Company: Oracle Corp.
Years in current job: 7
Quote: “Our No. 1 branding approach is not just a brand, it's sort of an internal mantra as well. It's our goal to be No. 1 in every market and product segment that we compete in.”
In “Iron Man 2,” a film released this year by Marvel Entertainment and Para-mount ictures, Oracle Corp. is hard to miss: It sponsors the fictional Stark Expo, modeled after Oracle OpenWorld; the brand is mentioned in passing several times; eight logos appear onscreen; and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has a cameo.
The entertainment/ b-to-b connection couldn't make more sense to Judith Sim, CMO of Oracle. “Marvel is a big Oracle customer—database through to CRM applications,” she said, noting Oracle's tie-in with the first “Iron Man,” as well. “We wanted it to be subtle. I really wanted to make sure we put it in there in context.”
The “Iron Man” campaign, which includes an extensive online component, interactive demos, and cinema and print ads, touts Oracle's biggest coup, its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in an estimated $7 billion deal that closed in January. The purchase rounded out Oracle's database and software solutions with Sun's hardware offerings. Hence the campaign's tag: “Software. Hardware. Complete.”
With the integration of Sun, Oracle now has 375,000 customers and more than 10 million Web developers that it interacts with online, Sim said. “It changed the scale of business we have,” she said, adding that Oracle is able to use database targeting to reach those that already own one or more of its products. “If they already have a certain footprint then we make recommendations based on that. We're able to be a lot smarter.”
And the fact that Oracle sells CRM software solutions makes her job even easier, Sim said, because database analytics is an integral part of the company's DNA. “We know how many marketing interactions it takes to close a deal,” she said. “We're a very data-driven organization.”
While social media is important and something that Oracle is actively pursuing, it's only part of its marketing mix, Sim said. Higher-touch marketing vehicles, such as events, continue to be key. The company has had more than 8,000 events this year and has seen an 8% increase in attendance.
More than 65% of the events were small, targeted to fewer than 50 customers. With the down economy, Sim said, Oracle understood it was important to bring the events to customers rather than expect them to travel.
Oracle's umbrella marketing strategy is simple, Sim said: To be No. 1 in every marketplace in which it competes. She credits its competitive standing in various industry sectors to the Sun purchase, along with nearly 60 other company acquisitions since 2004.
“We integrate them very fast,” she said. “That's how we've partnered together with leaders to gain No. 1 status.” She added that Oracle is No. 1 in more than 50 market segments.