Very few companies — perhaps as few as one in ten — are currently equipped to blend their marketing and customer experience processes, according to Oracle CEO Mark Hurd. He made the comments at Oracle’s recent Modern Customer Experience conference in Las Vegas.

In an age when marketers are constantly told that customer experience needs to be at the heart of everything they do, Hurd’s observation reveals just how far most companies still have to travel.

However, he told Which-50 that B2B companies were closer to that goal than B2C businesses — especially when it came to sales and marketing alignment.

He was responding to a question about whether Oracle was going to merge its Marketing Cloud with its Customer Experience Cloud, at least at an operational level.

His answer on that front was firm: “No. But not everyone agrees with me.

“The core is that it’s not about us. I think it’s about the customer,” he said.

Hurd suggested that while many organisations are talking about it and would like to do it, there are real limitations with their current processes.

“So the crux of your question would be better put as, ‘Are you seeing customers beginning to bring their processes together in a way that says they are going take a holistic view, where they can can automate that process and then bring together multiple apps’.”

According to the Oracle chief, that is not really happening — “Not in a materially significant way.”

He said less than ten per cent of the deals they were currently doing would involve such cross-processing.

While Hurd ruled out merging the CX and marketing groups in the next financial year, he made the point that Oracle was best placed to deliver such a goal, once companies are ready to make the move. 

“People want to make best-of-breed decisions, and we have to be best-of-breed at every point in the process. Then our differentiation is that we can do everything.”

Hurd also suggested that some companies still need to align their own organisations better internally. “We see that the leadership of commerce and the leadership of marketing are not always on the same page.”

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