I sat down with the head marketer of Oracle Data Cloud, Cory Treffiletti, to talk all things marketing. 2016, in his words, will be the year people start implementing the tactical changes they've been talking about for years, while doubling down on existing mar-tech partnerships.
How did you get into marketing?
I ended up doing exactly what I anticipated I'd be doing. I wanted to do advertising and marketing and went to Syracuse and got a degree in advertising. In high school I took an aptitude test and got either advertising and marketing or funeral director - apparently both are people businesses!
I had originally started out as a creative guy. I was in school learning about advertising - I really became entrenched in media at school. If you want to be good at advertising become a student of pop culture, because it helps you understand the trends the consumers are paying attention to and what their attitudes and desires are.
I was in the music industry and took the tools I learned into advertising. I dived deeper and deeper into media and realized if you could prove the value of what you were doing, you were in good shape. At the time, I was doing a lot in traditional media and in online media and immediately fell in love with the digital side. You could prove the value, you knew exactly who the audience was, you could deliver the promise. The world of marketing and advertising became one where you could identify the audience and the value. Then you could prove the value that you bring, and I love that connection.
What do you think about the shift of consumers getting more comfortable sharing their data with brands?
We've always been very open and very transparent, and that's been a benefit because you're trying to build a relationship. You need to provide more than enough value to earn that data. It's beyond a fair value exchange; you have to go above and beyond. Without that trust, you don't get the data and the advertising doesn't work.
You're dipping into privacy policies, implied consent as well as overt consent - you have to have both. Seth Godin's book Permission Marketing laid that out - in order for you to engage with that consumer, you have to ask their permission. That was a great foundation as for what you have to do today. I call that "polite marketing." You have to act as if you're in polite conversation - you'd never make the person on the other side of the line uncomfortable.
How have you adapted your marketing strategies, especially with products that aren't simple, to work with short attention spans?
To do that, you have to understand the customer decision journey when they're considering making a purchase. You have to understand that path and realize it's no longer a linear path. There are 10,000 ways you could go. It's not a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase, you have to understand they're going to take many different turns and directions. You think of all the different places you interact with the customer and think of any information and content you should provide to answer the questions. You can build that trust and hopefully over time become the product or service that they choose.
What's the biggest challenge for B2B marketers?
I think it's a combination. It's understanding that the context of the environment in which decisions are being made changes a lot. You have to not only understand the decisions and desires and needs, but also the context in which they're going to be evaluating it.
What are some B2B trends that have surprised you in the past few years?
I wouldn't know if it's a surprise, but I would say what's been interesting is that I have turned into a B2B marketer in the past six to seven years. It's really interesting how the B2B environment is only now starting to take into account some of the B2C tactics that have been in use for years. In the last few years, B2B marketers have realized there's a lot of room for creativity. They can be more innovative and interesting with their advertisements.
What do you think that 2016 has in store for B2B marketing?
It's is an election year and as we've already seen it's been a volatile year for the stock market. In election years, people make promises that they will be delivering on year or two after. I see the same from marketers. In the last couple years interesting things have happened, so I feel like in 2016 people will figure out answers to big questions and will implement tactical changes. I think this is the year people implement a lot of the things they've been talking about. In 2017 and 2018, people will see the impact.
People are going to double down on the bets that they have made. Whether that's martech or data, it's the year they reinvest in those partnerships and make them work. It's how do you invest in the relationships and partners, and how do we expand and work with the partners we have?
Cory Treffiletti is the Vice President, Marketing of Oracle Data Cloud. He has been a thought leader, executive, and business driver in the digital media landscape since 1994.