CMO Spotlight: Judith Sim, CMO, Oracle Corp.


Share on LinkedIn

Judith Sim, CMO, Oracle Corporation“Social marketing has changed everything”

…states Judith Sim, CMO of Oracle Corp. in no uncertain terms. Let’s put that into the context of B2B marketing and examine what really has changed, how, and what we as marketers need to do to adapt.

In this next edition of the CMO Spotlight, I have summarized Sim’s viewpoint on the changing industry landscape and key takeaways from a demand generation perspective.

“Commerce Anywhere” Approach  

On-the-go customers want on demand service. Your B2B demand generation efforts must take into account the cross-channel, multi-point and multi-interaction scenario that buyers are experiencing today. Sim refers to this as the “commerce anywhere” approach but truly, it is much more than commerce; it is accompanying the buyers on their journey only to add value at every stage, in every interaction, whether direct or indirect.

We know that buyers are in control, much more than ever before, of the buying process, while the marketer’s role is being steadily and increasingly marginalized. Right from the early stages of research, comparative analysis of available options and extensive information gathering, buyers are independently, self-navigating through the buying cycle. This type of buyer behaviour has made it critical for marketers to plan for and implement solution selling strategies that are high on “solution” and subtle on “selling”. In fact, the less you try to sell through social media, the more chance you have to be part of positive social conversations surrounding your brand.

Optimize Customer Experience

Because the customer is interacting with your brand across multiple channels in many different ways, making sure the customer experience is carefully managed is critical. Not only do you have to understand the capabilities and weaknesses of every channel but you must also know how buyers react to stimuli on each different type of channel. The length and complexity of the buying cycle is hugely impacted by the cumulative effect of all these interactions your customer has with your brand. The one big advantage of this, reminds Sim, is that multichannel customers spend three to four times more compared to single-channel customers. As a B2B marketer, the more positive, optimal customer experiences you can offer across many channels, the greater your potential sales and revenues.

Connect and Engage

The most important function that social media has in integrated marketing today is the power to put you in touch with buyers anytime, anywhere; but they want to make that choice. And they do. You can’t make your target audience Like your Facebook page, share your posts, Follow you on Twitter and ReTweet your Tweets. They must want to. When they decide you are worth connecting with, your window of opportunity is filled with fierce competition. You have to be able to engage them right away in order to reach their larger community of influencers. Bear in mind that once you have their attention, they want your attention too and in far greater measure. Responding to buyer conversations, concerns and inquiries on social channels has to happen lightning fast without compromising quality and relevance.

Build Familiarity in Order to Nurture Relationships

If they don’t know you, they can’t love you. Being always-on, everywhere through social media does not guarantee audience engagement. B2B demand generation has become an activity requiring constant innovation, exploring new technologies, platforms and channels, creating interactive campaigns that heighten the customer experience. In her role as CMO, Sim reminds her team that “you cannot neglect the human element”. You have to ensure that your audience becomes familiar with your brand and that can only happen when positive emotions are evoked and encouraged across the entire customer experience lifecycle.

Consistent, Sustainable, Meaningful Brand Messaging

There is no denying the fact that social media affects business across different disciplines. Judith says that because “social marketing has changed everything”, marketers face a new challenge of having your foot through so many doors. What brand message are you communicating across all these channels? Is it consistent? Can you sustain the emotional connection? Can you bring about meaningful engagement? That is key to the success of your brand in this changing marketing landscape.

In-person meetings and events remain important for complex B2B sales.

While a large corporation like Oracle can easily run high intensity, big budget digital marketing campaigns, Sim’s leadership as CMO ensures a continuing focus on the more intimate events that are high-touch with customers in-person.  Speaking about her vast experience with Oracle event management and marketing strategies, Sim mentions the 2013 Americas Cup Challenge won by the Oracle team. She says it was also “a branding victory” for the company and calls it “the best hospitality experience”. The event provided a closer customer touch point with up to 4,000 weekly VIP tours of the America’s Cup Pavilion in San Francisco and Oracle’s AC72, a new class of boat featuring wing sails and hydrofoils. During the event, Oracle also showcased its latest technology innovation that transformed this high-end boat into a nautical Exadata Database Machine. The boat was wired with sensors that transmitted 26,000 data points every second “to help the team figure out how to sail faster”. It’s all about adding value at every touch point; taking the buyer a step closer to being engaged, connected, comfortable and confident in your brand.

I am happy to report that this CMO Spotlight series has been running for six months now with great feedback and response from my readers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here