-Through Corporate Visions’ Power Positioning with Whiteboard Deliverables, Oracle Marketing Cloud developed a distinct point of view and go-to market message that helped define—even invent—a market segment
-Implemented a point of view education and certification program that more than 1,000 marketers and salespeople have gone through in a two and a half year span—a mandatory part of Oracle’s onboarding process
-Won several sales enablement awards for its certification bootcamp and go-to market message, as captured in their whiteboard point of view video
When Oracle engaged Corporate Visions, they were in a phase of intense acquisition activity, highlighted by its purchase of Eloqua. And, in the time between when Oracle engaged Corporate Visions and when the engagement actually took place on the ground, Oracle had acquired three more marketing technology companies.
“Our challenge was how to unify four widely disparate, culturally unique companies,” McNabb said. “We were all over the map—nobody could decide or define what this all even meant. The company was looking at us, after we just bought $6 billion worth of stuff, and asking, ‘what is it,’ ‘what are you going to tell people to do,’ and ‘hurry up.’”
McNabb also knew that a certification process was something Oracle needed for marketers and salespeople on the heels of its new cross-functional go-to market message. That process would be essential to reinforcing the message and establishing guidelines for rigor and quality around the company’s sales-ready messages and marketing deliverables.
“Marketers can’t create deliverables without being versed in that point of view,” McNabb said.
Another challenge Oracle Marketing Cloud was anticipating had to do with message evolution—that is, its longevity in a rapidly evolving cloud marketing industry. Prior to the engagement with Corporate Visions, McNabb said there was no pre-existing framework or market paradigm that came close to capturing how Oracle Marketing Cloud—with its newly acquired assets—wanted to define itself. “We were basically inventing a market segment,” McNabb said.
He added that as they were writing the message for the positioning engagement, leaders at Oracle Marketing Cloud assumed that, due to the speed and velocity by which the industry was changing, a point of view might only have six months to a year of longevity.
In sum, Oracle Marketing Cloud engaged Corporate Visions with three primary challenges in mind, each of which they needed to address (and fast): message unification, certification, and evolution.
Oracle Marketing Cloud leveraged Corporate Visions’ Power Positioning with Whiteboard Deliverables to develop a distinct message and framework for its solution, fulfilling its three-pronged goal of establishing message unification, creating a certification and learning process, and ensuring their new sales and marketing message was defensible, industry-shaping, and had long-term viability.
According to McNabb, when the goal for the market message you’re trying to create is as ambitious as inventing a framework for a rapidly evolving industry, you need someone to challenge your own internal notions about what message can and should be.
“[Corporate Visions] forced us to ask questions and reflect on and reconsider how we wanted to go to market,” McNabb said. “I believe that as a result of Corporate Visions’ contribution, we were the first to go to market with a unified marketing cloud strategy, publish it, and have it be widely accepted as the right framework.”
He added: “That framework became the thing all other companies which started acquiring technologies in our space with ravenous appetite now bought to. They had a roadmap, with our vision, of who or what they should be acquiring to fill out what a marketing cloud should look like. As a result, we actually created a market segment and a go-to market architecture that became the standard by which others modeled themselves.”
When it comes to developing a distinct and unified message during a high-activity growth period, McNabb said the message development process can serve as the catalyst to building a coherent culture. “Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” he said. “Corporate Visions helped give us a way to found a culture.”
As for certification, McNabb said more than 1,000 Oracle professionals—from marketers to sales reps to BDRs—have been through their education program and certified on their go-to market message, as captured in their whiteboard point of view story.
Given how rapidly the cloud marketing segment was evolving, Oracle had valid concerns about how long a go-to market message would hold up, even one as pioneering and forward-looking as theirs. But as it turned out, the point of view message had much more longevity than McNabb and other sales and marketing leaders imagined. More than two years after its development, he said it’s still a market-defining perspective.
“What’s happened is that the market has evolved to the message, not the other way around,” he said. “It was defensible then, and it continues to be. We haven’t been constantly re-throwing the dart at the dartboard.”
He added: “If you do it right, in theory it has amazing longevity, and [Corporate Visions] helped to make sure we did it right, and the message is now really coming into its own.”