Oracle plans to release campaign orchestration middleware, named Fusion Marketing, early next year. The application will tap the company's customer data platform to inform marketing campaign segments and deliver AI-vetted leads to salespeople based on analysis of activity data.
Oracle Fusion Marketing is part of Oracle Advertising and Customer Experience (CX), and should not be confused with Oracle Marketing, its main marketing cloud that arose from acquisitions, including Eloqua, Responsys and Maxymiser. Fusion Marketing will include automation tools to guide marketers through campaign creation, and it will crunch customer data from both first-party marketing sources and third-party advertising. AI tools recommend content for marketers to use in campaigns, matching it to industry verticals.
Machine learning AI shows up in several other phases of Oracle Fusion Marketing campaign orchestration, said Katrina Gosek, Oracle vice president of CX product strategy.
"You can leverage AI models there for identifying next-best offers for customers or prospects; AI machine learning is part of that," Gosek said. "We also have intelligence for things like how to choose the best subject line for email that you're sending so that it actually will perform best. That leverages AI models as well."
Oracle makes AI tools and frameworks available for users who want to deploy them on their own, or as pre-built embedded AI and machine learning capabilities.
"We find that people want both," Gosek said.
Significant CRM connections
Through Oracle Fusion Marketing campaigns, AI pinpoints sales leads and routes them to salespeople regardless of the customer relationship management (CRM) they're using -- it's not a capability limited to Oracle CRM users, said Holly Simmons, Oracle vice president of CX product management.
The sales connection could promote CRM use among salespeople who may not use CRM systems. Salespeople have traditionally been hesitant to perform data entry into CRM systems because it takes away from their sales activities and also shares what they consider to be proprietary data from connections they've forged, said Brent Leary, owner of CRM Essentials, an analyst and consulting company.
Brent LearyOwner, CRM Essentials
Over the years, many salespeople have gotten over their trust issues with CRM, but some still harbor skepticism toward the applications, Leary said.
"A lot of these folks look at CRM like, 'What is it? Why should I put my information in, because what am I going to get out of it?' It's been a very adversarial relationship between the sales force and CRM because they didn't want to use it or they were forced into using it," Leary said. "[Oracle Fusion Marketing] is actually providing them with data, as opposed to the other way around. Now you start to be able to get actual benefit from the system without having to do all that manual input or trying to find data."
Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget.