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July 2013

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Q&A: Eloqua Cofounder Steve Woods on Modern Marketing for Growing Companies

In the age of social, mobile, and cloud technologies, traditional marketing concepts are rapidly evolving. In fact, many argue that marketing is undergoing a paradigm shift as intuition-based outbound campaigns are being replaced by complex, data-driven inbound initiatives that encompass multiple digital channels and sophisticated data analysis.

To find out how growing midsize organizations can begin adopting newer, more-sophisticated marketing methods, we turned to Steve Woods. Cofounder and Chief Technology Officer of Eloqua, Woods joined Oracle as group vice president following Oracle’s recent acquisition of Eloqua's award-winning marketing automation platform.

Q. How have today's buyers changed, and how do modern marketers need to respond?
A. Today’s buyers are able to collect all the information and perspectives they need to make a buying decision on their own, thanks to online sources and peers. That means growing companies need to engage with buyers, understand where they are in their buying journey, and deliver the right next piece of information that will be of most interest to that individual buyer.

Q. Please explain how marketing automation is critical in making this happen?
A. Given the complexity of today’s buyer decision trees as well as the sheer volume of data available, modern marketers can no longer depend on manual processes. They need an automated marketing solution that supports their ability to gain a deeper understanding of individual buyers based upon buyer actions, and then deliver the right message based on the next step in his or her buying journey, whether its via owned, earned, or paid media channels.

Q. How are these changes affecting the roles and responsibilities of marketers at midsize organizations?
A. Marketers need to understand data, processes, and analytics more than ever before. These days, the best modern marketers often have more technical backgrounds, which helps in understanding the nuances and tradeoffs in business process flows and data efforts.

This is especially significant for midsize companies where knowledge workers typically have to wear more than one professional hat. One day they may be developing content, and the next day they need the IT savvy and tools with which to execute their campaigns.

Q. Can you speak about the five tenets of modern marketing and how they are driving the technologies and tactical approaches of modern marketers?
A. The five tenets of modern marketing are: targeting, engagement, conversion, analytics, and marketing technology. Modern marketers must become more buyer-centric. First they need to understand each buyer based on his or her actions and online behavior—their digital body language. Based on that understanding, they then need to deliver the right message to achieve maximum engagement, and then involve sales at the right time to drive the conversation toward sales conversion. To understand and engage at that individual level, you have to have the right analytics and marketing technologies in place.

We have a great online scorecard tool that can help midsize marketers see how they’re doing at evolving toward a more modern marketing approach.

Find out more about Oracle Eloqua Marketing Basic Cloud Service.

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