How Oracle, Salesforce.com and IBM are fuelling the marketing automation revolution

In the technology adoption lifecycle, marketing automation platforms were quick to cross the chasm. No longer solely the remit of innovators and early adopters, the past 18 months have seen the acquisition of three of the major players in MA: late 2012 saw Oracle buy Eloqua, and global cloud computing giant Salesforce.com acquiring Pardot exactly a year ago. Most recently, IBM has followed suit with their acquisition of Silverpop, adding the MA platform to their growing ecosystem of “Smarter Commerce” marketing partners.

As the big cloud companies seek to use MA platforms to bulk up their cloud marketing offerings, practically a marketing automation platform revolution and race to dominate has begun, with all companies determined to own the digital marketing cloud space.

The new marketing automation platforms

As MA experts, CleverTouch couldn’t be happier to see the major investment these companies have dedicated to their acquisitions, and in the past 18 months, we’ve seen notable leaps and bounds in the technology.

For example, Pardot are in the process of developing with Salesforce.com what they have dubbed as a ‘Super Connector’. This will allow for real-time sync of data between Pardot and Salesforce.com. Currently the sync is in the region of 10 minutes. This is a great asset to Pardot’s MA position in the market and will help marketers who require real-time data transfers (e.g geo-marketing/transactional.)

The MA platforms are also keeping up with social media giants Google and Facebook, when it comes to dynamic and contextual ads. Eloqua’s “Adfocus” enables marketers to create, manage and measure personalised display ads for key prospects based on their persona and activity. Interestingly, Eloqua’s latest campaign equates marketing automation with modernity – “How Modern Marketing Works” (featuring “Modern Mark”, and his journey to “Modern Marketing”). We’re looking forward to joining them at their “Modern Marketing Experience” event in London, October 14-16.

Traditional marketing automation has not been forgotten, as Silverpop works to further its behavioural marketing tools to support real-time responses. At Silverpop’s 12th Annual North American Customer Conference in May, the company reported an increase from 30% to 40% in the uptake of “sophisticated feature adoption” such as scoring, web tracking and automated programs. In addition to delivering approximately 50 billion emails in 2013, Silverpop reported that they process, in real-time, 5.5 billion customer behaviours monthly. Now that’s behavioural marketing support.

It was clear to CleverTouch back in 2005 that marketing automation as an infrastructure was here to stay, but its evolution and indeed the current revolution fuelled by the big cloud companies is nothing less than pivotal. Organisations not only want to reduce the number of marketing silos. They want to have a truly single view of the customer and manage the dialogue through smarter marketing – personalised, device independent and customer behaviour-led.

As reputation management and data governance become as important a currency as revenue, organisations that build a coherent strategic marketing technology framework will be the winners.

If you would like more information on how CleverTouch can help you begin the journey to using marketing automation successfully, drop us a line.