SAP’s Hybris is today releasing a new Marketing Suite that it says is “the first real-time contextual marketing platform.”
The ambition is nothing less than to fix what ails marketing tech.
“Marketing is fundamentally broken today,” Hybris and SAP chief strategy officer Brian Walker told VentureBeat.
“Performance rates are abysmal” for ads, email, and other channels, he noted. Only search marketing works well, he said, and it “can’t provide context.”
Context, for SAP/Hybris, appears to mean the largest possible accumulation of data about interactions, applied with a new clarity so that everything a customer sees or does fits that user.
The key, Hybris said, is that its new offering “unifies customer data into one centralized hub” and provides the much-sought-after “single view of the customer.”
“There are lots of solutions that claim” to have this single view, senior vice president of product strategy Charles Nicholls told us, but they attempt to do that within their own ecosystem.
Salesforce and Adobe “don’t have an open ecosystem,” Walker said.
At least not the kind of open ecosystem Hybris is championing, a kind of uber-marketing cloud. It integrates with marketing clouds such as Adobe and Marketo, as well as with such other resources as mobile analytics platform Turn and advertising-focused demand-side platforms.
We’re “enabling our competitors’ solutions to work better,” Walker said. And, presumably, it will enable SAP’s other solutions to work better as well, including its CRM Marketing and Customer Engagement Intelligence solutions.
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We “pull more data than anyone else,” senior vice president Marcus Ruebsam told us. In addition to inhaling data from emails, ads, websites, mobile web and apps, and other common channels, Hybris will also gather information from such sources as point-of-sale terminals in physical retailers and back-end enterprise resource platforms (ERP).
Look at the problem from the typical marketer’s point-of-view, Nicholls said. “Data is fragmented across lots of clouds.”
“The ability to join that together is transformational. For the first time, [we’ll] have everything together.”
And it will tie into the e-commerce platform for which Hybris is best known, so the data will include transactions from online storefronts. SAP bought Hybris in 2013.
To accomplish all of this, the new platform offers seven major components:
- A customer profile engine
- Engines for customer segmentation, predictive analytics, and contextual analysis
- Tools for marketing planning, budgeting, and orchestration
- A recommendation engine and on-site targeting
- Real-time, behavior-based remarketing
- Marketing performance management
- Open APIs for integration with other providers
That positioning — a more complete view of customer data, integration with competitive clouds, e-commerce, an assortment of intelligent processing engines — is intended to provide a new level of context for customers that fits them like custom gloves.
It’s also meant to craft a more consistent context across the many channels that brands now employ.
“We have a [client company] with 40 different websites across their brands, mobile apps, ads, other consumer interaction points,” Ruebsam said.
As the company deals with customers across all those channels, he said, it confided to SAP/Hybris: “We don’t know who they are or [which ones] are the same customer.”