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Okay, it's probably disingenuous to pretend that social media is still something nascent and unproven for brands.
Even with a tricky attribution problem to solve, most brand marketers and advertisers agree it just makes sense to target these large, active and known audiences.
Having said that, some brands 'got' social media a lot quicker than others.
Marketing automation is a powerful tool for brands as it allows them to create a rich profile of their audience and use targeted marketing messages to help drive conversions.
In order for automation to work effectively data must be turned into insights that help to create strong customer lifetime value models and optimise marketing messages.
Digital channels provide new and valuable sources of data and customer insight that can be acted upon in real time.
This is one of the central themes in our new Modern Marketing Manifesto, which forms the basis of the upcoming Festival of Marketing. The Festival begins on October 8 and includes a number of exciting events that will help marketers get to grips with new trends and disciplines.
So to find out more about how businesses can better understand marketing automation, I spoke to Oracle's EMEA marketing director Sylvia Jensen...
Almost half (49%) of UK consumers think personalisation is important, however there are conflicting views as to what actually constitutes a personalised service.
The Oracle report, which surveyed 538 UK adults, asked respondents what they define as good and bad service, with reference to both online and offline retail.
It also asked how respondents define personalisation, with 40% saying it meant receiving offers/discounts to their smartphone based on their preferences while not in-store, while just over a third (36%) said it meant receiving the same type of offers while in-store.
A further 29% said they thought it meant being able to access a single shopping basket across channels.
I have previously investigated which of the top UK retailers offer a single shopping basket across different channels and found that only Amazon, M&S and Tesco currently join up their mobile apps and desktop sites in this way.
As e-commerce becomes an increasingly overcrowded marketplace dominated by a handful of major brands, businesses are having to think of new ways to stand out from the crowd and attract new customers.
Previously it was commonly assumed that price was the best way to beat the competition, but that just results in a self-defeating race to the bottom.
Instead, businesses are now focusing on the customer experience as a way of differentiating themselves. It's a subject our CEO Ashely Friedlein recently debated in a post looking at whether CMOs should actually be aspiring to become chief experience officers.
And a new survey from Oracle adds weight to the argument that the customer experience is of paramount importance online.
Many businesses may have little idea what their social media marketing and ad campaigns are producing in the way of ROI, but by and large companies continue to up their investments in social.
That has created a booming business for firms that popped up to help companies manage and track their social campaigns. A booming business that caught the attention of some of the biggest names in tech.
Many of the headlines relating to today's patent system absurdity involve big companies like Google, Oracle, Apple and Samsung. And for good reason: they have big money, and the most to gain (or lose) when it comes to patent disputes.
But patents are increasingly affecting smaller companies and upstarts, and not in a good way. In fact, it's getting so bad that startups raising capital might not want to celebrate their funding too loudly these days.
Another day, another social media marketing acquisition.
Two weeks ago, Oracle announced the purchase of social media marketing platform provider Vitrue. Yesterday, Salesforce announced that it's acquiring Vitrue competitor Buddy Media.
Over the past several years, many of the world's largest brands have increasingly looked to establish better relationships with consumers by investing heavily in social media.
Now, some of the biggest names in software are investing heavily in startups built to help brands manage their social media initiatives.
There's arguably never been a better time for technology companies and developers. The proliferation of billions of connected devices, coupled with the explosion of new platforms and services, has created countless business opportunities, many still yet to be exploited.
But thanks to increasingly complex litigation around intellectual property, namely patents, the technology industry has also arguably never had to deal with so many headaches.
Google executives are probably breathing a sigh of relief today after a jury ruled that the search giant did not infringe upon Oracle's patents in the high-profile intellectual property battle being waged between two of the world's largest and richest technology companies.
The jury was tasked with determining whether Google was guilty of patent infringment on eight separate claims involving Android.
It's been a rough week for the world's most prominent social networking company, Facebook, and the week isn't over yet, but that doesn't mean that social media is going away any time soon.
That explains why software giant Oracle has purchased cloud-based social marketing platform provider Vitrue.
As Google and Oracle duke it out in court over claims that the search giant violated copyrights and patents now owned by Oracle in developing Android, it appears that the battle may have wide-ranging ramifications.
Yesterday, a jury decided that Google violated Oracle copyrights related to the organization and structure of Oracle's Java APIs, but was unable to decide whether Google had a valid fair use claim.