those strategies?

Adrian: I think that the marketers are telling me that their customers aren’t engaging at a rate that they expect. When we unpack it, if they haven’t quite harnessed how to take the interactions that are happening, to say, deliver a richer experience for me. There is the concept of I know people like you to I know what you need tailor made specifically for you. If you even get to the people like you, that would separate the people who are doing okay from the people who are doing great. The question to B2B is whether or not you need to go specifically to the one-to-one.

I think that getting to a role specific pace, makes complete sense, but the personalization is more than just field merge. It is more about the rate at which you are consuming information. The rate at which you need more information to help me make a decision. There is an element of relevancy, recency, and frequency, that is into this one, and then looking at technologies like testing, and figuring out “is this the right approach?” All of that goes into personalization. There is more work that happens before you deliver me an experience that is through digital and the web.

John: Adrian, thank you. This was a ton of stuff and we appreciate getting your angle on this. It is has been great. As we look at this now, though, and we head into the new year, what on this list or on your own list, is at the top for, what you and your customers what to do this year? What do you think is going to be the biggest bang for your buck as you look at everything that is available in 2017?

Adrian: It is a great list. I think the personalization one is going to be big. I look at it from consumer and I love the tailor made experience that Amazon gives me. I appreciate it, I am going to give more information, in exchange for that experience. I would hang my hat on personalization. I would hang my hat on predictive, because the CMO is going to want to show that they have earned the right to sit at the table at the board. And the CFO is going to want to see some return on all of the technology that marketing is acquiring in order to do really good marketing, and modern marketing for 2020. I am going to hang my hat on those two things. I think they are super important, especially when you look at the B2B marketing cycle.

John: Great. If people want to learn more about you and what you have got going on and Oracle, what is the best way to learn more?

Adrian: Follow me on Twitter. @adrianchang. I spend quite a bit talking about personal and professional, so follow me there. Feel free to connect with me and ask me any other questions that you have anything that is going on with the marketing cloud.

John: Great. Sean, how about you, what have you got going on right now and if folks need to learn more about Infer?

Sean: You find all of the stuff that I am working on at infer.com. Like Adrian, I am pretty active over on Twitter @szinsmeister. You can also just Google Sean Zinsmeister. I had a couple of pieces published around AI and the hype around that. Offering a framework, sort of a hierarchy of analytics, ways that people can start to understand what is going on there. You can catch that at Martech Today. More good things to come.

John: Great. I’m John Wall. You can find out more from me at marketingovercoffee.com. In fact we were just talking with Marc Goldberg with Trust Metrics, so if you want to read more about whitelisting and fake news, ad blocking, all of that stuff, that is a great interview to check out. That will do it for us for today and we will see you in the stacks.

John Wall

John Wall

John J. Wall speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology. He is the producer of Marketing Over Coffee, a weekly audio program that discusses marketing and technology with his co-host Christopher S. Penn, and has been featured on iTunes.

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John Wall

John Wall

John J. Wall speaks, writes and practices at the intersection of marketing, sales, and technology. He is the producer of Marketing Over Coffee, a weekly audio program that discusses marketing and technology with his co-host Christopher S. Penn, and has been featured on iTunes.

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