Responsys Deal to Advance Oracle B2C Campaign Management Capabilities

G00261118

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Summary

Oracle adds B2C multichannel orchestration to its digital marketing offerings with its Responsys buy. The deal complements the purchase of B2B lead management provider Eloqua, announced exactly one year prior.

News Analysis

Event

On 20 December 2013, Oracle said it reached an agreement to acquire Responsys, a software-as-a-service (SaaS)-only, B2C multichannel campaign management tool that uses email, mobile, social, display and Web to engage and convert customers, for $1.5 billion in cash.

Analysis

The acquisition of Responsys will expand Oracle’s B2C digital marketing capabilities, extending its position in the race for the mantle of the digital marketing hub.

While Responsys solutions include support for broader cross-channel programs, Gartner has estimated that more than 70% of Responsys’ 2012 $163 million revenue came from its email marketing offerings. Responsys was a visionary in Gartner's 2013 " Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management ."

By acquiring Responsys, Oracle complements its purchase of two other digital marketing providers in the last year: Eloqua, which specializes in B2B lead management and multichannel campaign management, and Compendium, which optimizes content creation for audience engagement. This latest deal indicates Oracle’s continued attention on addressing the needs of today’s CMO, and its focus on digital marketing in both B2B and B2C contexts as an area of growth for the company.

Oracle’s acquisition increases the competition with other providers that are stitching together and building a digital marketing hub, namely Adobe, IBM and salesforce.com. The deal also shines light on the few remaining independent marketing automation and e-mail marketing providers, including Marketo and Silverpop, as potential acquisition targets.

Oracle’s rate of acquisitions has resulted in a number of new technologies under the Oracle Marketing Cloud umbrella, brought together in relatively short order. Acquiring the pieces isn’t a sufficient measure of the value of a digital marketing hub. Over time, look for evidence that Oracle is integrating and packaging the products in a way that delivers on the promise of its stated vision. Customers have cited concerns over roadmap and integration plans in the past following similar acquisitions by Oracle; this will need to be a focus moving forward for customers to benefit fully from the promise of the Marketing Cloud portfolio.

Recommendations

Oracle customers:

  • Consider Responsys if you’re a B2C marketer looking to add multichannel orchestration.

Responsys customers:

  • Seek forward pricing assurances, paying particular attention to continuity of customer support, stated roadmap commitments and account management.

  • Pursue assurances that required integrations with Oracle's competitors will be contractually protected.

  • Consider evaluating Oracle’s capabilities for content marketing, social marketing and web content management.

Companies considering a digital marketing hub:

  • Consider Oracle based on abilities to offer support for both B2B and B2C functions. Note that Oracle still has conspicuous native gaps in capabilities for ad tech, pay-per-click bid management, Web analytics and tag management.

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