Across the Net: Oracle, Forrester and the Modern Marketer

ATN-300InsightaaS: As a continuation of yesterday’s infographic post – in which we highlighted social connections that bring unique content to light – I’d like to focus today on highlighting connections between social and compelling content, but also, between the ‘perspectives’ of less-than-unique media. 

Let’s start with the positive side of the equation. I met Rebecca Carr, a marketing executive with CenturyLink, at a data center event a month or two ago, and we connected on LinkedIn. I received a LinkedIn notice that Becky had a new post up, and clicked through to read her reaction to a Forrester report, sponsored by Oracle, entitled “”Why You Need To Be A Modern Marketer: The Business Impact Of Marketing Maturity In The Age Of The Customer.” Becky found the report useful from a benchmarking perspective, so I decided to do a web search on “Oracle Forrester modern marketer.” The first result went to the Oracle press release associated with the study, which contains highlights from the study and a “supporting quote” from an Oracle VP; from there, a link (the third one in a list at the bottom of the page, redirecting to a registration form associated with Oracle subsidiary/acquisition Eloqua) led to the report, which – as Becky noted in her post – provides some interesting benchmark information.

The other links highlighted in the search were interesting, too – in some ways, even more interesting than the report. Three ‘firms’ with marketing automation products to promote – Eloqua, Responsys, and BlueKai (acquired by Oracle in December 2012, December 2013 and February 2014, respectively) – promoted the report and its findings, which makes sense, given its relevance to their portfolios and Oracle’s investment in the content; Allocadia, a Vancouver-based SaaS marketing automation provider that partners with Eloqua, . The media’s reaction was also prominent in the search – but most of the firms represented didn’t exactly add editorial depth and value to the story. Right after the Oracle press release, I got a link to a MarketWatch “story” that simply reproduced the press release. CNN Money didn’t even extend that far – its ‘coverage‘ of the piece consisted of an unlinked outline of the press release. B2B Marketing Stories posted a 353 word item, 98 words of which were lifted directly from the “supporting quote” in the press release; a blog from something called Carat Enterprises had a sub-100 word synopsis ending with “B2B marketing has the full story,” and a link to the 353-worder. InfotechLead produced 548 words, with only 45 lifted from the quote, and the balance basically regurgitating facts from the release. Coverage from websites I hadn’t been to before provided somewhat better coverage: The Hub’s “Forrester survey: Most businesses still slow to adopt modern marketing techniques” CMSWire’s “Do You Have to be ‘Modern’ to be a Great Marketer?” and ClickZ’s “Embracing Technology Leads to Business Success [Study]” were the best stories among the first 20 search items; they provide reasonably thoughtful reviews of the release and its findings, but to be fair, none represents an especially deep examination of the implications of the research for marketers. The coverage from ClickZ deserves honourable mention here for being the only story I came across that actually used content from the report rather than the release.

Beyond the media, I found that several of the references listed on the first two pages were simply redirects to other sites – UK-based Macrotone Consulting provided a link to a database of Oracle press releases (the release in question was on the site, but not particularly close to the top), Malaysia-based DuctileTek linked (via LinkedIn) to the Oracle release as well, and “” provided a (for some reason, bylined) link to the MarketWatch item. And there were two links (only one of which was relevant) to’s sponsored “Oracle Voice” section.

If, as the “Fungible” post highlighted last week suggests, this kind of coverage is what’s replacing journalism…then we’re all going to need to develop a new set of resources if we want to get past the spin to the substance. Kudos to The Hub (the source of the passage below), ClickZ and CMSWire for at least providing a bit of actual perspective on the report and its implications!

A new study from Forrester, (commissioned by Oracle) found that despite the clear business gains, most marketers were still not utilizing many modern tools and techniques.

Oracle Marketing Cloud VP of marketing Andrea Ward says the goal of the study was to determine how much of the marketing world was actually using modern marketing tactics such as cross channel customer engagement and content personalization based on big data. “We wanted to get a sense of where people are in the path towards becoming a ‘modern marketer,'” says Ward. “We also wanted to help people understand where they are on the scale, and what they need to do in order to get to the next level.”

The report conducted nearly 500 surveys with marketing decision makers across the US and Europe and found that only 11% could be classified as ‘modern marketers.’ On the other hand, 15% of the respondents were categorized as “novices” with the majority falling on a spectrum of varying experience in the middle.

Forrester’s report concluded that while most companies had adopted plenty of new marketing tools and techniques, they still had some way to go when it came to the more sophisticated practices…

Read the rest of the post on The Hub: Link

Go to the registration page at the Eloqua site: Link


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