Industry Insights


Oracle Unveils New AI Applications, Cloud Enhancements, Security Offerings

September 20th, 2016

Oracle announced its take on artificial intelligence with the launch of Adaptive Intelligent Applications, which will incorporate third-party data with real-time behavioral analytics to help users streamline business tasks and provide them with individualized recommendations for engaging with prospective customers.


Oracle Buys NetSuite: Another Massive Retail Acquisition

July 29th, 2016

By Adam Blair This article was originally published on Retail TouchPoints.  Seeking to build up its cloud-based offerings, Oracle Corp. has purchased NetSuite for $9.3 billion in a transaction expected to close this year, subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.


Marketers May Be Missing Out On Hidden Intelligence Available In Programmatic Ad-Buying

June 30th, 2016

By Richard H. Levey, Contributing Writer Marketers may be tempted to view programmatic advertising purchases — online ad placements made through automated exchanges on the basis of pre-set targeting parameters — as a quick-service ad buying process. Those who do, however, miss out on a substantial part of these systems’ value, according to online publishers and industry experts. “Clients recognize the value of data and audience targeting…when [ad inventory] is tied to data to more effectively meet client business objectives,” said Pete Duborg, VP of Advertising Sales For Programmatic at Turner (formerly Turner Broadcasting System). Making maximum use of programmatic ad strategies means treating them as more than just set ‘em and forget ‘em insertion systems, experts suggest. “Programmatic is an automated way of buying [impressions] using algorithms,” said Alanna Gombert, Senior VP and General Manager at the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s Tech Lab, New York City. “When [ad space] inventory is offered for sale, it is tagged and uploaded into an exchange. Impressions are offered for sale in an auction environment, and a buyer either buys it or not based on different criteria. “These criteria could be contextual — ‘I’d like to buy on this page that has the word Chanel on it’ — or they could be prospect-based — an advertiser is looking for consumers who fall into specific buckets, such as geographic location or purchase intent,” Gombert continued. The good news is that there’s a fair amount of targeting flexibility. By and large, publishers and other organizations that offer ad inventory serve up


How Marketers Can Enhance Personalization With Human Data

May 26th, 2016

While it’s common for marketers to still believe that traditional customer experience (CX) and personalization tactics are successful, industry experts from ERDM, MassMutual and Rent The Runway note that understanding the human dimension is what leads to satisfied customers. ERDM President Ernan Roman discussed the value of Voice of Customer (VOC) research during a session titled Using Human Data And Reciprocity Of Value For CX Innovation, at the Retail Innovation Conference in New York City on May 11. The session also provided in-depth case studies on how brands are seeing success with human-data-driven personalization. “When we look at what the data says about how customers and prospects are feeling about customer experience and personalization, we marketers are kidding ourselves,” said Roman. “What we’re doing is putting on the same old lipstick of spray-and-pray marketing that’s been going on for decades, and now we think that, in this digital age, these customers aren’t smart enough to figure out that we haven’t changed a thing.” *** Rent The Runway Dresses With Supplied Customer Sizing Data See 3x More Rentals As an online-only dress rental site, Rent The Runway found value in its customer reviews platform, where women voluntarily shared personal information. According to the company, one of the biggest issues with renting dresses via Rent The Runway is not knowing if a dress will fit or not. Therefore, the customer reviews section became a “proxy” for actually trying on one of the site’s dresses. Rent The Runway was able to gain access to human data — such


Beacons & Other Location-Based Marketing Influences Pre-Purchase Phase Of Shopping Journey

April 28th, 2016

By Richard H. Levey, Contributing Writer Online channels have made demographic, psychographic and transactional data available to marketers at the touch of a button, yielding highly targeted outreach efforts. However, marketers have largely been frustrated by their inability to look over consumers’ shoulders during the pre-purchase shopping phase. As a result, insight into their decision-making process has remained elusive. The advent of mobile devices, combined with location-based technology such as Wi-Fi, beacons and Bluetooth wireless, is helping meet that demand. Location-based systems such as those used by drug retailing chain Walgreens offer retailers in-store aisle-by-aisle browsing data. “We leverage the Walgreens mobile app as a way to detect where a customer is,” said Kartik Subramanian, the Deerfield, IL-based chain’s Director of Mobile Product Management, APIs, and Innovation. “We have established geofences [virtual electronic notification and broadcast ranges] around our more than 8,100 stores which inform customers they are in the vicinity of a Walgreens store.” Unlike the Walgreens app home page a customer might see while at home, “they are served up content which is a little more personalized to their specific profile,” Subramanian said. The page provided to on-the-go consumers offers visit-relevant information such as the user’s loyalty program status and reward redemption opportunities, clipped digital coupons, suggested coupons, and access to the specific location’s current digital circular. Managing the radius of the geofence around each location is an art. “The sizes of the geofences are constantly being evaluated based on the region in which these stores are assigned,” Subramanian said, adding that in