DX Marketing Improves Service with Oracle Cloud Solution

Established in 2001 with headquarters in Savannah, Ga. and offices in Greenville, S.C. and Jacksonville, Fla., DX Marketing offers end-to-end marketing services, including research and analytics, digital, creative, and a full-suite of commercial printing services. The company prides itself on using leading-edge marketing technology and data-driven strategies to support its clients’ success.

As part of its comprehensive services, the company has been a national list broker for more than 20 years, using a variety of resources to broker lists for its clients, but relying heavily on one company as its main source of consumer data.  Eventually, because DX Marketing worked with that one source so frequently, the vendor offered DX Marketing the opportunity to house the file and manipulate the data on its own.

The file was massive. It contained information for about 115 million households, with 220 million individuals within those households, and roughly 650 different attributes for each consumer record.

Faced suddenly with the challenge of quickly identifying valuable consumer data from this file for customer acquisition programs, the company determined it would be necessary to replace its on-premises computing platform. “When we looked down the road at how we could house this much data, how we could get quick access to it, and how we could build analytics around it, routines around it, we realized we needed a pretty big solution to pull that off,” said Ray Owens, CEO of DX Marketing. To help evaluate possible approaches and architect the new environment to support direct marketing solutions, in December 2014 DX Marketing brought Jerry Gearding, who has experience in handling large datasets, into the company as director of marketing analytics. Oracle quickly emerged as the top choice for the implementation, according to both Gearding and Owens. Ultimately, DX Marketing selected Oracle Database Cloud Service and Oracle Marketing Cloud Service.

In evaluating the technology, said Owens, his team was impressed by four things. One, Oracle was set up to handle the large amount of data and accompanying complexity. “It was second nature, it seemed.” Two, the ease with which Oracle had done similar implementations in the past “was very attractive.” Three, Owens said, security was a key concern. “We have many clients in many verticals but healthcare is one of the bigger ones and security concerns are huge to us. Oracle’s security infrastructure was impressive during the consideration process.” And on top of that, because DX Marketing does considerable modeling and analytics on files, “having something built in and porting right into it was important - and that is what Oracle had. In its Marketing Cloud Service it had quite a bit of analytical tools that we could literally plug in, and begin some pretty high analytics on day one.”

With its Oracle Cloud solution in place, the company has been able to improve the speed for customer campaigns. Because DX Marketing was using outside analytical teams and outsourcing, “what we found is that when we had the analytics in-house we were able to turn things around 70% faster.  What often took 4 weeks was now 1 week. That has been the biggest change. Now we can analyze some large datasets in market right now and turn around and react a week later,” said Owens. “A 1-week turnaround has been astounding.”

The process of implementing the technology itself was also rapid, noted Gearding. “We started the onboarding process the last week of March and received our first file on April 4, and we were producing reports probably between 1 and 2 weeks after that,” said Gearding. In total, Owens said, “It was literally just 4 months from conception to actually having the install and having a live file.”

The company uses Oracle 12c Enterprise Edition with the tooling option. “With the Cloud Service, you get a lot of the things that are à la carte in the on-premise solution, such as advanced analytics, diagnostics and tuning pack, and partitioning,” noted Gearding. “All of the backups are prescheduled; they do all of the patching and so on.” In addition, said Owens, while they require a bit of customization, many of the analytics routines come pre-installed, as well.

In all, the move to the cloud has surpassed expectations, said Gearding. “I was a little apprehensive about looking at a cloud solution, coming from a background of always working with on-premise database solutions,” said Gearding. However, he has come to appreciate not only the "impressive performance" of the cloud solution, but also not having to maintain the infrastructure or hire a large staff.  “I think it was amazing what we were able to pull off with a limited number of resources and limited amount of time,” said Gearding.  “I can’t say enough about how happy we are with the solution we have chosen.”


  • Handle a new data file consisting of 115 million households, with 220 million individuals within those households, and roughly 650 attributes for each record while avoiding  the need for additional infrastructure maintenance and staff
  • Provide new solutions and take advantage of new business opportunities
  • Reduce time to market by 70% in its analytics of consumer data for customer acquisition programs

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.


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