Posted by Cognito on Fri, Jan 31 2014

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Oracle Tackles Integrated Marketing

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BK: Tell us about financial services marketing at Oracle and its place in the organization?
ED: Oracle sells hundreds of products to multiple industry verticals. To market these products, we have several defined teams within the marketing organization. We have a large corporate marketing group which is responsible for creating our overall brand messaging and planning major events, a horizontal marketing team responsible for our cross-industry products and a field marketing group, which handles event logistics and account based marketing.

And my team, which is part of the campaigns organization, is specifically responsible for marketing Oracle’s financial services solutions. We support the 13,000 employees in the financial services global business unit focused on banking, capital markets and insurance.

BK: What’s the main challenge you face with respect to marketing multiple solutions?
ED: Oracle’s credibility and brand awareness opens a lot of doors for us. Our main challenge is that people have a narrow perception of what Oracle does. Despite the fact that we offer comprehensive, cross-industry and vertical solutions, people still think of us primarily as a database or ERP company. While potential customers take our company seriously, our challenge is to raise awareness around our products and services specifically for the financial services industry.

BK: How do you define integrated marketing?
ED: Our goal is to leverage as many channels as we can and get the most bang for the buck using the assets we create. We have a limited budget, and marketing dozens of products across multiple channels is expensive.

We’re most effective when we implement an integrated marketing or layered approach over several budget cycles. In other words, we create some content, utilize the content in a webinar, for example, and then execute a follow-up email campaign.

A big bang approach using many channels at once usually doesn’t work for us. Our target audience tends to be the C-suite. For example, buying a core banking solution is a senior executive decision, so targeted marketing is more effective. But we also need to make an impact with the influencers so broader awareness is still important.

BK: What channels are the most powerful?
ED: It depends on the solution. One of the major products we’re going to market with now is our core banking solution. You’re talking about ripping the guts of a bank and replacing an aging system with something new. It’s the highest level decision. Other types of solutions may not be a board level decision. A bank might be able to implement a smaller, line of business solution for a quick ROI, and that decision might not require the same approvals.

We can use a wider variety of marketing channels for those smaller, lower cost projects. Webinars are effective; we typically get a good turnout.

BK: How can an integrated marketing and PR agency add value to Oracle?
ED: An agency can help us with some of the creative aspects of marketing. We created an expensive but fantastic asset recently. It was a card with videos and infographics. Our goal was to plant a seed by getting it into the hands of C-suite executives and introduce them to a product we’re not well known for. When the bank is ready, they’ll know Oracle is in that particular space.

We want the agency to coordinate with our internal resources. We have strict rules about what we can and can’t do with press releases, for example. The same goes with advertising because we need consistency from vertical to vertical. If everyone was given free reign, the overall brand message would get diluted.

Finally, an agency can help us cut through the noise. Other industries might be implementing new marketing ideas that we can leverage in financial services. My attitude is if you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough. You have to be willing to try new things.

Event Marketing, Financial Communications, Marketing, PR,
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