One of the biggest challenges marketers face these days is keeping track of customer behavior across multiple channels and devices. Oracle is hoping to help with that by adding new mobile capabilities to its Oracle Marketing Cloud.

Those new capabilities, rolled out earlier this month, include an enhanced mobile Data Management Platform (DMP) that helps to link multiple identities across platforms and devices to a single customer. The update also lets marketers more easily send links, coupons and other notifications to better engage with mobile customers.

For business-to-business marketers, the updated Oracle Marketing Cloud enables users to access customer profiles and "digital body language" data -- that is, information about customer activity across the Web, email and social media sites -- on their mobile devices, and keep track of how customers are likely to respond to emails or Web pages across mobile phones or tablets.

'Significant Hurdles' to Omni-Channel

"(W)hile today's marketers and advertisers realize that mobile marketing should be a key component of their overall marketing mix and cross-channel strategy, they face significant hurdles to do it right," Chris Lynch, Senior Director of Product Marketing for Oracle Marketing Cloud, wrote in a blog post earlier this month. "One issue is around identity. As consumers use a mobile device, they create different identifiers depending on whether they log into an app or browse more anonymously on the mobile Web."

A joint study by the CMO Club and Visual IQ late last year found that problems with siloed data and inadequate technologies are the top omni-channel strategy obstacles named by marketers. Of CMOs surveyed for the study, 85.6 percent said they experienced trouble because customer data was either unavailable or spread across multiple silos, while 84.6 percent said they lacked appropriate tools and 82.2 percent said they couldn't measure cross-channel performance or ROI.

Oracle's new mobile marketing capabilities are aimed at helping deliver more of such insights and create a "holistic view of mobile interactions," according to Steve Krause, Group Vice President of Product Management for Oracle Marketing Cloud. "The mobile-first consumer," he said, "presents a huge opportunity for marketers to leverage insights to drive meaningful and personalized conversations with prospects and customers."

Direct-to-App Mobile Integration

The latest updates to Oracle Marketing Cloud provide a number of new capabilities for mobile campaign management, including link tracking, rich multimedia messaging and personalized push notifications. They also add mobile integration by embedding links in both push and email messages to customers; when clicked, those links take users directly to the desired mobile app on their devices.

Out-of-the-box templates are designed to help marketers support a variety of use cases for SMS messaging, while "keyword listeners" let companies trigger automated and targeted responses via customer tests.

The new Oracle Marketing Cloud also allows B2B marketers to better track customer engagement on mobile devices and use the Oracle AppCloud to send customers messages, images and QR codes.

According to Lynch, one marketer -- ACE Cash Express, a payday lender -- has seen campaign response rates double by using SMS messaging in conjunction with emails via Oracle Marketing Cloud, while automation enabled the company to reduce the amount of time spent on its campaigns.