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BtoB's Best Marketers: Judith Sim, Oracle Corp.

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Earlier this year, Oracle's marketing team created an online video that it hoped would generate more than 1 million hits. The three-minute spot, “Oracle Exadata, Are You Ready?” promotes Oracle's Exadata Database Machine, and is already closing in on half a million views, said Judith Sim, Oracle CMO. Viral videos are popular in consumer marketing, she said, and “a lot of these consumer marketing vehicles can work on the b-to-b side as well.” Sim didn't seem surprised with the response, noting that Oracle has an active online community, including 14.1 million Java developers who are checking Oracle's blogs and brand sites weekly. It continued its outreach to those developers through its conferences, last year running 8,440 events, up 17% from 2009. The biggest marketing effort for Oracle was its ongoing integration of Sun Microsystems, a deal it closed in 2010, Sim said. The campaign used to promote the merger, “Hardware. Software. Oracle—Engineered to Work Together,” evolved this year into product-specific ads, including online and print, as well as trade show promotions. Engineers are now building software and hardware products from the ground up, Sim said. “This is the new era that we're in.” In June, Oracle reported that more than 1,000 Exadata Database Machines were installed worldwide, a number it intends to triple in the next year. For its fiscal year, ended May 31, Oracle reported net income jumped 39% to $8.5 billion. Sim said that while Oracle isn't currently running a national TV campaign, it does use video for its conferences, such as Oracle OpenWorld, as well as airport advertising, print, public relations and online. “Depending on which product or audience we're selling to, it's a different mix.” When it comes to corporate branding, Oracle continues to make waves with its sponsorship of the 34th America's Cup, enjoying the publicity and races leading up to the 2013 event. Its “Extreme sailing. Extreme performance” tagline is designed to go with Team Oracle's sleek, black sail and racing attire. “Our objective was to make it a brand that people would say, "I want to buy that shirt,' ” she said. —P.R.
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