“Aussie Marketers Need To Become More Paranoid”: Oracle’s Will Griffith

“Aussie Marketers Need To Become More Paranoid”: Oracle’s Will Griffith

Customer obsession, risk-taking and the alignment of marketing teams – these were just some of the topics covered when B&T caught up with Will Griffith, regional vice president of sales for the Asia-Pacific at Oracle Marketing Cloud, yesterday at the ADMA Global Forum in Sydney.

What are the three biggest trends you’re seeing in the Aussie marketing landscape at present?

One of the biggest trends which came out of some research Oracle did in association with ADMA’s Global Forum is that at the C-level in marketing, there’s recognition that revenue, accountability and ROI are key. However, when you go down to the director and manager level, the metrics they’re focused on aren’t aligned – they’re still very much in the operational weeds of engagement rather than revenue. CMOs are talking about revenue – and they weren’t that long ago – but their teams aren’t.

The second major trend we’re seeing is more and more organisations who are becoming increasingly experienced marketing technology buyers. They’re realising that not all technology’s the same, and that some technology offers different benefits compared to others. But they’re also realising that technology is only one of the five key pieces that they need in a partner. They’re also seeking someone who can hold their hand really close and take them through a journey, and that doesn’t mean just spending the first six weeks making sure all the technology works. More and more marketers are open to investing in that.

The third big trend comes back to the coming together of the disciplines of advertising and CRM marketing – marketing to your known versus marketing to your almost unknown. Marketers are appreciating the benefits of those two coming together. The first benefit is that customers recognise that you’re not talking to them in two completely different voices. The second benefit is I think marketers are realising that they don’t need to spend as much money in media, which controversially, may be a bigger driver than customer experience – even though it shouldn’t be.

What are some of the emerging technologies that we’re yet to see marketers take full advantage of?

I think there’s a huge opportunity for marketing technologists to reap from machine learning, and I think we’re at the very beginning of that journey. Fast forward 15 years, there’s going to be a lot of smart marketers using machine learning to crunch really big quantities of data – in many cases, to do really simple things, but to do them really well.

I don’t buy into the prediction that AI is going to do unbelievably cool, unknown things. I think it’s going to do the things we know already, but just help us be a lot smarter in how we do them. And I don’t think marketers are able to think too much about what that means at the moment, because they’re super busy doing the stuff they do, it’s complicated and it’s quite difficult to get your hands on.

What is the biggest challenge that Aussie marketers face going forward?

Skills. It’s also about an attitude of risk-taking and being prepared to be disrupted in their own market. Aussie marketers need to be more paranoid than they are at the moment, otherwise they’re going to find that they’ll be left behind, and it’s going to be too easy for other entrants to come into the marketplace.

What will the CMO of tomorrow look like?  

A lot of people talk about the CMO of tomorrow being more digitally native, more understanding of what new, emerging channels mean and having an agile mindset towards trying new things. I come back to the idea of being obsessed about their customers, and I think a good CMO today and a good CMO in the future will be one that’s utterly obsessed with their customers. Customers are evolving at a much faster rate than ever before, so CMOs have really got to have their finger on the pulse.


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