On Friday, December 20, Oracle announced the $1.5 billion acquisition of campaign management vendor, Responsys. On Wednesday December 11, I published a report called "The Rise Of Customer Life-Cycle Marketing Systems" (subscription required) in which we define an emerging category of technology vendors who provide:

"A central technology hub that allows marketers to manage every interaction between the company and its customers as they progress along the customer life cycle."

There is a diverse group of vendors vying to become customer life-cycle marketing systems (CLCMS) providers, in large part due to demand from marketers to reduce complexity in their technology roster and help them make the shift from the marketing funnel to a customer life-cycle-driven discipline. Friday's not-especially-unexpected news from Oracle further reinforces the conclusions in our report. The press release succinctly makes the point:

"The addition of Responsys extends Oracle's Customer Experience Cloud, which includes Commerce, Sales, Service, Social, and the Oracle Marketing Cloud. By bringing together Responsys and Oracle Eloqua in the Marketing Cloud, for the first time CMOs that support industries with B2C or B2B business models will be equipped to drive exceptional customer experiences across marketing interactions and through the customer lifecycle from a single platform."

Take the claims of integration into a "single platform" with a massive grain of salt; this is about ambition and not accomplishment. But as I point out in the report, we expect vendors to use their product development and acquisition strategies to fill in their current gaps and make integration a top priority. Oracle's move puts it one step closer to becoming a legitimate CLCMS provider.

To read more about Forrester's take on the Oracle acquisition of Responsys, look for analysis from my colleague Rob Brosnan (start here). Forrester clients can access the new report here.

I will be continuing this research stream next year, so if you have thoughts/opinions/feedback/questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. A particular thanks to my research peers David Cooperstein and Alex Hayes for getting this report done.

I wish you all a joyous holiday season and a happy new year, and I look forward to connecting in 2014!