Oracle’s new ID Graph for its Marketing Cloud, announced yesterday, is helping to bring in the offline data from its recent Datalogix purchase.

The goal is to come closer to solving the digital marketer’s dilemma of identifying the same, anonymous user as she moves between devices and between communication channels. Otherwise, the marketer could be sending redundant or even conflicting messages to the same user throughout a day.

Group vice president of products John Stetic told me the company has not previously emphasized the Cloud’s cross-identification features. But now Datalogix’s massive matrix of correlated data — matching real-world info like grocery store loyalty card transactions with online data — could boost Oracle’s identification chops.

It’s still an inference game, though, with the Cloud making intelligent guesses about whether the user on the desktop at work, the smartphone on the bus, and the tablet at night are the same.

“The accuracy is not by any means 100 percent,” Stetic pointed out, but the addition of real-world data could provide a missing piece. We can expect similar moves by the other major marketing clouds to boost their offline data collection and correlation.


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Cross-device, cross-channel identification is a hot topic these days. A newly launched platform from ZenithOptimedia and NinthDecimal, for instance, relies on that capability for scoring which ads from which channels on which devices led you to walk into a store. It then adds the resulting real-world foot traffic to its user profiles.

“Tracking devices to the user-specific level and tracking users to the device-specific level and uniting these data sets is pretty huge for digital marketing,” Parks Associates’ research analyst Glenn Hower pointed out.

The integration of all the data, from an increasing number of structured and unstructured sources, “is basically the single greatest challenge to improved personalization by all marketers,” VB Insight analyst Andrew Jones told me.

Customer profiles might have to be assembled, he noted, from incomplete data “like a social handle but no email [address], or a mobile device ID but no cookie.”

“This is where Datalogix comes in, because they have already collected a lot of this data and made those connections,” Jones said.

Datalogix is also valuable, he said, because it “made Oracle’s BlueKai acquisition more valuable” by providing a better way to connect BlueKai’s cookie data with other information. Oracle bought data platform BlueKai early last year.

Other Oracle announcements yesterday were also related to data integration and correlation, such as the new capability to share user profile information between the company’s Commerce and Marketing Clouds, or to leverage assets from the WebCenter Suite content management platform in the B2B-oriented marketing component Eloqua.

Better data integration can also boost processing. The new Rapid Retargeter, for instance, speeds up the existing retargeting process in Oracle’s cloud to near real-time. A marketer can then immediately respond, or schedule a response, faster than before to an unfinished query or purchase. An example would be a reminder email to a website visitor who has abandoned her purchase in an online shopping cart.