Oracle is quietly becoming the most intriguing company in advertising

Chief marketing officers are under increasing pressure to do two things.

They’re being asked to take an industry that was known for being all art and infuse it with big data. Second, they’re being asked to use that data to prove that all the billions they spend on advertising actually works.

Oracle says it can deliver on both fronts.

The enterprise tech giant was once a company associated with CIOs and IT managers. But increasingly Oracle is emerging as the most intriguing, potentially integral company in the marketing industry, say insiders.

Earlier this year, Oracle spent more than $US850 million to acquire Moat, an analytics company that specialises in helping marketers make sure their digital ads are able to be seen by real people for a reasonable amount of time.

Besides the hefty price tag, the deal turned heads in the ad world, as many might have expected Moat to sell to a research company like Nielsen or a dominant ad seller like Google.

The question that many still have regarding Oracle’s somewhat mysterious role in the ad ecosystem is: What’s the plan?

Like Adobe, Salesforce, and IBM, Oracle is one of a handful of enterprise-software giants looking to play a key role in the “marketing cloud” arena. While their offerings and services vary, these companies essentially provide marketers with software and tools to help them store and analyse data to make better decisions on whom to market to, and how.

Each has been acquisitive in the “ad tech-martech” space. For example, last year, Adobe purchased the web-video ad-buying tech firm TubeMogul. Salesforce purchased Krux, a data-management platform favoured by many digital advertisers and publishers.

But Oracle, given its clout and deep pockets, might be most intriguing at the moment. While many of these companies can claim to help marketers keep track of all their ad spending, Oracle may have the most influence when it comes to steering where those ad budgets are spent and not spent.

“They are building the complete third-party identity system,” says Eric Franchi, an ad-tech investor. “Every marketer wants this. And they want that outside of Google and Facebook’s systems. Plus, everybody is already an Oracle customer. Even if all the ad money goes to Google and Facebook, brands will all pay Oracle to target and measure it.”

Business Insider spoke with Eric Roza, senior vice president and general manager of the Oracle Data Cloud, and Jonah Goodhart,…

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