Virgin Australia brings second marketing cloud to Velocity

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Virgin Australia brings second marketing cloud to Velocity

Switch from Oracle to Adobe?

Virgin Australia is backing a second “marketing cloud” into its Velocity frequent flyer business in the space of two years, raising the prospect of a switch of allegiances from Oracle to Adobe.

The airline – which is considered an Australian early adopter of the Oracle marketing cloud – revealed this week it is deploying campaign management tools from rival Adobe, with a view to adopting Adobe’s full marketing cloud.

A spokesperson for the airline told iTnews it is “currently partnered with both Adobe and Oracle to deliver marketing solutions” for Velocity.

Pressed on whether a decision had been taken to transition away from Oracle, the spokesperson said that “remains to be seen”. For now, the systems will be used side-by-side to handle different campaigns.

However, the airline is using far stronger language elsewhere in its overtures to find someone to lead the Adobe project, suggesting a decision is well advanced.

That someone – who will lead a “marketing automation and cloud” function for Velocity – is expected to have “a strong vision on how the Adobe marketing cloud tool will shape the future of [Velocity] campaigns and member engagement.”

Importantly, the manager is being measured on their “supportive, positive management of team through a progress [sic] of technology change” and is expected to have “significant experience in leading a team through a change”.

Virgin Australia only last year publicly touted its use of Oracle marketing cloud to power an “automated marketing campaign encouraging people to sign up for, and progress through the different levels of Virgin’s loyalty program”.

The airline’s marketing and analytics manager Steve Baird told the AdTech conference it had taken six months to set up the Oracle system, and click-through and conversion results had been promising.

However, the airline outlined this week that it expects its new Adobe campaign tool – the first piece of the Adobe marketing cloud to be deployed – to achieve a “100 percent improvement in campaign throughput” and a “15 percent increase in campaign effectiveness” in its first year.

Virgin’s marketing outreach to Velocity frequent flyers targets the personalisation of “every interaction, inspiring them to engage with the program, earn Velocity points both at home and abroad, and reap the rewards sooner".

A number of vendors worldwide offer ‘marketing clouds’ as a way for companies to track and learn from the behaviour of their customers and to market to them effectively across multiple channels.

Oracle’s marketing cloud combines tools from various acquisitions, including Responsys, Eloqua, Compendium and BlueKai.

Adobe’s version is similarly composed of a mix of technologies obtained via acquisition. Its foundation piece was from a company called Omniture, and it has continued to add capability via company buyouts such as that of Neolane.

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