Oracle announces Guided Campaigns and boosts customer service with genAI

AI took center stage in a stream of product announcements at Oracle Cloudworld this week.

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Oracle has announced a long list of product innovations and enhancements within the Oracle Fusion Cloud Customer Experience platform. For marketers, Guided Campaigns builds on previous Fusion developments to improve the workflow between marketing and sales. It also announced generative AI capabilities for Oracle Fusion Cloud Service.

Guided Campaigns. Building on the existing capabilities of Oracle Fusion Marketing and Oracle Fusion Sales, Guided Campaigns directs marketers through a step-by-step process to generate automatically qualified leads and deliver them to sales as conversation-ready opportunities.

  • Targeting Account generates target, engagement and content recommendations based on previous campaign success data.
  • Multi-Step Nurturing provides guidance on nurturing leads over a longer sales cycle.
  • Simple Campaigns provides guidance on the creation of emails recommending a specific product, service or offer.
  • Event Promotion provides guidance on developing campaigns to drive interest and attendance at events.
  • Guided Campaigns also leverages audience segments derived from Oracle Unity CDP, which uses AI to surface relevant buying groups within target accounts.

“There are so many powerful tools in the marketing department that can do so many great things, but they create two problems that Guided Campaigns addresses,” said Rob Pinketon, Oracle SVP. “One is that, if you use all these disparate tools, you have to maintain them, you have to train people on them and keep them integrated — which is exhausting. The second, more surreptitious, problem is that all these critical apps people think they need to drive revenue tend to actually pull you away from customer experience and revenue growth.”

Sales, Pinkerton told us, sits back and looks at the marketing department and thinks it’s gone crazy. “They’ve become a bunch of gearheads working inside different data applications. They send stuff over and there’s a 2% chance its ever going to qualify as something. There’s a huge alienation problem.”

Guided Campaigns is intended to provide one simplified workflow for email, web design, digital advertising, accessible to non-power users. It’s also geared to supporting paradigm shifts that Oracle anticipates: “We think marketing and sales teams together are going to want to pursue more install-based prospecting rather than green-field prospecting. A lot of the tools that marketers have been training up on are designed to go find new market segments. That might be fine for software start-ups, but it’s not fine for Fortune 2000 companies.”

GenAI for custom service. Oracle is offering a series of innovations to optimize customer service and improve agent productivity. These are built on Oracle’s own generative AI capabilities within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

  • Assisted Agent Responses uses genAI to draft initial responses to service requests that can be reviewed and edited before sending.
  • Assisted Knowledge Articles creates content outlining emerging service issues for agents.
  • The new capabilities also include drafting responses in Oracle Digital Assistant; creating customer engagement summaries for administrators and agents; provides instructional content for field service agents; and creates consistent workflows for addressing common customer issues.

“I believe that great customer service is great for the brand,” said Pinkerton. “I think a lot of companies have been persuaded that the costs of customer service aren’t worth it and that you should automate everything. There’s been great innovation there, but I think it’s not great for the brand.”

Pinkerton recounted the common experience of being placed on hold by a customer service agent so they can read through engagement logs. “I don’t want to talk to a computer, but I also don’t want to talk to someone who doesn’t know anything.” Capabilities like those above are designed to enable agents to understand issues in seconds.

Dig deeper: Mind blown! Angie Judge on the reaction to her LinkedIn post on SaaS and customer success

Why we care. Finally, Oracle is picking up the AI megaphone. When we spoke to Rob Tarkoff, EVP and general manager of CX, earlier this year, he said: “Oracle has always taken the approach in development that AI and machine learning are built into all of our applications. It’s always been a deliberate difference in how we market AI — rather than having a Sensei or an Einstein or some extra layer of AI, we build machine learning into all the core flows.”

Of course, Adobe (Sensei) and Salesforce (Einstein) made a lot of noise about genAI at their conferences this year. Now Oracle has joined in — although it still doesn’t have a cute name for its AI capabilities.

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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