Oracle Corp announced on Monday a new system that it says will use artificial intelligence to automate key parts of digital marketing campaigns.
Once primarily known for its database software, Oracle is competing against firms like Adobe Inc and Salesforce.com Inc to sell cloud-based software used for marketing business-to-business products that typically cost thousands of dollars or more.
Unlike marketing campaigns aimed at consumers where the goal might be to raise brand awareness, the goal of those business-to-business campaigns is to produce what marketers call a "qualified lead" - that is, a person whom a salesperson can call to start a conversation that eventually turns into a sale. Low quality leads cost money because they waste salespeople's time.
Oracle's Fusion Marketing system, as the product announced Monday is called, uses artificial intelligence to automatically assemble marketing campaigns and determine whether the people who interact with emails or advertisements might eventually buy a product, sending their contact information to sales teams.
To do it, the system sucks in data from a variety of sources. Some of the data, like email contact lists, will come from the Oracle customers who use the system. And some of the data will come from massive marketplaces of third-party data that Oracle has acquired in recent years to grow its digital advertising business.
"A lot of it is much more measurable than it has been in the past," Rob Tarkoff, executive vice president or Oracle's advertising and customer experience cloud, said of digital marketing campaigns. "We just said, 'this is a big computer science problem, and we're going to go solve it.'"
(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Stephen Coates)