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Client: Oracle

Entrant Company: Starcom USA

Entry Category: A Local Execution of a Multinational Campaign

Names to be credited with submission:
Becky Walden – VP Global Director
Jon Anselmo – Associate Global Director
Howard Laubscher – Account Supervisor
Magdelana Wojcik – Account Associate

Time Period of Campaign: 2008

Case Study Summary:

Marketing Situation: Oracle is the world’s leader in database technology with clients at Fortune 500 companies. Now Oracle is working to become the next powerhouse in business applications software, a key growth opportunity.

When companies decide to purchase new business software beyond standard office databases, the IT Department is not always in control of the purse strings. Oracle’s target had shifted and grown to include key influencers like Sales Professionals. The campaign had 3 core objectives:

1. Educate this new, influential sales audience on Oracle’s new product suite for Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

2. Help Oracle penetrate this sales and marketing target on a global scale, with a limited budget.

3. Deliver qualified sales prospects in all key regions (North America, Europe, LAD & Asia Pacific).

Key Insights: Sales people are some of the most highly networked people in any company. They receive personal and professional satisfaction from interacting with a vast array of people across businesses, industries and geographies. They don’t have time to stop multi-tasking long enough to read through a lengthy and highly-technical product brief or white paper. Oracle needed a new media and communication approach to connect sales executives with engaging, multimedia information on Oracle’s new CRM software.

Media Strategy:Four key global marketing partners—CNET, BusinessWeek, The Wall Street Journal and the CMO Council—were tasked with the following challenges:

• Collect sales leads via community membership sign-ups, event attendance and content downloads

• Forget traditional “B2B” media and instead create an environment where the most active “networkers” on the planet can connect with one another and learn about Oracle’s new CRM product suite at the same time

• Create a peer-to-peer community to “get into” the target’s inner circle

• Host live events to build personal connections through day-engagements to the Oracle products

• Infuse the dialog with Oracle and connect with local sales thought-leaders throughout the world

To reach these goals, the two first-ever partnerships between these powerhouses were created in an effort to appeal to the hyper-social nature of the sales target. Following extensive investigation into the sales space online, it quickly became apparent that no social business network existed exclusively for this extremely social industry.

The creation of the first ever BusinessWeek/CNET relationship also engendered the first social network for sales executives – The Customer Collective ( This community provided prominent global sales professionals the much-needed forum to connect with each other and discuss the needs of their business on a regular basis. On the site, users could create their own profiles, blog, respond to and vote for their favorite discussions, and post information they found useful or interesting.

The Wall Street Journal and CMO Council came together to build C.L.O.S.E., The Coalition to Leverage and Optimize Sales Effectiveness, an organization devoted to uncovering, sharing and creating dialogue around best practices for sales executives. The community consisted of a digital hub that was translated into five languages and housed a wealth of timely information as well as collaboration tools and discussion forums for sales professionals. The CMO Council loaned its event hosting expertise to deliver five live all-day workshops that were held across four countries (SF, NY, Paris, London, Sao Paolo, Sydney) and in three languages (English, French and Portuguese).

How Could this be a Template for Other Campaigns or for World Class Standards? One of the largest hurdles to a cohesive global campaign is delivering content and value that is locally relevant and not just locally translated. Each of the two programs successfully spanned eight markets including USA, UK, France, Netherlands, Brazil, Australia and India, and provided localized content to each market. They required an internal staffing allocation no larger than that of any domestic campaign.

The key to the success of both The Customer Collective and CLOSE were the “crowdsourced” content development mechanisms that were built in to the core of each of the programs. Via the live events and the blogging/community aspects, localized content was continually developed for the programs. Not only did these aspects deliver dynamic relevant daily updates, but provided the foundation and first party research for the writers and editors to create locally relevant long form content that could extend beyond the communities developed.

Results: The campaign exceeded its goal of sales executive leads and delivered these leads against all priority countries. The customized communities recruited over 2,000 actively participating global members including several authors, bloggers, and prominent sales figures. The Customer Collective was extended to FY09 because of the sustained activity within the program and it was seen to embody the forward-thinking spirit upon which Oracle is built.