We are living in a very different world today, where changes that were expected to happen over years are happening in a matter of weeks. In order to help marketers deal with the various ‘new normals’ Oracle has recently announced a slew of updates in its Oracle Cloud Customer Experience and Oracle Cloud CX Marketing portfolios. In a recent interaction with CXOToday, Shashi Seth, Senior Vice President, Oracle CX Cloud, mentions how the company is helping marketers navigate changes during the recent COVID-19 pandemic with the help of digital technology.
CXOToday: Oracle has recently made an array of updates in its CX and marketing portfolios. Could you tell us how these new enhancements can help marketers navigate changes and sail through this crisis?
Shashi Seth: Change is obviously nothing new in marketing, but the speed and scale of the changes over the last few months are more significant than anything I have seen in my career. To help our customers navigate all this change and seize this opportunity to rethink the role of marketing in your organization, we have introduced a series of updates to Oracle CX Marketing within the Oracle Cloud Customer Experience suite to help customers and make every interaction matter. For example, we introduced new account-based marketing capabilities to improve segmentation and targeting at a time when budgets are under the microscope. Also, our Zoom, Webex and Microsoft Team integrations will help improve the efficiency of content marketing programs.
Our new personalization capabilities aided by new intelligence capabilities for Responsys will help customers simplify marketing production while optimizing for customers. An intelligent audience selector can help them to find more customers who will respond well to their marketing automations.
In addition, we have new loyalty and engagement capabilities, new customer intelligence platform enhancements and new capabilities added on the AI/ML and recommendations front. We have also introduced a B2B data model for targeting of accounts versus individual customers, and added retail and automotive industry schemes that enable marketers in those industries to build and maintain customer profiles that are specific to the nuances of their industry.
CXOToday: How has COVID-19 changed the business realities for you?
Shashi Seth: Governments across countries are taking cautious steps while lifting lockdowns, however, one thing is for sure that there is no going back to the old normal. Over next few months, we will witness the unveiling of this new normal. However, one thing is clear the new normal is going to be far more ‘digital’ than we have seen yet. It is the expertise and skills to alleviate risks and lead the rebuilding efforts for the businesses and communities that will help during these trying times. However, this challenge also holds immense opportunity to revamp how we function by challenging the conventional thinking, and encourage innovation and creativity. For example, we believe, in the future, majority of customers will interact with brands digitally and even in the brick and mortar situation, the customers will expect the same kind of choice, convenience, and safety. So, we see a whole lot of digitalization happening for delivering exceptional customer service to their customers across locations and channels.
CXOToday: How do you see the role of digital technologies in new normal? How are you helping your customers tide through this crisis?
Shashi Seth: The new normal will have its implications for marketers trying to build a new and hopefully a lasting relationship with customers. Say, given the profound changes caused by the pandemic, we believe that utilizing creativity will be just as critical as technology. Marketers will have to think hard—and differently—about what the consumer in the next normal will act and react.
For example, they will have to consider the data from a fresh perspective on how to personalize offers and messages. Analytics will need to play a core role not only in tracking consumer preferences and behaviours at increasingly granular levels, but also in enabling rapid response to opportunities or threats.
Other major trend that has emerged is digital services like education, entertainment, and telemedicine etc. This trend can mean an opportunity to create new connections with people in new ways. The businesses can think of developing partnerships. As these digital services continue to be consumed by the customers, the brand can think through their role in these partnerships. For example, education businesses can tie up with a stationery brand or a food marketer can partner with online fitness companies and thus can cross promote and can reach a much wider audience.
CXOToday: What key technology trends are impacting the marketing landscape globally as well as in India? How your new marketing solutions can stand out in times of crisis?
Shashi Seth: The traditional avenues of advertising do not work any longer; there are new avenues like OTT and other digital platforms. According to a recent report, the global cloud services market was valued at $264.8 billion in 2019, and is projected to reach $927.51 billion by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 16.4% from 2020 to 2027. Cloud services allow companies to easily promote their products and services on the internet due to which cloud advertising service has the highest market share.
In India, as the world over, the mobile ads are expected to see a steep hike as people will be using their handheld devices more than ever. OTT platforms will be new hot properties as customers are using these platforms for their entertainment. FMCG, e-commerce will lead the digital ad spends. Over last few months we have seen an increase in video advertisements and we believe that this trend will be more strengthened over some time to come.
Also, India is all about scale, the numbers are massive and unmatched no matter which dimension you look at it from. From that perspective, our platforms provide unprecedented scale, performance and reliability, and we stand out on this aspect. India will continue to push the boundaries on scale and performance as more and more people become internet savvy and get the devices in their hands. During some of the holiday seasons in India we see our customer sending millions of marketing communication in a matter of hour or two and it will only go up in coming future.
CXOToday: Can you give any India-specific example where you are helping customers to navigate through the crisis through technology innovation?
Shashi Seth: Oracle has been a steadfast supporter for its customers and especially in the dire times that we are in. We are helping our customers to navigate through these delicate times by providing them with counsel and with cutting edge state of art technology. For example, Myntra, an Indian fashion e-commerce company, leverages Oracle Cloud CX to orchestrate workflows between customer service agents and its nearly 20 million active monthly customer users. This enables the fashion e-tailer to have a systematic and streamlined approach to deliver an end-to-end customer experience. Furthermore, in the wake of the country’s lockdown, Myntra uses existing data in different ways to help it deliver personalised content to customers based on their browsing history and shopping preferences – taking customer engagement to greater heights.
CXOToday: What would be the ultimate digital mantra for brands and marketers to thrive in the new normal?
Shashi Seth: In today’s Experience Economy, where customers’ experiences determine their satisfaction with the brand, every interaction must be personalized, contextual, and responsive in real-time to the changing needs and desires of each individual. With the help of the right technology, marketers should seamlessly manage, personalize, and orchestrate all interactions, across all critical channels of engagement. With the help of the right technologies, these interactions can be personalized and delivered at the right time, in the right channel, and with the right content for each person.