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Sylvia Jensen senior director of marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud on future marketing

Agnieszka Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 11 August 2017

Sylvia Jensen from Oracle Marketing Cloud on ABM, attribution and the future of marketing

Social Media Portal (SMP): What is your name and what do you do there for the Oracle Marketing Cloud?

Sylvia Jensen (SJ):  I?m Sylvia Jensen, the senior director of marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud in Europe. My job is very varied, which means that I?ve developed a real appreciation for all the different channels in marketing and how they should all work together.

Photograph of Sylvia Jensen, the senior director of marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud

SMP: Briefly, tell us about Oracle Marketing Cloud

SJ: Oracle Marketing Cloud offers SaaS applications to marketers. We provide data-driven solutions that help brands to create engagement, orchestrate experiences, connect data, and optimise online interactions that attract and retain ideal customers. Our marketing solutions are designed to connect cross-channel, content and social marketing with data management and activation so that brands can deliver more personalised experiences for their customers.
SMP: Who are your target audience and why?

SJ: In general we target marketers but as we all know, there are lots of specialisations in marketing.  Specific applications in our portfolio can be use by specialised marketers such as those that manage social media, email marketing, cross-channel marketing, mobile marketing, lead generation marketing, advertising, do web site optimisation, marketing operations or manage advertising.  However, we don?t advocate optimising individual marketing channels on their own as a best practice. It?s important to have a holistic view of the customer experience and weave your channels together to build loyalty and brand preference. You can make each channel work harder for you if you have them work together.

Oracle Marketing Cloud website image
SMP: Briefly summarise the products and services the Oracle Marketing Cloud offers?

SJ: Our product stack was built by curating the leading technologies in each marketing area and piecing them together to form the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Our six solutions cover marketing automation, cross channel orchestration, content marketing, social marketing, data management and testing and optimisation.

SMP:  How do these differentiate from competitors?

SJ: All of the products offered by the Oracle Marketing Cloud are truly best of breed, top ranked by the analysts in each of their disciplines. Given we have so many products it would be difficult to go into each product feature and function, but I can safely say that each company held the marketer?s use of their product as a driver for product development and built leading applications driven by innovation. Each company not only built great products but offered services and best practice help to make marketers successful in their use of our products. It?s never about the technology on its own, but making use of the technology in the way that helps each business achieve its goals. Oracle continues product development in their spirt of putting the marketer first within the context of the marketers role and touchpoints within an organisation.

SMP: What are the benefits of marketing suites?

SJ: When it comes to brand structure a lot of marketing departments are still siloed into the different specialties e.g. social media, direct marketing, POS etc. This not only inhibits brands from creating the best, personalised, customer experience but also from developing efficient future strategies.

To optimise marketing spend, organisations need accurate marketing attribution reporting to know what works and what doesn?t. Having a marketing suite that ensures all data is accurate, timely and held in one place, makes it easier to identify any areas that can be improved as well as the ones that are highly performing. Marketing departments cannot afford to stop investing, discovering or innovating. But this innovation must be focused and relevant ? with a single, joined up marketing ecosystem, a company can extend its reach far more effectively than simply adding new tools for the sake of it.
SMP: Tell us about your social media guide, when did you release it and where can we access it?

SJ: The Oracle Marketing Cloud guide to social media marketing gives detailed advice about how to successfully listen to your social media audience, create content, identify what your key platforms should be, how to engage your customers and how to tackle the challenges of social media analytics.

The Oracle Guide to Social Media Marketing imageYou?ll find our downloadable ebook, 'The Guide to Social Media Marketing' on the resources section of the Oracle Marketing Cloud website. There are also lots of other guides, webinars and whitepapers discussing topics such as the future of modern marketing, cross-channel marketing, personalising the customer experience and much more!
SMP: With so many guides out there, why did you decide to create the Oracle Marketing Cloud social media guide and what differentiates it from what is already out there?

The customer has more power in the marketing relationship than ever before, customers want to hear from brands on their terms, when and where they want. There is a big difference between connecting with friends and family on social media and using it for business, and it?s a lot more complex than brands may think. The influence of social media on brand perception and customer experience is undeniable. With this in mind we wanted to create a substantial guide to all of the different areas of social media marketing, so that brands could make the most of their SM marketing efforts.
SMP: What are the challenges that you?ve encountered and how are you overcoming them in what you have been doing so far at Oracle Marketing Cloud?

SJ: Oracle?s a really big place and working there means having to practice different kinds of skills other than just doing your day to day job.  In some ways it?s like being a detective.

Oracle?s full of really smart people with big ideas and I?m always looking for pockets of
information that can help my team be more successful.
SMP: What are the high moments of what you have been doing so far?

SJ: Being part of such an amazing, forward thinking, company that wants to do big things.
Only four years ago Oracle didn?t have a Marketing Cloud and today it?s one of the leading providers of marketing technology to marketers in the world. I find that really inspirational.
SMP: What do you see as your biggest challenges and opportunities for your sector and the competition that you have?

SJ: The biggest challenge that marketers have today is not new, it?s always been there.  Data and being data driven is always going to be a challenge, but it?s one that marketers need to accept to move forward.  If we don?t have data, whether it is psychographic data for branding and advertising (think early Mad Men), or demand generation data, every marketers struggles with it.  It?s capturing it in the right way that it?s useful, and then making heads of tails of it. That?s why we are seeing the explosion in marketing technology these days. Marketers are looking for ways to be data driven and technology allows us to measure everything along the customers? journey.

