Dave Black and I attended the Oracle Modern Customer Experience in Las Vegas this month, held at the magnificent and extraordinarily large Mandalay Bay resort at the south end of the Las Vegas strip. It took us at least 10 minutes to walk from our rooms to the convention centre within the same resort, which might give you an idea of the scale of the venue!
The conference is an annual 4 day event aimed mainly at the North American market but had visitors from all over the world in attendance. 1973 Ltd have attended several Eloqua events in the past including those in London and San Francisco. The event now encompasses all of Oracle’s Marketing Cloud solutions which include Eloqua, Responsys, BlueKai & Maxymiser. It was also renamed from last years Modern Marketing Experience, to Modern Customer Experience highlighting the shift in Oracle’s intention (and I feel global marketing) to being more customer (end user of the marketing effort) focused.
We’d flown over earlier that week to present a QBR (quarterly business review) and visit one of our clients in Cupertino, California then headed off to Vegas. The conference was the biggest we’ve attended, partially since it covered most of Oracle’s cloud marketing suite as well as Eloqua. It was Eloqua we mainly went for as we’re always keen to see how else the platform is being used, how we can use it better and the future plans coming through in the next year. We met with a couple of our clients there doing the same thing and were able to discuss with them what they thought of it all.
Our initial impression was how well it was organised, for over 4000 delegates to provide a seamless conference is no mean feat, so well done to Oracle for that. The registration process was well run including pre-registration. We also downloaded the conference app that was invaluable (essential in my experience) for trawling through the masses of breakouts, sessions and keynotes during the 3 days, this is a very very large event, so large that the content is inevitably watered down to cater for the masses. No fault of Oracle’s really but looking for the juicy facts we found to be like looking for needles in haystacks.
Anyway with that in mind, here is a summary of the sessions we attended:
- Keynotes with Laura Ipsen, General Manager & Senior Vice President Oracle Marketing Cloud, Mark Hurd, CEO Oracle and Robert Swan OBE, Author, Explorer. Particularly impressive and inspiring was Robert Swan (if a little bit of a shoehorn to link in with this type of conference content).
- Features of the new(ish) program canvas in Eloqua. A sort of ‘on the way replacement’ for Program Builder, but a lot faster, not all features have been migrated across yet but they are in the pipeline, the contact tagging seems a nice idea.
- Oracle Eloqua Roadmap 2017 with Stephen Streich, Senior Director, Oracle. It was good to see what Eloqua had in store for the next year, nothing spectacular we felt but welcomed nonetheless. Some highlights:
- Consistent Alta UX across all of the application
- Program Canvas with Listeners, New Steps and tagging
- Responsive email editor, now you can make mobile friendly emails in the tool (about time Eloqua!)
- Check box pre-population
- API Updates
- A/B Testing on Multi-Step Campaigns (future)
- Email metrics by device (future)
- Data Privacy & GDPR
- Secrets to Optimizing Data as a B2B Marketer. This session covered several use case scenarios involving the program canvas, listener framework, and/or data normalization and how they help B2B marketers optimize data.
- Ten More Oracle Eloqua Hacks. How do I get around a campaign that finished before it was supposed to? How can I get the most out of the new campaign canvas UI? Can I mass-update contacts without having to do a list load? This session was designed with the hands-on Oracle Eloqua user in mind.
- Ten Oracle Eloqua Hacks That Will Turn You into a Modern Marketing Magician. Using Oracle Eloqua’s vast capabilities in new and innovative ways to achieve goals others have never even thought of. How do you track Google AdWords past page views? How do you segment for true account-based marketing? What can you do to ensure that your emails don’t end up on Gmail’s Promotions tab? This session was to see how Oracle Eloqua can be extended to solve today’s modern marketing problems.
- The Need To Be Human In A Digital World. This was in the massive Mandalay Ballroom (if you get a wedding invite here you probably should go) by Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Actor, Producer and Social Entrepreneur) about his journey with hitrecord.org and was a very impressive and interesting speech about getting people to work together well online to collaborate on creative projects.
We really enjoyed the conference it was in a great location and lots and lots to see. When you are dealing with such large audiences it’s hard for the speakers to provide super detailed information that pleases everyone but there was enough there for everyone to take away something. Check out the conference highlights here.