CMOs and marketing professionals alike have increasingly began to see the benefits of using a marketing automation (MA) platform which can provide everything a marketer needs: email, social, analytics, lead management, and more. However, we’ve noticed in the past 18 months or so that MA platform providers, like Oracle and Marketo, have been moving away from this notion of a MA platform to a ‘Marketing Cloud’.

What’s in a name?

The growth in the consumerisation of IT holds some power over the name change. Cloud is still a buzz word and is something that has infiltrated many aspects of businesses, so much so it is no longer just a term that is only understood by technical IT people. People are much more aware of ‘the cloud’ as they use it for everything from listening to music on iTunes to storing and sharing business files on Dropbox. Where a marketing automation platform was once used to house services for marketers from sending emails to tracking website visits, software developers are now looking to the cloud as this new home. And the race really is on for the likes of Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle as they look to acquire various services in an effort to be the marketing world’s one-stop solution.

Making a play for data management

The role of the CMO is forever changing and being redefined, if all the news items and blogs on the matter are to be believed, but what doesn’t tend to change is what they need to do their job. As these 10 predictions from IDC highlight, a key part of that is data and the ability to make sense of it and find value.

“80 per cent of customer data will be wasted” IDC

Oracle must have taken these predictions to heart and recently highlighted its intent to provide more support for managing data with its acquisition of BlueKai, a provider of data management platforms. BlueKai boasts one of the most scalable marketing data management platforms and through its integration with Oracle’s Eloqua will allow marketers to deliver orchestrated and personalised customer interactions across all marketing activities and channels.

The race to create a one stop suite of services for marketers will continue with more acquisitions no doubt on the cards across the market with the winner not necessarily who can buy the best services, but the one who can integrate its solutions the best.

To find out more about each provider and which platform is best for you take a look at our definitive guide or contact us.