SMP: What do you think is going to be the most interesting aspect regarding marketing for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

SJ: That?s a long time these days when things are moving so fast!  I think attribution is going to change a lot in the near future. As well as data, marketers are always struggling with attribution across channels.  We?ve made a lot of progress in this area over the last few years as I?ve mentioned with technology and its ability to give us insights with data but it?s still really hard to do well. We have got to figure this out if we want to be taken seriously within our organisations and ultimately at the board level.
SMP: What are your top five predictions for marketing for the next 12 to 18-months and why?

SJ replies with:

  • The use of content as data. We talk about this but I?m not sure it?s a really common practice yet. More marketers should really use the consumption of their content to inform their strategy. There are more and more supercool, interactive, content tools that can give us better engagement and ultimately insight into our prospects and customers.

  • Attribution will get fixed.  the question every business asks about marketing is ?what?s working and what?s not??  Everyone wants a silver bullet and I?m not sure most organsiations can answer this question today.

  • Account based marketing (ABM) will become mainstream. ABM is just starting to be broadly adopted but there are many interpretations of what it means, how you do it and how you measure it. It?s critical for B2B marketers but many don?t know it yet.

  • Thinking mobile first.  More companies and marketers will think mobile first across all channels. There are a lot of new data points that mobile provides that can improve the customer experience tremendously. There is more of a stretch for B2B marketers than B2C marketers today but the shift still needs to be made.

  • Artificial Intelligence will not be a ?thing?. This is probably not much of a stretch to say but the timing is hard to predict. AI is all the rage in today?s marketing world but there is a bit of hype to it all. Like most ?new? marketing technology or channels, we?ll talk about it a lot and then naturally adopt it into our day to day practices.
SMP: What are your top overall five marketing tips and why?

SJ replies with:
  • Think like a business person.  I love marketing but every marketer really needs to think from a commercial perspective first. Think about what your company?s objectives are, figure out the metrics that matter, and create your marketing plan (even if you only own a piece of it) to contribute to the big picture and communicate it as such.

  • Get comfortable with data. It?s not going to go away and it?s fundamental to everything we do as marketers.

  • Keep learning. We can never stop learning about new marketing practices. There is new technology and best practices being shared every day. It?s not something we have to do to keep a certification or license - it?s our day to day world. Make time for it.

  • Keep testing. Marketing is an iterative process. In science we learn from experiments to prove a truth. Marketing is exactly the same way. Try things, see what works and doesn?t and improve for the next time.

  • Don?t forget the brand. As we become more scientific in our thinking we can never forget how important branding is. It?s the foundation of a company?s strategy and needs to be reinforced with every touchpoint with the customer. Make sure your company has strong and clear brand guidelines and make sure they are consistently used across the entire company.

SMP: Is there anything else we should know, or is there anything that you?d like to share?

You can download the social media guide at the Oracle website.

SMP: Best way to contact you and Oracle Marketing Cloud?

SJ: Check out our website and follow me on Twitter @smajensen and LinkedIn.
Now some questions for fun

SMP: What did you have for breakfast / lunch?

SJ: Greek yogurt and granola with a cup of tea.
SMP: What?s the last good thing that you did for someone?

SJ: Listen. A lot of times people need to talk to process ideas, information and emotions and I find that just being there to listen really helps.  
SMP: If you weren?t working at Oracle Marketing Cloud what would you be doing?

SJ: Permanently travelling.  Assuming of course money was no object, I?d just spend my life travelling the world.  I love to learn new things about different cultures. Experience the weather and food and if I can, day to day life.  There just aren?t enough days in a lifetime to get through it all.
SMP: What?s one of the most interesting campaigns you have worked on?

SJ: The campaign I?ve had the most fun working on lately is a Bottom of Funnel content project we recently launched but will really be an ongoing effort. It?s been super interesting working with the sales team to figure out how marketing can help them be more successful. Sincerely.
SMP: When / where did you go on your last holiday and why?

SJ: I find it really hard to relax.  The only way I can honestly say I?ve been on holiday is when I literally can?t get to the internet and that?s getting harder to do.  I recently went on a holiday to Belize where I could truly disconnect.
SMP: What?s the first thing you do when you get into the office of a morning?

SJ: I?ll probably have a meeting as soon as I get to the office so my work day actually starts BEFORE I get to the office.  I check out my email and calendar, prioritise my projects or action items for the day, and if I?m heading into London I use that time to do offline work that requires quiet time and thinking. I try and use my time in the office to meet with as many people or teams as possible to help move projects or ideas along.

SMP: If you had a superpower what would it be and why?

SJ: I?d love to have the power to read people?s moods and truly empathise with them at any given moment ? depending on what was happening with them on that day.  I think there was a character on one of the Star Trek series that could do that.  Even with the very best intentions, communication is a very tricky thing and I sometimes think that if we could truly see things from the point of view of the person we are communicating with we could avoid a lot of misunderstandings. I?d just want to be able to turn it on and off at will or my head might explode trying to juggle so much information and emotion.

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