Oracle’s recent launch of its Data Cloud service for customer data is not just another acquisition, renamed and relaunched with Oracle’s red banner. It’s not just one more step toward parity with Salesforce — the company founded by the Oracle CEO’s former protégé.

It's an acknowledgement from one of the companies that established data as a business that deep behavioral analysis of customer behavior is not only common — but a commodity in itself.

Test Market in a Jar

“We did a number of deals with key data providers in the B2B space,” said Pieter de Temmerman, vice president for Oracle Data Cloud, in an interview with CMSWire.

Dun & Bradstreet, Madison Logic Data and MeritDirect have all agreed to provide profile data on about 140 million individuals and 240 million companies throughout various audience segments. That data has already been adapted for multichannel marketers. It's also been cleansed and anonymized for use by researchers.

Such researchers can run simulations against this market data, de Temmerman told us, to estimate the effectiveness of marketing campaigns in display, mobile, video and social venues.

“This is really about providing anonymous audience segments of B2B attributes,” he said, “like decision makers at companies, or people who work at large enterprises, or people who are in specific roles and specific industries that may be relevant to B2B clients.”

Oracle Data Cloud customers don't need to have existing business relationships with D&B or any of the other sources, noted de Temmerman.

The company is effectively reselling data on their behalf. Oracle’s existing cloud-based tools, such as its BI services, can plug into these sources immediately and provide detailed analytical reports, without employing further add-ons from outside providers.

“We’re working with all of these B2B data providers and publisher sites to provide us with their B2B data,” he said. “We then centralize that data. We try to build a standardized taxonomy, and make sure the quality of the data is where we want it to be. We then make it available for a number of different use cases.”

By way of APIs, he added, Data Cloud customers can connect to these sources directly through their own marketing research applications.

With such an application, he said, you could compare the metrics of a targeted campaign under development against the metrics for a non-targeted campaign. You could run an A/B test of several campaigns against one another with slightly altered characteristics for each one, to see which performs best.

Data Farming for Fun and Profit

Going one step further, he said, an app could be endowed with key performance indicators. Simulated customers, with data from the real world, could be presented components from test campaigns. An analysis function could estimate how many of these simulated people would meet the KPIs and accomplish key objectives, such as downloading white papers from the corporate Web site.

A closed-loop analytics solution, said de Temmerman, would provide estimates of the effectiveness of different marketing campaigns against discrete subsets of audiences represented in Oracle Data Cloud.

Outside of marketing, he said, sales teams could use data from Oracle Data Cloud to estimate the best profiles for customer prospects.

Those estimates could then be fed into marketing automation solutions, cleansing old contact data from CRM applications and feeding sales personnel with refreshed contact data.

Data from Oracle Data Cloud can also, naturally, be pushed to the Oracle Marketing Cloud, giving users there a richer concept of the recipients of their campaigns. It can also be pushed to partner clouds as well, through Oracle’s existing partnerships.

With this incarnation of its data services, Oracle is becoming much more than just a directory, or a database platform. It is becoming a mechanism for making the business world into marketing professionals’ personal petri dish.